At last the prevailing wind is blowing from the West and the farmer can have a bonfire. The huge pile of rubbish (being replenished with various hedge cuttings as I write this) is burning. For the last few weeks what wind there has been seems to have always been from the North which would have meant that all the smoke would have arrived at the farmhouse - not good.
Now all the 'rubbish' can be burnt before the week-end, when it is forecast there will be rain. If it had to be left until after then the whole pile would have to dry out again.
This Summer has been remarkable - at least July and September have been (a bit of a blip in August). It has brought to mind the Summers of my childhood, when we used to set off on our bikes after breakfast, a pile of sandwiches and a bottle of orange in our bike bags, and go somewhere for the day - fishing with our nets in some little beck somewhere, swimming in the river, blackberrying, gathering mushrooms - we always found something to do. There was so little traffic in our village so the roads were relatively safe. And - above all - the weather seemed always to be kind.
There must have been bad Summers, mustn't there? Perhaps I choose to forget those.
The field opposite, where only a couple of weeks ago they were cutting the corn, has been 'mucked' and then ploughed and resown both together - all in the space of a day. The field in front of it, alongside the lane and right opposite our farmhouse, has been sprayed off - you will see that the grass is yellowing and dying. This afternoon they are spreading a thick layer of slurry (thank goodness for that West wind) - soon, says the farmer, it will be ploughed and sown too. This field has been grass as long as the farmer has lived here. The farm has recently been sold, so it is all change.
I just went down the yard to have a look at the state of the bonfire after my lunchtime walk with Tess (and a long chat with E, an old farmer friend,)
and Blackie, ever the opportunist, met me on the lookout for a saucer of milk. I actually managed to snap him in the middle of a miaow!