Tuesday, 4 August 2009


We wanted a 'barbecue summer'. We wanted 'too hot' heat, rubbing sun block into fragile pale skin. We wanted Pimms in the garden as the sun sinks slowly under the horizon. We wanted sausages sizzling to cinders. We wanted long lazy days on the beach, fanning ourselves and complaining: "Phew! What a scorcher!"

We haven't had that, really over the past few weeks. The 'too hot' days were back in May and a bit of June, when we did do the barbecue thing (twice) and had lunch in the garden and spent hours, when it should have been bedtime, just pottering about in the garden swatting at midges and enjoying being warm.

But in July it rained and rained and rained. Last weekend we had visitors, Australian relatives, Stephen and Shelley, cousins from Melbourne.

"Sorry about the rain," we apologised as it sheeted down.

"Oh don't worry about the rain," said the Australians. "If you didn't have all this rain, you wouldn't have all this green."

Quite. Instead we could have stories, like Shelley, of their fears for their home as fires rage out of control, of being 'locked down' at the school in which she teaches because the children can only be handed back to a parent and the parents can't get to school because between them and their child's school are scenes such as these:

Rain is quite precious really. You can have too much sun.


  1. I am looking out at green now. You are right that there are worse things than rain, even of the relentless variety. and it looks like a warmer, drier August, possibly?

  2. Absolutely! I seldom complain about the weather. We cannot change it however much we would like to. We live in a temperate climate where it is seldom too hot or too cold. As a rule we don't have tornadoes, earthquakes or tsunamis. We do have a fair amount of rain, it is true, but it is life-giving. (I haven't of course mentioned floods which might spoil my point)

  3. Yes, I know... but is it wrong to say that I'm really tired of non-stop rain?

  4. elizabethm - A warmer, drier August would be lovely!

    Arosebyanyothername - I continually complain about the weather and always will, but it was interesting to see the rain from another perspective. Floods, of course, are another thing altogether.

    ChrisH - No, entirely not wrong to say that. I wish it would drizzle gently when I want to go running, rain properly overnight and be sunny the rest of the time!

  5. All of your photographs are beautiful with that gentle freshness that rain can bring.

    The orange fire flames (presumably supplied from Australia) are really frightening. My uncle who lives in southern California has had several years in which it was very wise to keep his car packed and ready for a quick get-away, if fierce winds blew such fires towards his home. Otherwise, where he lives would be considered paradise.

    I would definitely choose a land with rain over fire. Except for the possibility of floods, of course!)


  6. Too true, Mags. As I write, our place is tinder dry. Two more towns were evacuated on the mainland, and over 70% of the province is in 'extreme fire danger'. We have our emergency kit packed and ready to go, and never let gas tanks in the cars fall below a quarter of a tank. Of course we're enjoying the endless sunshine and blue skies, but we look at the sky every day, hoping for a little rain, even just to lessen the threat.

  7. Yes, Mags- I think that we have your summer as well as our own. Too hot for too long and .25 inches of rain in two months.

    Pondie, I feel for you! Here in the city, there's less danger of fire but whenever I walk by a garden with a tall, dead, tinder-dry tree that should have been removed long ago- I wonder 'what are they thinking?'.

    Your photos are wonderful and remind me of what will come again. Maybe next week?

  8. I like ran for running too - though not for cycling; why is that?

    And not at the Nevern show! See you tomorrow I hope.

  9. I do moan about the rain, but I actually quite like it. The rain that is, not the moaning. Just not quite so much of it as the past three years have brought. How do you plant your garden when an Ark is more the order of the day?

    We should be grateful for the rain, it keeps our resevoirs topped up, and so many people in the world don't have fresh, clean water to drink, never mind bathe in or splosh on their gardens.

    Love your photographs, especially the first one.

  10. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Too much sun? I'd settle for just a little. Just a teensy, itsy bit.

    Know what you mean though - there must be parts of the world craving some of our gentle rain. Today has been warm and damp - not raining but not condusive to sittiing out and enjoying the fruits of our labours either. Maybe tomorrow....

  11. I've said the same thing to people at work: no rain=no green.

    I'm told to shut my stupid mouth every time mind you.

  12. Yes, you've been having a lot of "liquid sunshine" this year. That said:

    1) you do have a lot of green, and beautiful flowers, of which you've taken beautiful pix, and

    2) you do not have massive fires the like of which people in California, Australia, and western Canada have been facing.

    If you'd like to trade, I can send over some cool evenings (3°C or 37°F).

  13. Every cloud has a silver lining.
    But it's going to be a better August, honestly. (Love the flower photos, beautiful).

  14. Thanks for reminding us - it's easy to get a bit gloomy about the rain isn't it? I think it's brought us a fabulous soft fruit crop. There is a huge amount of wild damsons here.

    Loving that band of feline hunters there. Hope they're earning their keep!


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