This heat is exhausting. Mostly, I guess, because we are not used to it in this country – we are not set up for it anymore than we are set up for snow. The siesta makes complete sense – it is hard to sleep at night, and impossible to do much in the midday sun, it makes sense to sleep away the heat, stay up late when the evening is cool and manageable and sleep once the cool of dawn comes. But alas this is difficult to fit in with work and general life, which appears to be running on the usual temperate routine.
When we do try to get something done outside, it is a rush to get it done in the morning before it gets too hot, today we cut back the hedge and now it is possible to walk down the steps at the bottom of the garden, but by 10 it was beatingly hot. We retreated under the shade.
But this lovely hot weather also harasses – it has made us go the beach frequently, and up onto the moors and to *do* things to make the most of the weather. And we have – we have barbecued for two weeks, we have walked and picnicked and enjoyed it.
Yesterday lunchtime it was just me and himself, and we walked up to the moors to ‘our beach’ – a flat plateaux of smooth river worn granite, a really nice place to picnic. Normally we lie in the sun (albeit with factor 50 and sun hats etc) and enjoy the heat.. but it was just too hot. And the only shade was on a large rock island in the middle of the river. So we paddled out – and the river ws surprisingly warm – normally it is cold enough to make you shriek! – leaving our shoes on the ‘mainland’ and spread out the blanket on the rock, and ate, and lay down in the shade and sat with our feet in the water and watched the progress of a little fish as he made sorties leaping out of the water for flies. And enormous dragonflies buzzed around and butterflies flew plast. And the privacy of the white noise of the water all around us was blissful.
Himself named the rock ‘picnic island’ and said we would come again. But I think it might be only on special occasions, when the river is low enough to paddle in, the rock out of the water, the water warm enough to contemplate, and shade so badly needed, the rest of the time we shall look at it from the shore huddled in our winter hats…