On and off throughout the day I remembered I hadn’t yet brushed my hair. Each time I was nowhere near my hairbrush. I remembered again on my way back to das Boot from blackberry picking and buying tomatoes. My fingernails were stained a gory red, I had blackberry juice stains on my shirt (I still have) and my face was flushed from the sudden return of heat to August. Well you have to let your standards drop so times. No laughing there at the back, you who know me.
Summer’s end of term report this year is unlikely to feature any A*s. There will be comments exhorting her to try harder, remarks about inconsistency and lack of concentration. Maybe she is in love. Certainly for much of the time it has felt as though her attention were elsewhere. We have lurched from cool days and grey skies to scorching heat and back again. Even coming away for this weekend I packed for three seasons.
Being British, the weather is of course a main staple of my conversation, and certainly this summer has not failed to give variety to the theme. But for this weekend she has it right. This morning I rather doubted the forecasters who predicted sunny skies and rising degrees this afternoon, culminating in one full day of heat and sunshine tomorrow before rain on Sunday evening.
In other words, the perfect weekend to be away from London and afloat. No doubt at this very minute some of my near neighbours at home are drinking too much after their barbecues, talking loudly, and preparing to open a few more bottles. Tomorrow will be an amplified version of the same, and tough if you want to get to sleep before the braying laughter and sudden shouts have ceased in the pre dawn.
Not that I knew the forecast when I planned these few days in the East. It was a simple matter of ring fencing some time and saying no to work, something I was almost regretting on Tuesday as work has not been as plentiful as I would like, but starvation doesn’t quite beckon yet.
As I finished my dinner I was marvelling at the light. It was painterly, shadows and light perfectly balanced. I’ll do the washing up and then go for a walk with my camera I thought.
The washing up took the ten minutes before the light lost its lustre. Tomorrow I shall be less disciplined. But off das Boot, Nelson the black Labrador who arrived late this afternoon spotted me and dashed over. He seemed convinced I might have a tennis ball secreted about my person, or perhaps that I had hidden one for him to find. Optimistically he accompanied me on my stroll. Then his owner, armed with a beer, came over and we had a chat in the fading light. I could feel insects landing on me and thought I had been bitten, but back at das Boot where MasterB signalled a desire for shore leave, I dressed him in his harness, and returned to land. We were out for about thirty minutes. The midges swirled about us, ignoring MasterB and feasting on my exposed ankles and wrists.
So now, too late, I am covered in insect repellent. The curtains are closed to discourage their ingress to the fore cabin where I write this, and I am trying not to scratch.
But it has been a nigh perfect day, so I think I can live with a few bites.