After spending most of the year complaining about bad weather, Summer has arrived once more in Beetley. The temperature is soaring, and thunder storms are occurring. There is still some rain, but it is intermittent, if no less torrential. We have achieved enviable temperatures in excess of 24C, with attendant blue skies, occasional breezes, and uncomfortable night-time humidity.
The plants over the meadow are at shoulder height, and the river water is achieving a bearable temperature. Plant life is blossoming, and insect life is notable by its abundance. The cold and wet of a few weeks back is but a memory, and we need the fan on, to get a decent sleep. In many respects, this is it. The reason for moving to the countryside, to enjoy the balmy summers of yesteryear.
But there is a price to pay for such luxury. As well as feeling uncomfortably humid, the nights restrict sleep. We need to have the fan on in the bedroom as mentioned above, and the noise is irritating. Open windows during the evening just attract endless bugs, and more biters. The contrast from the cold of only days ago, means that we are unprepared for the change to heat. Sleep comes hard, and both of us are tired. Ollie is too hot on his walks, spending too much time in the river, in an effort to keep cool.
Last weekend, a brief diversion into the woodland nearby, resulted in an inordinate amount of insect bites. Whether Midge, Mosquito, or unknown biter, I emerged with legs comprehensively overwhelmed by bites. On the left leg, nine, the right leg, seven. On my head, four, and all raging with itchiness. Creams and lotions applied, the relief is temporary. Trying not to scratch is a full-time preoccupation. The house feels warm, even with most windows open. Those same windows attract yet more biters, as well as irritating bugs, so the circle continues.
My much longed-for Summer is here, but the bill has also been placed on the table. Not one, without the other. I suddenly yearn for a return to milder days, less bothered by biting insects, and cool walks with Ollie. That is the paradox of the English Summer. You want it all year, but you cannot stand to receive the invoice.
Autumn is looking more inviting than ever.