It is mid-June, and I have decided that my body is struggling to cope with hot weather. I used to be able to lie in the sunshine and absorb the hot tanning rays, but over the last couple of years, I have noticed that I am less comfortable. As well as struggling with the actual heat, my body has now become an Olympic champion at sweating. Whatever I am lying on becomes soaked in the salty liquid, and it runs down my body like a mountain stream, and gets in my eyes, ears, and settles in various other places.
I have to drink far more than I used to, and regularly suffer head-aches from being in the bright sunshine to long.
Of course the garden still has to be looked after, but my efforts at weeding and cutting the lawns means I have to carry an old towel with me wherever I go, so that I can wipe away the sweat every five minutes. To make matters worse, I have chosen this moment to partially board the loft.
“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun” or in my case I decide to spend time in the oven at the top of our house.
Yes, like so many of us Brits, I complain about the cold and damp winters, and then moan as soon as the sun comes out.
Anyway, it has been glorious and the forecast is for the hot weather to continue for several days yet. We have had a couple of barbeques, and have regularly eaten out on the patio with a glass of cider to celebrate the arrival of summer.
The garden has produced a wonderful crop of strawberries, although they are coming to an end now. The gooseberries have just been picked with a serious amount frozen away. The rhubarb is now ready for a second picking, having recovered from the initial harvest. We have had the first taste of the early raspberries, but I don’t expect much of the early plants, and will wait for the autumn ones for the best fruit. The apple and pear trees have just a few fruit swelling away, but once again we lost lot of the fruit during June. And today I have picked a punnet of blackcurrants, and they were just a thinning of the ripest fruit.
On the vegetable front, the first courgettes are the size of a fat finger, the onions are swelling, and most of the runner bean plants have reached the top of their stakes. Our potatoes look healthy, and my rows of carrots, beetroot and parsnips are growing nicely, and have been thinned out.
In between picking fruit, weeding the vegetables, and cutting the lawn seemingly twice a week, I have been up in the loft putting some flooring down. More accurately, I have been picking up the random layer of wooden panels scattered around the loft by the previous owners, and cutting them to fit properly and screwing them down. I also have several packs of boards to extend the usable floor area up there. Of course it is an oven up in the loft, and I can only work there for short intervals accompanies by my towel to wipe the sweat out of my eyes.
…Yes I know I should have down that when it is cool!!!!
Two weeks ago I had my knees X-rayed to try and find why they hurt so much. It seems they are only slightly worn by my arthritis and nothing to worry about. When my doctor gave me the good news that my joints are fine, I simply responded by suggesting I think differently. Last weekend I also had an MRI scan on my groin area, and …what a surprise….everything seems normal in there as well.
So the next phase of making my non-existent aching joints feel less painful is a course of physio-therapy, and that is scheduled to start in a month’s time.
Meanwhile Deb and I went to a talk from an orthopaedic surgeon about knee problems. He is the same one that operated on my hip, but also has a clinic in a private hospital. Of course it was a sales talk, but it gave a lot of useful information about different knee issues, and types of surgery that can be given.
Looking around the room last night, I estimated that there was potentially £250,000 worth of knee replacements that the private hospital was hoping to get. If performed by the NHS system that cost would be less than £100,000. There really is a lot of profit in the private health industry.
We are waiting for our conservatory roof blinds to be fitted, but that won’t be for another three weeks. The electrician has been and gone after fitting a new fuse box and hopefully sorted out why are circuits trip out occasionally.
Oh, and there has been a General Election that was a waste of tax payers’ money to create a less stable government than we had before it. Brexit negotiations have begun, and the music festivals season has started. It is Glastonbury this weekend, and (surprise, surprise) thunder storms are predicted.
And more importantly, so many people have died as a result of terrorism, and that awful fire. Neither of these should have happened, but I don’t expect it will be the last series of disasters in my lifetime.
There is just five weeks now until our cruise on Adonia, and although we haven’t started serious preparation for it yet, Deb has sorted out things to do in Bordeaux and Bilbao. We even spotted a stall bout Guernsey at the Gardeners’ World Live show that we visited in Birmingham, and picked up maps and ideas for our visit there as well.
Thanks everyone for looking at the web site. We have now passed the 30,000 visits count, and I will try to post some thoughts on a more regular basis now that we have finally completed the garden commitments for the summer, and there is a little more time to relax.
I have a talk about the World Cruise to prepare for a local club, and I am also beginning the next book about the wonderful memories of our winter on the sea.
Well, that’s enough for now. I will leave you with the hope that you stay safe, and enjoy the long awaited summer. For those of you on the other side of the equator, I hope you stay safe as well.