This week-end is a busy one in our village as tomorrow is Open Gardens and Scarecrow Trail. Tea and cake will be served in the Village Hall from eleven o'clock in the morning; there will be a Plant Stall; lots of gardens will be open for folk to look round; and there will be a trail of scarecrows. We shall not be taking part as we live a mile or so out of the village down a long lane. But my son and his wife participate and are, as I write, in the throes of putting together their scarecrow - a tree surgeon up the cherry tree in their front garden. Although not without the odd gripe here and there, on the whole it is an exercise in village co-operation and as such, really important.
I am pleased that I don't have to make a scarecrow - I would find it so difficult. Some of the specimens are really imaginative and all take some making. Dominic has been here this morning stuffing the arms, legs and body with straw. Frankly, I suggested that he could stand in the garden himself and be mistaken for one because his so-called sartorially elegant gardening gear of camouflage sun hat, faded T shirt, flowered shorts and green wellies leaves a lot to be desired. When I said so he threatened to go round our little market town with a placard round his neck proclaiming that he is my son (I am quite well known in town).
I smiled and was reminded of an article in a recent Times, when a woman and her husband joined their friends, a French couple, for a week-end at the sea-side somewhere in France. The woman's husband packed three pairs of shorts (flowered), three T shirts and a pair of sand shoes. The Frenchman packed three elegant jackets, three pairs of pressed trousers and three shirts for day time and another three for evening, together with cravats for the evening shirts. In addition he brought loafers, which he fashionably wore without socks. I originally thought 'how wonderful to have such a husband' but then on reflection I thought how hard it would be to keep up with him - so maybe a camouflage hat and green wellies is alright after all.
I took Tess for a walk up the lane in the heat - it is incredibly hot today. Because there was a bit of cloud about I took an umbrella.
At the furthest point from home a few drops of rain fell. I put up my umbrella. Within a minute it was absolutely pouring, water was cascading down the road and I (and Tess) got drenched. The only thing that survived dry and intact was my hair - and as any woman will tell you - that was all that really mattered. The rest is in the washing machine as I write, the sun is shining again and the gardens and the paths around them have all had a good wash and clean up after the frantic weeding - so they'll look nice and fresh. Everything is ready.