Thursday, 24 July 2014

Water

We are having a real heatwave here in the UK - day after day of hot sun and more or less cloudless skies.   For the farmers it is a real boon; the grass is growing well, the hay is crisping
and they are all able to get on with haymaking and silaging without looking at the sky every hour to see whether rain clouds are looming.

The Summer feels like the Summers used to feel when we were kids.   Our Mums would pack us up a load of sandwiches (usually home made jam). a piece of cake (if we were lucky) and a bottle of something to drink, and we would be off for the day on our bikes.   We mostly went down to the river - to swim, to lounge on the bank, or (if there were any houseboats moored) to chat to anybody there.   And of course we would swim in the river.   As far as I am aware, certainly on the Witham,'my river, ', nobody ever drowned.  And we would burn in the fierce heat.   It was a matter of honour to get one's back so burnt that it peeled and then browned.

We learned to be pretty self-sufficient, to look after ourselves, to keep well clear of unsavoury characters (oh yes, they were around in those days too), and to arrive home in time for tea.   Woebetide us if we were late - and in any case we would be famished by then and ready to eat.

The big thing that has changed of course is the volume of traffic on the road.   Hordes of cycling kids carrying shrimping nets and paraphernalia would be a major hazard on the roads now.
And the computer has come and taken over the lives of a lot of children.

But I can sit here in our cool dining room, which faces North and is always cool however hot it may be outside, and I can read, I can reminisce about the old days if I wish to, I can plan what I intend to have for lunch (nothing too strenuous to make), but above all, I can keep out of that scorching hot sun - I no longer enjoy its close company.

18 comments:

Tom Stephenson said...

I'm getting that bloody advertising music again from your blog!

Linda Metcalf said...

Our 90 degrees heat is keeping us in also...just can't tolerate it any more. But I too remember the summers of childhood....with no school we'd be outside early almost all day playing, swimming and fishing until we needed food. Back then I never noticed the heat. Now I get outdoor chores taken care of early!

Becca McCallum said...

This is gorgeous childhood summer weather. And also fantastic laundry drying weather!

Cro Magnon said...

Almost all the things I used to get up to would be banned these days. Cycling miles by myself to go fishing, climbing extremely tall trees, jumping off bridges into rivers, etc.

I see that Hwa Jurong is lending cash at 2%. Perhaps you could point him/her to The Bank of England; they may be interested.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Playing in the woods, looking for lizards, jumping off mounds of dirt, riding bikes around the neighborhood till 11 at night while parents sat on the front steps talking and waiting for the house to cool down. Lying in the hammock at night counting planes and shooting stars...sigh.

Glad of your hot weather but cool room.
:) m & Josephine

The Broad said...

My childhood memories of the long hot summers are not so different from yours. I feel for children today who are constantly warned of dangers and experience no real freedom in their days.

Like you, my stamina in the sun is rather limited and now I far prefer a nice shady place rather than sunning myself.

Heather said...

Oh! those lovely childhood days when commonsense prevailed and we had more freedom than today's children. I too choose to stay inside in this heat, though we have done our usual weekly shopping today. All windows and doors open and just a salad this evening, thank goodness, as we had lunch out.

angryparsnip said...

So happy that you are having some dry heat for the hay and grass !
Summers were like that for us too minus the river. Outside playing but inside for lunch and reading or quiet time before out side again.

cheers, parsnip

Joanne Noragon said...

I hope childhoods the world around were the same then. They certainly are not,now.

MorningAJ said...

We didn't wander too far away - but we had a big garden to play in. I know we weren't too worried about sunshine back then. It was supposed to be good for us!

Em Parkinson said...

I reckon this is the best summer we've had in ten years at least Pat. Long may it last. We just need some night time downpours between hay cuts!

Elizabeth said...

Wasn't it fun to go biking and exploring without being constantly watched over!
Ah for those lost blissful days!

Rachel said...

And don't forget the arable farmers, who are loving every minute of this hot summer. The barley harvest is in full swing. The wheat will follow later in August; let us hope that the sunshine continues so that you get your loaves of bread and your wheat for pasta. It is not all hay in the UK.

John Gray said...

Hot here pat...... I filled the paddling pool for the geese and found Winnie in it

Amy said...

you're having a heatwave and we're having too much winter rain...things are so wet here that the ground is permanently soggy - roll on spring.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for visiting. Too hot to write much!

Mary said...

Oh to have those Summer days of childhood back! We headed down to the beach in Torquay, just 5 mins. by bus, and spent hours with nets in the rock ponds when the tide went out, then swimming for hours until our hands were wrinkled. Gobbled soggy cheese and tomato sandwiches brought from home, and drank bottles of pop from the little cafe…….and yes, foolishly burned our pale English bodies because we knew no better that far back! Other days we rode bikes up the country lanes and picnicked in a cool field of and dandelions and wildflowers - jumping over cow pats ad threading daisy chains.

Memories for today's kids will be so very different.

Mary

Terry and Linda said...

Wasn't it nice...back then? I loved splashing in the creek behind our house, or playing in the cherry orchard...or like you riding bikes here and there and everywhere.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com