Blog: Heatwave

This weekend, Easter Weekend, has been warmer than usual, mutterings about Global Warming fill the headlines, I flicked back through my notes and found something from last July :-

We walked the hot tarmac of the lane, across the burning bright patches to tree shade, heat and shade, white and black, from tree to tree, like walking the edges of a chess boards. The lane-side bracken is curled, crisp and dry, the crops short, stunted, few swallows fly high in search of insects, a single buzzard circles lazily on a hot thermal and horses and cows seek shade, bothered by flies. The late afternoon sky is pale blue, washed out bleached denim, parched like the ground, devoid of water. The simmering silence is cut by a sound that grows louder, closer, a single plain against the brightness cuts across the denim – SPITFIRE! – we look up, shade our eyes, follow its course, wave. The straight determined flight is punctuated, the spitfire ‘rolls’ – is it just for us? a ‘wave’ in return? or just the high spirits of a pilot alone in the wide space of the sky, joyful in his task? Silence returns, the afternoon holds its breath and we return, retreat home, into the marginal coolness of the house, to drink tea and sit out the remains of the stifling day as it simmers towards evening, doors and windows wide open. The television breaks the silence, flicking through channels, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mrs Hudson, interrupted by advertisements for for things no one really wants to buy. Buses still rumble past the front door, diesel hangs above the hot tarmac, the air shimmers like steam. From the back, through the open door, the songs of goldfinch spill into the kitchen, hanging in tinkling trills upon the air, the sun-light deepens, sinking, gilding the summer bronze of the copper beech with perfectly polished gold, and burnishing the petals of rose ‘Queen Elizabeth’ to blush a deeper hue. Then breeze comes, a breeze, relief, coolness.

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