Friday, 15 June 2012

'June just rains and never stops ...'

'... 30 days and spoils the crops.'  Flanders and Swann's A Song of the Weather has been popping into my head regularly, and the reason is obvious. It often turns rather drizzly and wet here after midsummer, but we seem to have had a run of one or two good days, then several rainy days.  We've had some extreme weather, with heavy rain and gales and there's another severe weather warning for today.  It's dark, soaking wet, windy ... no wonder there are hardly any butterflies about.  I saw my first Red Admiral the day before yesterday, when it was sunny and I could hang some washing out to dry.

Bless Flanders and Swann, they always cheer me up.  I had a reprise of The Gas Man Cometh last month, as we tried to find a gas leak, which ended in the need for a new cooker (it turned out that the old cooker was probably the source of the leak). Also bless my Mum for the birthday money she gave me; it enabled me to buy a new cooker, even though I'm sure she would have preferred I spend the money on something less domestic.

I've got several earworms all at the same time at the moment - the weather song, obviously.  I also have music which I'm feeling inspired to do some choreography for, one of which was suggested by a friend for an Isis wings fusion piece.  We were also at a hafla and having an after-performance boogie to the Rizzle Kicks' Mama Do The Hump, so now that has stuck as well.  With my head full of music, we were talking briefly about upcoming choreographies and earworms in class last night.  One of my dancer friends has some sort of amusia, in that she cannot recognise different pieces of music and doesn't easily pick up rhythm or beat.  This is something of a challenge for someone who wants to dance. She also never has earworms.

During the couple of fine days this week, and with the pain in my knee subsiding a little, I thought I should do a little bit of walking.  I had found a site about osteoarthritis management, and the suggestion was to measure distance walked in 6 minutes, with a view to increasing the distance each time.  I thought it was unlikely that this was a total if you were walking out from home, as the first walk might be 3 minutes out, 3 back, then subsequently if you increased the distance, you'd overshoot your home.  Of course, it's no problem if you're on a treadmill at the gym. So I decided to walk 6 minutes out, and I went further than I thought I would, just over a quarter of a mile, a rough pace of 2.7 miles per hour which is reasonable for my little legs uphill. The hedgerows were looking glorious, a riot of red, pink and white campion, golden buttercups, stitchwort, foxgloves with half open spires of flowers, the ferns have just about finished unfurling, wild strawberries, grasses and cow parsley starting to lean over into the road, vetches starting to come through - all lush and lovely.  Bees and insects all over the place.  So much pollen you could see it in the air (good job I only seem to succumb to hayfever when I am really terribly stressed).  I had left my camera at home, thinking I should concentrate on the walk and not get distracted for this first walk, promising myself that I would take photos the following day.

The following day, a tractor with a cutter came through and cut the lot right back.

So I still went for my walk, with my camera, and allowed myself to get distracted and do the 1.4 mile 'loop', but I cheated and stopped in to see my neighbour up the road.  She has started to keep bees and it could well have been hers I saw on my buddleia last year.  Now I know who to call if I see a swarm.  She had a swarm earlier in June, which settled on a rose bush in front of her cottage, so she transferred them to a spare hive, where they made themselves at home only very temporarily before moving on again. We chatted over a cuppa, grumbling about the council cutting the hedgebanks already and despairing at the weather.

It's midday and so dark, I need to put a light on. So much for flaming June!

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