Summer comes to Beetley

Like much of the country, we have enjoyed an exceptionally warm introduction to Summer recently. The arrival of unseasonal high temperatures for May has brought life back to the whole area. I even got the enthusiasm to cut the grass, clean some windows, and dig out the garden furniture from inside the garage. Julie did a lot of weeding, and now the small rose-bed at the front of the house looks a picture. Ollie has started to venture outside to sit in the sun, and we have been able to take advantage of that uniquely good-weather pleasure, hanging out washing on the rotary line. There is something really appealing about line-dried washing. It smells fresh, feels nice, and saves the trips to the shed, to load the tumble-dryer.

The muddy walks over the meadow are suddenly a memory, and we can get back to a nice stroll, unencumbered by boots, heavy coats, hat and gloves. If Ollie gets too hot, he just jumps into the river to cool down, and I can rest in the shade on the picnic benches, if I feel fatigued. Children are playing excitedly, both in their gardens, and on the playground nearby. The sound of lawn-mowers, strimmers, and a hundred other DIY jobs breaks the Beetley silence, but nobody minds. Down at the river, youngsters arrive with small fishing nets, some of the older ones even have inflatable boats. It is shallow and safe on the bend, and parents can look on, without being too fearful.

Another sign of better weather is the presence of outsiders. People who drive to the meadows from elsewhere, rarely seen during times when the temperature is low. New dogs, new owners; people for me to meet, and dogs for Ollie to greet. Teens hoping for a romantic interlude away from home, soon realise that there is little chance of privacy. Toddlers queue for turns on the slides and swings, and the still meadows of a few weeks ago seem like a different place. The smell of barbecues is on the air, extra cars parked outside houses indicate the arrival of visitors and guests. Impromptu parties are held, and the locals sit out in their gardens once more, happy to see the end of the long dull season that prevailed.

Cycles, scooters, and skateboards see the light of day again. Cats doze on warm driveways, and it stays light until 9pm. We enjoyed the company of visitors yesterday, one of Julie’s daughters, and her boyfriend. Our decision to cook a roast dinner was perhaps ill-advised, but we all enjoyed it, despite the hot evening. We sat outside until quite late, drinking wine, stroking the dog, and chatting happily. It must be nice to live somewhere where this lifestyle can be enjoyed on a more regular basis, as it is definitely conducive to wanting to hold social events, and generally feeling good. The light is nice, after so much darkness.

By next weekend, it is forecast to drop to 17 degrees, with heavy rain. Just as well we made the best of it.


11 thoughts on “Summer comes to Beetley

    1. Thanks for the comment, and I will be taking that advice. Looking at your blog, it appears that you have ‘escaped’ to somewhere much nicer. Is it South Africa?
      Best wishes, Pete.


  1. Here in the Desert Southwest, we much prefer spring, fall, and, to a lesser extent, winter to summer. Spring and fall are sunny and warm. Winter is cool, but is perfect for hikes and rock scrambles. As for summer, other than being a great time for a night on the patio, or a swim in the Colorado River, it’s just (as Cole Porter would say) “too darn hot.” The best Fourth of July I can remember happened a couple of years ago: it rained, and the temperatures plummeted….


    1. Thanks for the comment David. Today was about as hot as I need it to be at 25 degrees. Where you live would be too hot for me to contemplate living on a permanent basis, I suspect.
      Best wishes as always, Pete.


  2. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to you Pete, so long without a post! Good to see you are having some of the weather we have had and having, although I hope you don’t get the rain we have had for the last 10 days or so. A great English village feel to this post, almost makes me home sick, well maybe not 🙂 I’m glad you mentioned rotary washing lines as I have been calling them wirligigs all week as I couldn’t think of any other term. All the best from sunny (again) Poland


    1. It was only 5 days Eddy, but in my world, that is a long time between posts!
      We saw the rain in Bosnia and Serbia on the TV news, but Poland wasn’t mentioned.
      I hope that you have managed to fill lots of water butts then!
      I don’t actually know that rotary washing lines are really called that, it’s just what I always say.
      Best wishes to you all as always, Pete.


  3. You paint a lovely idealistic portrait of English life in the summer months. What, no ghetto blasters blaring in the neighbours garden? Or cars zooming past with their windows open and drum and bass drowning out all conversation? No disgusting smell of lighter fuel used on those barbies? And no tears from the overtired, overheated toddlers?

    You definitely live in Paradise Pete 🙂

    And yes, it is true, living in a country where days like this are more like months like this, is so much more conducive to socialising outdoors, but those in the southern hemisphere don’t have the lovely long light evenings, which I love and remember as a child being in bed, with it too light to sleep and listening to the mowers being pushed and the scent of freshly mown grass.
    Jude xx


    1. Seriously Jude, this is Beetley. So no noisy music from the neighbours, or from passing cars. Not Paradise at all, but reasonably quiet. The kids do scream occasionally, and dogs often bark a lot. But compared to London, it’s as if I have gone deaf!
      Good memories of your childhood. Bit different to mine, but I know what you’re saying.
      Regards as always, Pete. x


  4. Lovely sunshine report from Beetley, Pete! Seems like summer has reached Norway too, this morning it was stunning 24° in the shade! Due to drop in a few days here as well, so we certainly will follow your advice and make the most of it! 🙂
    Have a great week. All the best, Dina xo


      1. Everything is eventually coming to an end, Pete, I’m on my way to the airport now. It’s quite a scenic drive in the front seat of flybussen. 😃
        Love and pats


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