I am hoping MasterB will come and join me on the foredeck, then maybe venture ashore while it is still light and sunny. There's no one around. I can't even see any geese or cows in the field next door, though birds are singing and insects drone as they fly by me.
It has been a gorgeous day, perfect July weather, mid 20s degrees C, though it felt hotter this afternoon and I revised my plan to sit out here and stayed with MasterB in the rear cabin. That was a bit of a revelation. I don't usually spend much time looking out of the back of the boat when we are in the marina. It's perfect for bird watching. Birds were swooping about, skimming over the water to catch insects. The swallows were silent and graceful, but there was another bird in significant numbers that made splashy noisy contact with water. It had a forked tail and the same sort of wings as swallows, but was much bigger, and white with a black head. I reached for my bird book, the one I keep saying I am going to replace, wondering if there was a type of swallow I had never heard of. That would be eminently possible as an ornithologist I am not. But I think it's a Tern, a type of gull. I don't recall seeing them here before, at least not in such large numbers, which is another argument for an up to date bird book.
Before the day warmed up I did some boat cleaning. Armed with the water pump, the hose, an old toothbrush and an even older J cloth, I washed slime from the port side of the boat. My goodness it was dirty. I think I jet hosed it last summer, but you'd never have guessed. I had intended to do some jet washing today as well, to clean the stuff that stops me slipping and sliding on the gunwale, but the slime removal took longer than I expected, and when I went inside it was evident MasterB was not happy. For starters he had thrown up all over the but of carpet that sits in front of the sink. Another thing to wash.
So I curbed my enthusiasm, unplugged and disconnected everything, left them on the gravel to drain and dry while I showered. When I went to put them away a few hours later I found them boiling with ants, flying ants. Today is evidently the day when ants sprout wings, and the spot they were doing it here was in front of my boat. They have all dispersed now and the evening is left to dragonflies, bees butterflies and other things I can't name. Leaping fish make loud splashes, there's a bird that has been calling all day that sounds like a phone alarm. Goodness knows what that is. Every now and then cows I can't see low from the other side of the river.
So much in life seems to be down to luck, to chance, to random and quite unpredictable circumstances and encounters.
If Cat hadn’t had died when he did, I shouldn’t have been looking at sites with cats needing homes, and looking at them with my friend Sue across the pond. My search was restricted to London. Sue, in Houston was looking at a larger canvas. It was she who spotted MasterB.
Oh Happy Day!
It's a repeat performance. I don't want to go home tomorrow. The sun is warm, the evening long and light. Now nine at night and it is still broad day.
Truly, the northern isles of the UK and the RoI are magical in midsummer. Birds sing. MasterB sleeps. The Shouty Man is quiet and fishing. There are dogs. The lovely Nelson, a black Lab, has got me pinned as a soft touch, thrower of balls, and he brings me fluorescent tennis balls when I go ashore.
Das Boot is more than half clean. The newspaper is entirely unread. I bought eggs from a new source this morning and met a a young Rotweiler who really really wanted to say hello.
I do feel a bit guilty about not seeing Aunt. I shall be back in a couple of weeks and shall devote a day to her.
What I thought was a fairly casual conversation last week has been taken seriously, and apparently there is someone ready and waiting to replace the linings on my boat. This is very good news. Continue reading
Two gratuitous pictures of wet hydrangea coming up, though maybe I shall submit this as this week’s photo challenge. After days of warmth, blue skies and sunshine, and sometimes almost unbearable humidity, the skies crackled and then cracked at lunchtime today, releasing a few splashy drops of rain at first, then getting into their stride and summoning thunder, lightning and a real downpour. People ran and dodged in the City streets.
Against my plans, I made a dash for home to secure windows and shutters, grab a proper waterproof, and head back out.
MasterB was unimpressed with my turnaround time; surely I had time to play and cuddle? No, sadly not.
By this evening, things had calmed down, dried out. There is a fresh feel to the air which has been absent for the last week or two.
Yesterday evening, as the end of a pretty perfect day approached, I headed round to Octavia’s where I had been invited, along with Alex, for supper. But before the cooking could commence we had to go to the allotment to see the new pond.
It was a jolly scene; a bevy of allotment folk and associated friends, including Celia, sitting around a table drinking lager.
Lager at the Allotment
Freddy and Bonnie the greyhounds were there too. Freddy was more curious than Bonnie and I managed a snap of his noble profile.
Freddy the Greyhound
Our warm weather continues. The sky today was a glorious blue. Sitting outside a pub this evening I lloked up at the pub sign and took this picture.
Prince of Wales
The barman saw me and came to tell us a story about George IV. The light on the houses was beautiful, sun and shade.
Sun and Shade
It’s hot today. The hottest day of the year so far, somewhere around 30C. I used to have a great little gadget, a window thermometer, but then the block management decided to employ a window cleaner who blasts our windows from the ground with jets of water. Bye bye window thermometer.
I don’t feel like doing much, even the things I want to do. Yes, my washing is on the line, I’ve watered the plants and I’ve paid two bills at the bank, but the last hour and half seems to have just gone by with nothing done.
MasterB was flat out until a fly came in and so now he is watching it as it sits tantalisingly out of reach near the top of the door.
I brought my work outside as it is too glorious an afternoon to be indoors, but mostly because my home looks like it has been serially burgled. I have to go in in a moment and face some of the domestic ungodliness, but first some photos of right here, right now.