Saturday, 20 August 2011
Summer almost over before it begins!
carved from tree branch.
20 th. of August already! The summer has been a washout, wetter than almost any ever and cold growing weather with many vegetables not developing anything like their normal size or vigor. The broad beans (fava) have given up their last good picking and the french beans have not yet given a single bean pod! Black berries or brambles as the call then round here are now hanging like bunches of grapes so we were happy to have a guest here tonight to help eat some.
A week ago I was working all hours I could to catch up the time lost through rain to get the garden presentable for a party organised ten weeks before when we returned from our holiday trip to find everyone bronzed from the hot dry weather they had while we were away! After two wet summers I thought this was going to be reasonably dry, how could we have three wet in a row! Easily as it turned out!
By Saturday night at midnight when I finally finished I could hardly bend to undo my boot laces but the garden had places to take all the guests plus space in the greenhouse and house if all turns out wet. The first two guests arrived dead on time and for once I was almost dressed! Within seconds the sound of raindrops hitting the greenhouse roof was heard and all the outside chairs got wet! Thankfully it was a rare day of sunshine and they quickly got dried off before the next brief shower, I joked to those sitting that they would not get wet if they remained seated and though meant as a joke most did so I joined them as the last brief shower passed over and then the party went with a swing. A crate full of pink Cava helped as did a table full of food. Judging by the volume of noise caused by the conversation everyone had a great time. Being a hostess does not let you stop to join in many for long but once everyone else had served themselves I filled a plate and joined a group where a professor of ancient French declared that he knew little about british accents but loads about French the proceeded to differentiate british accents with interactive examples from all present and exquisitely subtle demonstrations of the regional differences. How much does he know about French if this counts as nothing!? My accent as I knew is dull and uninteresting mainly because I pronounce most words in a correct standard English in my overeducated under qualified way!! He said it better than this but I forget how…
After the rush of the previous week I took some time for myself, even read a whole book in a couple of days rather than the month it has been taking recently and after thirty years finally discovered that it is possible to lay out in the warmth of the greenhouse and doze away. Seriously have to reconsider the growing of plants in there if the growing beds can so easily be made into sofas with the hoarded cushions found in the attic.
Friday became a day of pleasure. First we met up with Louise from Edinburgh to visit a five-hundred year old royal hunting Palace in Falkland in Fife. For three months in the winter not a single ray of direct sunlight reaches this town at the foot of the Lomond hills but during our visit it was bathed in sun. Over five hours wandering about and stopping for coffee and for a light lunch all passed so quickly, real time still beats net chat. A diversion on the way home took us to friends / distant relations who live in a divided country mansion of some considerable age Their time there had been spent filling up the vaulted storage spaces on the ground floor with all sorts of junk, normally this would not be a problem but builder arrive in a few days to renovate this part of the house to make it habitable again so people have been invited to take whatever they want in return for a donation to a charity. The invite had come with an apology since they know we already have too much of our own junk! We really just wanted chat and home made cake…
The day was rounded off with dinner at home with an old friend who we don’t see so often now that he is married to a vegetarian and has a busy home life but with wife and child away in the heat of Paris he was able to entertain us before catching a train to meet them for the second half of the holiday in London. We were soon back as if it were those carefree days in the 80’s and 90s again and he , and we, got to enjoy a juicy steak and ripe blue cheese which is forbidden in his home!
Now conscious that time to fix and repair various parts of the house exterior are running out for this year so have to get back into action. It all helps to take my mind off the thoughts of being a kind of cinderella amongst those I know online. A sudden flood of folk going through operations in these past few months leaves me sometimes feeling like the ugly puppy who never gets chosen from the pound. Many I knew when I first arrived have long vanished back into the world and now many who came after are speeding past to their futures. I have few things to complain about in my new life but it is now hard to get the enthusiasm to follow new blogs like I did the old.
I guess we go through all this much like a class and I have had to repeat a few years! So many of us don’t even get this far so I have no real reason for regret or self pity but it does sneak up on you when you least expect it...