I’m currently tip-tapping away on a borrowed laptop, the french doors to my living room wide open to let the cool air through after another beautifully sunny day. Yes, there’s been the occasional burst of bad-tempered weather, but mostly…well. The heat has crept into my home and my bones and made me forget all about winter. I’ve spent many open-doored evenings just lying on the sofa, feet up on the wall, reading and reading: A Fair Maiden, Touchy Subjects, Making It Up, Ted Hughes letters, The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, Extra-Virgin, others I’ve let drift past me.
The riverside has changed character in the heat too: the water still reflects the sky’s mood but now the riverbank is populated by fishermen, tetchy with an inquisitive mutt, and caravanners who park up and promptly set up their canvas chairs with their backs to the river. The swan family doze by the bank, 5 fluffy cygnets and mama, heads under wings, whilst the papa swan guards from dry land, hissing at anything that passes. Cycling along one evening, I encountered people playing rounders, many dog walkers, a game of rogue frisbee and more than one canoodling couple. Lucky canoodlers.
My garden is now blooming with delphiniums, lavender, geraniums, fuchsia and marigolds. Two tomato plant gifts are showing promise and my first ever raspberry cane has borne fruit. No more than two at a time, but it’s been lovely to pluck them whilst watering, eat them straight from the plant, sun-warmed and sweet. I find now that I want to garden, am making plans for a small plastic greenhouse to grow salad in, sizing up where I can plant bulbs for spring colour. Of course, I would decide I want to do this just as I move into a house with a pocket-sized garden.
The teen and I celebrated her turning 16, finishing exams and the house move all in one boozy (for me), friend-filled afternoon. I went out dancing one evening (something I haven’t done for an exceptionally long time) and woke up the next morning to a spinning head and aching legs. The enigma of crochet was finally cracked in a morning’s tutorial and my current granny-square blanket plan is moving on apace. Oh, and I brought a book on mindfulness and meditation on account of thinking that if I didn’t do something, my head would explode. However, it seems I’m having trouble even reading the book without my mind drifting off…
Quite often Saturdays are spent doing nothing more exciting than wandering to the market to stock up on the glut of summer fruits available, flowers, fresh bread. Tomorrow I turn 38, which seems a little hard to believe. Not only am I not ready for how quickly this year is passing, but I don’t feel 38. I feel younger now than I did at 28. Although I did ask for pyjamas, an item of clothing I always think should just appear, not be bought.
All of the photos above were taken at the Black Country Living Museum where I went for a museums conference, apart from the last which was my niece taking her very first selfie with my phone one evening. Not long after, I read her brother the Gruffalo, voices and all (my Gruffalo sounds like Phil Mitchell), making him hysterical with laughter. Then I went home, leaving bedtime settling to my sister. I love being an Auntie.