Tag Archives: water

The sort of day when

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Yesterday the garden fair was all ice cream and summer dresses.  Today was the sort of day when the hills disappear, when the rain streams down your face into your mouth in spite of the storm hood, when water runs into your sleeves as you take a bite of damp cake, when you snap no photos and send no texts in case the phone drowns, the kind of day when the legs of your jeans are so heavy with water that they start to fall down off your bottom as you walk.  A few keen gardeners traipsed around, bought a plant or two, and went home for early lunch, no doubt consoling themselves that their £7 entry was going to a Good Cause.  The show was officially declared rained off at three, and we packed up as the angrily-flapping canvas tried to take off in the gusts, and just as the ground paused on the verge of becoming an un-driveable quag.

It was, indeed, the sort of day when you strip off your horrible trousers as you walk into the house, indifferent to the privacy of a bathroom or bedroom (or even a closed front door); and when you utter thanks to those trusty old soldiers in your service –

– feet being the only parts of the anatomy which were still both warm, and perfectly dry.

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Setting up

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There’s a gracious backdrop to the confusion of cars, vans, marquees, gazebos, trestles and tables, residue from about a hundred geese, and other impedimenta.   Crucially, we found the tap.

We were slightly concerned by the number of people attaching storm straps or extra guys to their canvas.  We don’t have any for ours.  The forecast is fair overnight, but I find my ear is cocked for a change in the wind.

Taking five minutes

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I’ve not been here for a long time, and in the interval the parking has been made pay-and-display, and the knobs on the railings, which used to be painted gold, are all black.

The sea, luckily, remained blue, and I watched for a while,

as it slopped white water casually onto the prom (and my waiting car).

 

 

 

Let’s ignore the annoying middle of the day.

 

 

 

Later, there was a fortuitous concurrence of images.

Feeling later than it is

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The weather has taken a turn:  sea rolling grey and white, sky heavy.  Avoiding the wind we walked under the trees, past the reeds and brackish pools and a few reposing gulls.

Abject crawling

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was required to get under the inconvenient pipe work.  But we are ok to crawl in a good cause, and a set of cavities this elegant was irresistible.

The horned frog isn’t my photo.  But I held the torch.

To ourselves

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All on a summer’s day

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Well it was about 80° by 9 o’clock again, so I went to water the plants before it became intolerable.  While on this placid duty, the

biggest

blackest

hugest

enormous

VASTACEOUS

bumblebee flew straight down the neck of my shirt.

Having in this compendious manner tried to achieve heat stroke and heart attack in the same encounter, I treated myself for shock and proceeded with the day.

At 10 o’clock we headed to a convenient beach.  There was a ruffling breeze and on the fairly steep-to shingle the waves made aggressive dashes at our knees.  Wet skirts were not a problem in the circumstances …

At noon the curtains were pulled against the sun and with local old-fashioned milk (full of old-fashioned top-of-the-milk) we made raspberry ice cream – yum, zingy.

And having run out of tosh for the moment, another book at 1 pm:

 

Wendy Moore has written an interesting double biography of Thomas Day and Sabrina Sidney/Bicknell.  The key narrative element is that Day, a dogmatic, wealthy and eccentric 18th century bachelor, tried to create a wife to his own specifications by acquiring and educating his own personal orphan, naming her Sabrina Sidney.  The morality of this is more complex than at first appears – less obnoxious because it did not in fact seem to cloak sexual abuse or pædophilia, and did in fact benefit his protégé in terms of prosperity and education; and more obnoxious, because the bald description of ‘apprenticeship’ barely indicates the mental manipulation, ownership, occasional physical cruelty and minute control he expected to exert over Sidney.  What could possibly go wrong?  Quite a lot, but again, no simple moral to be drawn.

It seems that the story was too good to waste, its afterlife leaking into several novels, and perhaps eventually into Shaw’s Pygmalion.  Having read this account of Day’s experiment (and also Pygmalion), I can well believe it.

And now at another 9 o’clock, it’s time to water the frazzled pot plants again.  Dare I brave the invertebrates?