Next Monday is the first of June. ‘Flaming June’, beloved of poets and writers, long light evenings following warm and sunny days. Mellow moods, vibrant flowers, and young animals frollicking in the fields. Crops reaching a good height, trees in full leaf, and the buzz of insects announcing the arrival of the long-awaited season of joy.
But this is England. So of course, it has been raining heavily for the last ten hours. The wind is ‘getting up’ as they say, and it feels a little chilly, not much more that ten degrees. It is dark enough inside the house to want to put on lamps, with barely enough light to read comfortably. The sound of the constant raindrops seems like a form of sonic torture after a while, and the damp can be felt in your joints, and in your mood.
The last day of the school half-term holiday, washed-out. Bored and listless children returning to electronic games, instead of enjoying the fresh air. Umbrellas recovered from the cupboards, wipers squeaking on car windscreens, the sound of water splashing as vehicles pass the window. The soundtrack to an English summer. Damp birds sit on branches, waiting to see if I am going to put out any bread today. Ollie has been fast asleep in the dark kitchen all morning, probably thinking it is still night. He came to look at me about ten minutes ago, as it is getting near the time for his walk. I explained to him that we were going to have to wait for a bit, hoping for the weather to break, at least a reduction in the strength of the rainfall.
He didn’t understand.