Saturday August 7, 2004
Sweltering hot day, Boston filled with the weekend exchange of holiday makers, one batch returning home, the next on their way to their annual holiday location, in and around Skegness for the most part. It wasn’t so dreadful going to the supermarket for our weekend provisions; traffic in the opposite direction was however close to gridlock so my suggestion that we return on the country road route was met with approval for once.
“Do you know,” I said as we passed the sign for New York and I’d clicked a shot of it, “these are just like the summers I remember from when I was a kid. Hot, sticky, and dust on the quieter roads.”
“It’s your imagination.”
“No, I promise you. I’ve been thinking about it, and searching my memory. And the odd thing is I hated it then as much as I hate it now. I seemed always to be thirsty, just like now, too.”
“What about the winters?”
“We had some bitter ones in the late 40s and early 50s.”
“And what happened then?”
“Oh, it all fell apart. One year hot, the next cold, wet and miserable. Now the summers seem to be getting consistently hot again.”
“Nothing new, then?”
“Nope. You win some, you lose some.”
“What goes around, comes around?”
“Oh, give me a break.”
New York, New York!
We’d left the fans on in the house so it was a blessed relief to come in out of the sun, and drink a nice cup of tea. Nothing like a nice hot cup of tea to cool you down after a mid-day sun excursion.
I wasn’t kidding, though. Summers now are just like those when I was a kid. And, if it’s a repeating pattern, we’re in for some bitterly cold winters. I’m not sure I relish that, though I have to say it’s much easier to cope with cold weather now than I found it then. Clothing was dreadfully expensive, and it was a struggle each year to buy a warm coat and a couple of winter woolies. Now I have more winter clothing in my wardrobe than I shall ever be able to wear out.
Hey ho. It’s evening here now, just cooling down after another sweltering, hot and humid day. The roads are quiet, and the landscape is fading out of sight, another day’s work done. I’m sipping an ice-cold beer, and thinking that in fifteen minutes or so the kitchen will be cool enough to start dinner. Out on the fens and in the fields by the house the night birds are beginning to stir, and the bats have already begun to stitch the sky together in crazy patches.
There are times during the course of a hot day when I feel inclined to wish the season away but, when you come down to it, you can’t have a delicious summer’s evening unless it’s preceded by a bit of discomfort when the sun is high in a brazen, swirling, Vincent van Gogh heaven.
Food, glorious food!