My Cats & My Robin Enjoyed the Sunshine – How About You?

It is funny how things change in life.  From the age of ten, I grew up in a village in rural Suffolk and so spent many-a-day running across fields, walking in the nearby woods, climbing trees and such.  Of course, my brother and I also got into a lot of mischief, like the time when we decided to make a ‘camp’ at the end of our garden.

It started to get a little chilly so we came up with the bright idea to make a fire.  We ended up setting fire to an entire row of hay bales.  Bearing in mind that the house where we lived was a 14th century, oak-beamed farmhouse, this was not exactly the smartest thing to do.  Did we get into trouble?  You bet!

Growing up in this kind of setting and experiencing the great British weather in all its glory, good and bad, ruined me for living in a climate which is conducive to long, stifling hot summers and a ‘winter’ more commonly known as ‘the rainy season’.  I’m talking about California of course.

Misty Bay (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Misty Bay
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

When I first moved to California in 1986 I was so thankful that we were able to move to a delightful, small town by the ‘bay’ on the central coast, more so since the marine layer from the nearby ocean would engulf us in a lovely, chilly fog during the summer months.  Wonderful! When I felt homesick I could make a lovely cup of tea, eat a couple of Rich Tea Biscuits (smuggled over in various suitcases) and pretend I was back ‘home’ with my Mum.

One day, we went to a car show at a town a good hour away and more inland.  It was over 100 degrees that day and I didn’t care much for the town either.  I couldn’t wait to leave and return to our foggy haven, being sure to announce to my then-husband on the way home, “I could never live in that horrible, dusty one-horse town!”  Well, I think that most of us know the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”

Yes, you got it.  A couple of years later guess where we ended up moving to, and not only that, we went on to live there for ten years!

Actually, I did get used to the heat (it really is true what ‘they’ say, a dry heat is much easier to deal with than a humid heat) and I grew to love where I lived but oh how I missed the rain then, I can tell you. Raincoats, wellies and umbrellas were a novelty to my children, cause for celebration!

Daughter in the Rain (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Daughter in the Rain
(c) copyright
Sherri Matthews 2013

Now that I’ve lived back in jolly old England for the past ten years, I have reverted to my very British ways, and, like my fellow Brits, I love to complain about the weather as much as the next person.  What else would we have to talk about?  It is a very colourful subject for us.  Now, don’t get me wrong, we do love our rain as without it our land would not be the green and pleasant one of which we are so fond, and proud, but when it does rain, we still moan. Go figure.

I never could get used to being shut up indoors when it was so hot that it was impossible to go outside.  Here, it is the complete opposite.  When the sun comes out, everybody goes outside, and men rip off their shirts (although I wish they wouldn’t unless they are fit) and people talk to each other (about the lovely sunshine of course!).

Which is why the last few days when that old sun put his hat on, winked at us and came out to play made us all so very happy. A long weekend and the weather was glorious. This just doesn’t happen.  A miracle! I think that God had mercy on us because if we hadn’t had good weather by now I think that the entire nation would have rioted (oh, but that’s another story…)

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

So what did you do during this recent gorgeous sunny spell? We (as in me and my husband) spent our time in our garden catching up with all those jobs which have so far eluded us for one reason or another.  Nothing like a day’s hard labour gardening, followed by a long sit down (yes, outside!) with a tall, cold glass of something alcoholic and surveying all our handiwork.

We had quite a bit of help too.  Sweet Robin has been  a frequent visitor doing a bit of what I like to call ‘worm management’, cheekily swooping down onto the newly turned soil having spotted a fat worm, or two.  He did a good job and no doubt his new little family were very pleased too!

Sweet Robin Listening for Worms (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sweet Robin Listening for Worms
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sweet Robin
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

The cats were also most helpful.  Obviously we had to tell them that no, Sweet Robin didn’t want to ‘play’ with them,  and they soon became distracted with their tasks in hand.

Maisy, our tabby, made sure that she supervised our moggie Eddie while also managing to look rather beautiful against the tasteful backdrop of a pot of recently flowered tulips.

Maisy Supervising (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Maisy Supervising
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

However, although Eddie did a good job of walking all over my plants and lying in the dirt (no doubt looking for a good place for me to plant my lavender), Maisy’s supervision was a little lacking as she didn’t seem to notice that he kept sleeping on the job.

