Posts Tagged ‘summer’

So, what happened to the summer?

I’d quite like to know too, actually.

Firstly, there was rain, cold, damp, more rain, more chill, and a little drizzle on the side. Sunshine, there was…, well, very little. We had the coldest (though not quite the wettest) summer for 18 years in fact. It got tedious, very fast. And continued to be tedious, for a long time. I finally gave up, and put away my summer clothes, the majority of them unworn. As in, not even once, all season. To give an indication, it was rarely even warm enough to wear my wool t-shirt with just-above-the-elbow-length sleeves. Yeah, really. And I wore my sandals at most once every two or three weeks, so my wool socks didn’t get a seasonal break, either. Is that good news, or bad? Wales: land of happy handknits.

Secondly, there was KnitNation, and the fiendish Finnish mitten class. Fun, and not so fiendish after all – remind me to tell you about it. There was attendant showing-off of a fabulously brag-worthy colorwork cardi (steeks! Vikkel braids!), and a subsequent non-colorfastness tragedy I haven’t fully recovered from.

There was a week in Portugal, to provide us with enough vitamin D to survive another year of grey and grim (and surely, shouldn’t we be getting this on the National Health at this point?); various business-y forays to exotic parts by the Beloved (who still hasn’t learned that all would be so much better if he returned with WOOL) and juggling of damp, cooped-up kids by the base-camp party…

And yet, at the end of the ‘summer’ there was one great surprise. Despite the poor weather, and signal absence of sunshine: a benediction of plums in the neighbor’s garden (I was cat- and plum-tree sitting, and have jam and plum brandy to prove it), and, from the organic farmer at the farmers’ market, a glut of the best cherry, and heirloom tomatoes I’ve ever tasted.  We’ve had a 3kg tray every week for a month, and aren’t anywhere near sick of them yet. In fact, every week, we chow through them faster than the week before. I actually had to come over all sneaky and rationing to save a few last ones to roast this evening, because – ye gods – very slowly roasted tomatoes turn out to be wonderful beyond measure and I can’t believe I never knew that before.

They, at least, have been perfect, and look – it even says so on the box.

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We’ve had a week of unprecedented good weather. I wish I hadn’t spent most of it feeling under the weather, but still, there have been advantages. For a start, we swore that we were going to take the Powers That Be up on their promise of “a barbecue summer”, and barbecue every single possible day.  I suspect that this is probably cacinogenic and bad for the planet. But I don’t intend to be dissuaded. Especially since it means that the Beloved comes downstairs and does the whole smoke and heat thing, while I just whip up marinades for this and that. Said Beloved being South African, “braaiing” (I could not resist writing that down) is officially in his blood, so he gets to be in charge of it. The Keeper of the Flame, if you like, (with some modest assistance from our dear friends at the firelighter manufacturers).

That’s been particularly good as the vagaries of my ongoing throat infection have meant generally poor temperature regulation, and feeling especially cold and shivery (and generally up to no good at all), at what should by rights be dinner-cooking hour. Therefore, it’s been very handy that he has done a lot of the cooking AND there’s been a nice open fire for me to go and warm myself by.

Moreover, it’s asparagus season, which I consider one of the true splendors of the universe (I recognise that this is hardly a unique opinion). So, amongst other things, we’ve had quite a lot of grilled asparagus (or asparageese as we refer to them, shamelessly misleading the infants). A couple of days ago we had three grilled trout, and they fitted with almost comical perfection into the little fish shapes decorating the fold-over claspy-hold-stuff-together-while-you-turn-it-over thingummy-jig. Very satisfying. And tasty.

On the not-so-good side, the good weather has meant return of the fruit flies, who looked to be flagging slightly towards the end of last week, and unfortunately there must be biting things abroad as well. There don’t need to be many, and they don’t need to be big: they’ve got a thing for me, and I was a bit slow-moving – due to feeling crappy – and they’ve decided I’m the local supper club. Last night was the first night in a week I could sleep without being woken up to swallow, and guess what? I couldn’t sleep for being itched to death by the insect bites. I’ve decided that “gnat” is an irregular past participle of “gnaw” as in “they flew in, they gnat, and having gnat lumbered away heavily.” The ravages of three or so small harmless flying things in a Welsh garden have reminded me why i’m not planning on visiting any malaria zone, ever. There is no insect repellant good enough.

It’s been a week now, and the rain is due back in time for the weekend. Shame. I think having everyone’s supper sorted out was preferable, even allowing for having been part of the menu.

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