It's a well-known fact that
Grumbling Talking About the Weather is one of the top three favourite British pastimes, along with Queueing and Having a Lovely Cup of Tea. Given the extraordinary run of hot weather (not a single drop of rain for weeks!) we're currently enduring enjoying it would seem odd not to mention it here.
I am not a sun-worshipper by any stretch of the imagination. I am fair-skinned - prone to bumpy red heat rash, burning and (at best) freckles if my skin is exposed to the sun for any length of time - so I tend to stay covered up all summer long. No matter how much loose-fitting cotton or linen I swathe myself in, prolonged hot weather leaves me feeling sticky, uncomfortable and tired, especially now that my hayfever has returned. At the moment I'm mostly staying inside, dashing out for brief intervals to hang line after line of washing to dry ("Marvellous Drying Weather!") and emerging just after sunset (9:30pm!) to water the poor thirsty plants. We have a two-watering-cans watering system in place at the moment. Husband fills one while I empty the other; by the time it's empty the next one is ready to go. Even though this labour-intensive method still amounts to a tiny amount of water per plant per day it seems to be enough to keep them going. It's a bumper year for raspberries (I'm freezing them because I can't keep up) and the rhubarb really makes a few drops go a long way.
The rest of the time when I'm not at work I've been pottering inside, looking for things to wash (Marvellous Drying Weather!"), making nice warm knitwear for assorted charity shop rescue animals and dreaming of winter. Last weekend Wibbly Pig got a snazzy festival jumper. This weekend Funny-looking Sheep is finally getting his Dr Who scarf, well over a year since he first requested it:
Yesterday we ventured out to a local Gala in the scorching midday sun, along with our fellow Englishmen and quite a few mad dogs (not the XXSCat dog, she stayed at home in the shade like any sensible creature would do). Drummers drumming, cheer-leaders cavorting, cup-cakes melting, barbecues sizzling and the clinically insane Zorbing - everyone giving it their all in spite of the sweltering heat! I bought some plants from the local allotment stall:
"Bloomin' Triffids", snorted the chap who was doing most of the selling, casting a cheeky sideways glance at his mate who had grown them.
I also bought a little flopsy bunny from a girl on a bric-a-brac stall who was trying to raise money for a school trip in December. She needed £200 to go on the trip and had only got £25 so far. She wanted 30p for him but I gave her £5 and told her to keep the change. I wished I could have given her more. He has had a wash and is currently being baked dry on the line ("Marvellous Drying Weather!").
I think a nice little knitted jacket will be just the thing for him to be able to keep up with Wibbly and the rest of the gang!