Saturday, 4 August 2018

I'm not hating it.

I'm conscious that some people - even those who were enjoying it at first - are loathing the weather we're having in the UK at the moment. People are saying they can't sleep and the tube is sweltering and the buses are sweltering (which they absolutely are) and everyone's starting to look a bit frazzled around the edges from how long it's gone on for and summer dresses and sandals are being worn to work by people who probably don't normally even own summer dresses. I have also heard more late night rows at the bus stop outside my flat in the last month than I did the rest of the year.

Also - more distressingly, my cousin has had to have a melanoma removed. I'm fully aware the sun is dangerous.

However, I'm not hating it. I'm not at 'ooh, sunshine, make the most of it' anymore, and I admit that drop of rain we had was light and refreshing, but the heat did not bother me in '76 when I was a tot, and it does not bother me now.

It has been, for me, a good summer. It started with my trip to Spain in May, where the oranges and roses were already out. I then had a very civilised early morning visit to Kew and the newly opened greenhouse with my brother, who is a 'friend' of Kew and can get in the grounds early.

Shortly after that we went to Southsea - and found an interesting maritime church and walked along the sea wall, stumbling across a micro brewery and some kind of fair which was happening (with giant Belgian horses) and found a model village. We used to go to the model village every year at Ramsgate on holiday, so that was a trip down memory lane. 

Shortly after that was a walk through the Surrey hills to an attractively ruined monastery (we found another microbrewery on the way. They seem to be everywhere.)

And a walk along the river round Fulham way, the strong light picking out details I'd normally miss

I was also invited (by my aunt) to The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and the exhibition about the exhibition, and later that month I had a visit to the British Library (where I am a member) to see the Cook's voyages exhibition and the one on Windrush voices, and a walk through the Inns of Court

Coffee in the courtyard near St Pauls. This is a lovely space, and we even found a bit of shade. 

The Festival in Hyde Park with Dad. This was in the evening, but there was loads going on all afternoon.

More local walks on Mitcham Common and Morden Hall Park - my cousin's dog there, who is very sensible and flops down in the shade from time to time and guzzles some water. She's a cross breed - part Papillon and I can never remember the other bit. Something with a lot of energy, anyway.

I also went (sans dog) to Southwark Park and had a good wander up to Canada Water. Visited Hyde Park and the small art galleries either side of the Serpentine,queued for the arena on the first night of the Proms; and lastly saw Witness for the Prosecution in the fantastic surroundings of City Hall (with, you can see, a gin and tonic or two.)

Somewhere in all this my aunt was sworn in as a Local Councillor, I've read the next two of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, visited the new Japan cultural centre on Kensington High St, been to the Voice and Vote exhibition at Westminster Palace and resumed the London Loop today. 

So, with all sympathy to anyone suffering, I can't really pretend I'm hating it. I'm patently not. 

Pett's Wood.
The Latin roughly translates as 'I only count the summer hours'.

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