A Sunday in July (July?)
Wake to a murky half-light. Open curtains: no lighter. Check watch: 10 a.m. Cloudburst spraying through window: slam shut.
Pull off bed-socks and swap for day ones. Huddled in winter dressing-gown, slippers, and clenched-teeth-determination, I stagger downstairs, bearing last night’s hot-water-bottle.
Husband already up: pelt of rain on glass woke him early again. Awaiting kettle for our hot drinks, I gaze out at gust-blown hollyhocks, deluge-drenched delphiniums, waterlogged lobelia, sun-starved hydrangea. At least the lawn is a more cheery sight – the baby blackbirds having a field-day, a field-summer, indeed, with their swamp of slugs and worms… But down comes another shower, and up go the fledglings into the autumnal trees.
Bent over our steaming coffees, we ask each other, as we all do every day, why this weather? Is it really global warming? Funny sort of warming. But suppose it is? A twinge of guilt shoots down my spine, adding an extra shiver. Perhaps we should do more to cut down on our car journeys, I ponder… not visit our ageing relatives, our nest-flown children, our old friends, our holiday haunts, sea-side retreats, local hives of culture and creativity… or else, give up the rural life and add ourselves to the ever-more-bulging urban population, where we could queue for slow buses and cramped trains instead.
Or are these floods an ‘act of God’? If so, they are proof, were it needed, that he cannot be all-good, all-knowing and all-powerful. He (or she or it) doesn’t actually exist in our view of the world, but it’s handy to have someone to blame at such times!
Turn on radio and hear of Olympic plans sliding and sticking, like so much else this season: the recession, the phone-hacking hoo-ha, the bank stink, and us ordinary folk in our ordinary lives: teachers I’ve encountered, battling to get a year’s worth tied up and tidied before its end; the children, stuck in this interminable-seeming term, fidgety for their alternative learning curve – holidays; the holiday-makers themselves, driven home by the damp; and those poor flood-mud victims, thrashing about in their sewage-strewn sitting-rooms… And nothing is as stuck as this weather.
Check spider-trap in hall. No sign. Another shiver. Mr Tarantula still at large, somewhere within our walls. Yes, that’s right: spiders like to come indoors in the murky gloom of looming winter.
Between showers, we risk a bit of washing on the line… well, one has to try! Then we don wellies, extra woollies, macs and hats, and squelch our way through the slimy garden gate for a breath of mist up the fields. No point taking camera, we agree.
Dutifully, we wade through a meadow of thigh-high grass – not sun-gold, but rusty, musty brass – dull as the July sky. Then dash home, just too late to save the washing. Thank God – if there is a god – for spin-dry!
But let’s be a bit more positive than that! We must survive, even if the plants don’t! So: it’s ever so cosy indoors this July, and there’s an irresistible wealth of rhymes to be found on the subject too! (Hence the surfeit above – sorry.)
(And there’s another, to go with some of them.)
More thoughts on Twitter @KatyPoet