Another sunny day here on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. In the distance, as I stand in my sitting room window early on a Sunday morning, I cannot see my usual view of The Fell - it is wreathed in a thick early morning mist. But by ten o'clock the mist has cleared and the sun is out.
Yesterday was to have been a totally empty day for me. Saturdays for anyone who lives alone are perhaps the hardest day of the week. Sundays would be too except that four of us always lunch
out and that takes up a large part of the day. But at lunchtime friend W rang - 'let's go and have an ice cream' - so off we went. Everywhere was beginning to look very parched. The fields were not greening up, the leaves on the trees by the roadside no longer had that fresh, green look they wore in Spring, the flowers on the roadsides were faded and dying.
The bikers were out in force. We get droves of bikers up here from April to September. They have just as much right to be on the road as we do and they are, for a large part, very good drivers.
Because the machines they drive are very swish models the drivers tend to be middle aged men (presumably they are middle aged with grown up children before most of them can afford such models) and, sadly, over the Summer there are quite a few accidents - often fatal or life-changing.
Because of the fashion these days to leave flowers at the scene of accidents these deaths can often be marked for years by the sides of the road. One such, just a few miles from here, occurred when a tractor and trailer were driving into a field when a motor cyclist came round the corner at speed and hit the trailer. Nobody's fault really but a tragic death. Flowers by the side of the road still - somebody remembers.
On a lighter note - the bikers were out in force at the Ice Cream Parlour too. Just before we arrived a party of about twenty of them arrived and swelled the queue! As we sat licking our ice cream cones at a table (like five year olds) two middle-aged bikers came and sat at the next table. Both had large ice creams (and tummies to match) and one had a black T shirt on. Across his chest was written: 'My biker grandad. Like other grandads but cooler'. When I told my son that later on he said he had driven behind a biker and on the back of his T shirt was the message 'if you can read this then my wife has fallen off the pillion seat!'
Tess and I have had our morning walk in the cool. In a couple of hours I shall go and collect W en route for our lunch date. In the meantime I think water the courgettes and patty pans and the tubs in the sunshine of the front garden and then have a cooling shower.
On a totally different note again. I have just read an interesting article on Seamus Heaney in yesterday's Guardian. It mentioned a particularly poignant poem and I have just looked it up and run it off and printed it to read at our next Poetry group. It is sad but it is beautifully written. Do look at it on Wikipedia. It is called 'Mid term break' and is about the death of Heaney's young brother. How much a poem can manage to put in so few words.