Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A Perfect English Summer's Day

Today has been that rare thing - a perfect English Summer's Day.  Somehow these days we hardly ever get a day that fits into that category.  But today the sun has shone, there has been a slight breeze and everywhere smells of wild roses and honeysuckle.  Tess and I walked over to see friend M for the afternoon.   My ankle is certainly less painful after the acupuncture and I was able to take a gentle walk the mile or so across the fields to her house.

I asked the farmer to collect me rather than let me walk back.   It wasn't the walk that defeated me, it was the gates and fences - all constructed with hefty farmers in mind  and a gigantic effort for me.   Two gates were very hard to open.   I had to crawl under one electric fence as I couldn't bend down low enough to miss catching it with my back.   And the final straw was double gates with a very difficult bolt-like fastener which meant lifting one of the heavy gates to get it in line before I started!

But on the walk over I was struck, as I often am on such occasions, by the huge debt I owe to my father.  Although I was a late arrival for my parents and totally unexpected (literally, they didn't know until the day I arrived, possibly as much as two months premature) I had huge love and care from both of them.  My early birth weight of three pounds meant my mother fed me well and I soon caught up.

But, once I began to walk well my father took me everywhere with him and as he was a countryman this meant going out into the country and looking at the wild flowers, and identifying them, and marvelling at their beauty.   And I still do this today, thanks to his early walks with me.   Sometimes, as I walk, I hear him pointing out various plants - he loved Germander Speedwell and that always reminds me, as does Alchemilla (Lady's Mantle).  I saw both of these on my walk today.

Here is a photo of him with my mother, in 1911 - my sister sits on my mother's knee (she was twenty two years older than me).  I have posted it before, but post it again on this beautiful Summer's day - thanks Dad for making me appreciate it so much.

15 comments:

Gwil W said...

And many more of 'em, those perfect summer days. Good luck with that silly old ankle.

Em Parkinson said...

Love the photo Pat. It was perfect here too with the scent of Mock Orange wafting through the air and cow parsley everywhere. Don't you just hate it when your body lets you down!

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Perfect day here too. Tho' there was much to do I had to keep stopping to look around me at the colour chart of greens being picked out by the sun.

angryparsnip said...

I have tears in my eyes, this is such a lovely post today minus the whole gate, electrical fence problem.
My Mum was like your Dad.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

So pleased the acupuncture has helped your ankle and that you were able to walk so far. That is a lovely photo of your parents and I think I can see a likeness to you in your mother.
My father loved nature and the countryside and taught me to recognise trees and flowers. He was a very good gardener too.

Cloudia said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with all of us, P. Glad you hear. . .





ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= <3

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Go Acupuncture! Happy it is helping. Each treatment should make it better and better. Major smiling going on here. :) :) :)

Terra said...

A sister 22 years older, wow. Your dad gave you a lot with his walks with you and sharing knowledge of nature.

Pondside said...

My mother's family was like that. My youngest uncle is quite a bit younger than his first nephew. That's how it was before birth control.
You memories of your father are sweet ones. My father didn't take me on walks through fields but he talked about history, so that when I finally visited the Kolner Dom, Aachen and Brussels, I felt that I knew them all very well.

Cro Magnon said...

Your Mum's hat is SPECTACULAR. The all-pervading aroma here, at the moment, is Chestnut flower. Almost overpowering.

MorningAJ said...

There's something wonderful about the relationship between a young girl and her Dad. I know I enjoy all the things mine taught me - he was a gardener and taught me about plants and flowers too. Great memories.

thelma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thelma said...

Nostalgic photo Pat, and a perfect summer day to remember, made me smile the tale of gates you can't open and crawling under fences - the joy of walking in the countryside....

Bovey Belle said...

What a lovely photo and happy family memories. I taught my children about wild flowers and birds too, though I don't think my son listened much!

I am glad you enjoyed your walk and I agree with you about farm gates fighting back.

Golden West said...

That hat - fantastic!!!