Eddie Sleeping on the Job (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Eddie Sleeping on the Job
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Maisy gave up after that and decided that what was good enough for Eddie was good enough for her.

Maisy Sunbathing (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Maisy Sunbathing
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Rain or shine, make the most of your day 🙂

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri's work is published in magazines, anthologies, her Summerhouse blog, and memoir column at Carrot Ranch, an online literary community. As a young mum of three, she emigrated from the UK to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country with her family and two beautiful black kitties. A keen walker and photographer, she is working hard on her memoir. Her 2021 entry to Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize was shortlisted and also received a special mention at Spread the Word Life Writing Prize.
This entry was posted in Birds of a Feather, CATalogue, Family Life, Garden Snippets, Photos, Suffolk Tales, Sweet Robin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to My Cats & My Robin Enjoyed the Sunshine – How About You?

  1. mumblypeg says:

    Just one word. FABULOUS!!!! We all feel a lot better after the hot sun. I trust that was not all the summer we will get . . . Love to you and keep the blogs coming xxx


    • sherrimatt says:

      Ahh, bless you & thank you so much Mumblypeg for your lovely comment and continued encouragement & support of my blog, Let’s hope not, although it wouldn’t be a first 🙂 xxx


  2. Sherri,I love your stories and the photos are gorgeous!! What great work you do on your blog site. My comment is that I am in love with the weather in England. To the rain I say: Bring it on! 🙂


    • sherrimatt says:

      Ha, great comment! So glad you enjoy my posts it’s great to know that somebody is reading my blog, thank you for that as I can always count on your visits Beverly! 🙂


  3. sheilamariegrimes says:

    You brings smiles for me when I read your blogs. This one was super! On warm sunny days, i love to sit and swing, walk and sometimes ride my bike (although, riding alone is a bore), but all in all, I love this Texsas weather, cooler this spring than usual, but then I grew up in New York State, where cool is COOL!


    • sherrimatt says:

      Hi Sheila, thanks so much, it is great to know that my writing makes you smile, that is a wonderful compliment, I will take all the encouragement I can get! Great to read about your take on the weather. I imagine you sitting on your porch on a swing seat in the cool Texas spring air? Love that, it conjures up real ‘Americana’ to me 🙂


  4. That was absolutely wonderful!!!! The photos were great and I read European Robins are supposed to be shy, not your sweet visitor! Wow Sherri, you just get better and better!!! xxx


    • sherrimatt says:

      As always my friend I can count on your wonderfully encouraging comments, thank you so much, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one! Yes, Robins over here can actually become quite tame once they get used to you and they are also very territorial. I can ‘talk’ to him and he does seem as if he recognises my voice…I like to think that anyway 🙂 xxx


  5. p.s. Loved the photo of Claire!!!


  6. It’s funny how you get used to any kind of weather in time. When we moved south I thought I’d melt in the heat but it doesn’t bother me at all now. You can’t have greenery without rain, though, and if you love those northern landscapes, and flowers rather than cacti in the garden, you have to put up with it. Love your cat pictures. Every home needs at least one guardian moggy. OUr robin manages to keep well out of their way.


    • sherrimatt says:

      Hi Jane and yes, isn’t that so very true? It is all about adapting – blooming where you are planted! Glad you enjoyed my cat photos…it was a glorious weekend weather wise then but it has gone downhill since then, back to grey and rain and cooler, but everything here certainly is very green! We do need the rain! Our robin does the same, they are very savvy birds. Thanks for commenting and also for the follow 🙂


  7. Kay Wilson says:

    I am new here but I love your writing style & memories. I am still learning about wordpress. I was on blogger, it seemed simpler to me. So as I read your blog, I hope to learn the finer points, links & tags etc. Thank you for good thoughts and expertise.


    • sherrimatt says:

      Hi Kay, thank you so much for your very encouraging comment, I really appreciate it! I never thought of myself as being able to offer any kind of expertise, since I’ve only been blogging since January and have been learning as I go, still have a long way to go! If there is anything you can learn here then I will be thrilled and more than happy to help although I’m not too sure if I can help with much! The WordPress help and support pages are quite helpful I’ve found. All the best with your new blog 🙂


  8. Rachel says:

    Great post, Sherri! I wonder if this is the post you were referring to, about being able to go for long walks in the middle of the day in Britain?

    One of the advantages of living in different places over the course of your life is you get to appreciate the things most other people take for granted. I just love British weather and think it is under-appreciated.


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