I had an early (for me) start this morning. I had some household tasks to do, and I wanted to get them done before it got too hot. That’s a very unusual sentence for me to type, I know, but the last few days have been very hot, and today was predicted to be the hottest of the year so far. I am not complaining, not at all. After nine months of miserable grey weather, cold and rain, sleet and hail, I welcome this bounty from the south, with open arms.
I needed to clear the tree debris from the guttering. An accumulation of twigs, small leaves and seeds that needs to be shifted on a regular basis. If I fail to do this, the gutters overflow during heavy rain. As it’s a bungalow, it is easily accomplished, using a smallish ladder. Despite all the things advertised for sale for doing this job, the best method is to scoop it all out by hand, fling it on the path below, and sweep it up later. Once that was done, I thought I might as well clean the windows, at least those out of direct sunlight, so the back and side of the house. The front faces south-east, so gets the sun until late afternoon. Ollie was out too, watching what I was doing, and changing position as I moved about.
I use the simple soapy water method, washing down the windows, sills and surrounds, all in one sweep of a sponge. Then comes the wiper-blade squeegee, finishing off with paper towels. It’s never perfect, and you can sometimes see the lines later, but it is still preferable to using spray or lotion cleaners, which are guaranteed to smear. As well as the windows, there are the two glass-panelled doors, one leading out from the kitchen, the other the rarely-used main front door. As it is all double glazed, and made from brown poly-carbonate, it is a fairly simple job, if a tad repetitive. By the time I got to the last door, the heat was excessive, and I was glad to be almost finished.
I went back inside for a lunch break, and noticed that a strong breeze had got up. The curtains were billowing, and the tips of the hedge at the front were moving too. After a bath, and securing the house, I went off with Ollie for his regular walk. I soon discovered that the strong breeze was in fact a warm breeze, not unlike walking into a hair drier. Over at the Meadows, I took to the shady areas, as walking in the open was reminiscent of being in the south of France, or Spain, rather than central Norfolk. Ollie seemed indifferent to the heat at first, but soon plunged into the river to cool off, after only ten minutes running around. It was nice to feel the heat after a long winter, but it was wearing without stopping for a rest. By the bend in the river, lots of people had turned out to enjoy sitting by the picnic benches, and were paddling in the shallow water.
I thought about heading over to Hoe Rough for a while, but the herd of cattle are grazing there now, and they have small calves with them. This makes them nervous, so I have to be careful with Ollie, keeping him on the lead most times. I didn’t want him to have to walk on the lead, so I decided to do some more circuits around the meadows. Many of the regular dog-walkers were absent, avoiding the heat of the afternoon, and walking in the evening instead. Ollie was not too bothered, and spent most of his time in the river instead, rummaging under the foliage that overhangs the bank, no doubt searching for voles, otters, or ducks; none of which appeared. His antics did disturb the technicolour-blue damsel flies though, and they rose off the water in large numbers, as I sat on a handy bench, watching from the bank. I had planned to take my camera out today, but the heavy skies and low cloud did not provide a good light. It was flat and dull, and not lifting any colours. By the time it got near the end of our walk, someone showed me a temperature on his mobile phone, registering 34 C.
Hot enough for England, but I’m still not complaining.