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.
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!
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…)
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!
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.
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.
Maisy gave up after that and decided that what was good enough for Eddie was good enough for her.
Rain or shine, make the most of your day 🙂