May 2011


Although the date of the first day of Summer varies depending whether you are a meteorologist or not, for many people including myself, the 1st May is traditionally the welcome beginning of the long summer months. In not so olden times the arrival of the Summer was celebrated throughout the country with dancing around the maypole, which is considered to be something of a fertility symbol, as well as other outdoor fetes and galas. Not many locations retain the traditional maypole but a scattering of them still exist.

May normally signals the end of the football season to be replaced with the sound of leather on willow otherwise known as the cricket season. I am not a football fan myself but cricket is something I really enjoy. To non-cricket playing countries it must seem a strange sport with seemingly difficult rules to understand. Those that are more accustomed to games packed with 90 minutes of fast and furious action, a much longer game lasting three, or even five days if it is a test match, must seem very slow indeed. It is however a game of both skill and tactics where enjoyment lasts much, much longer.

So far since the arrival of a summer like spring, the weather has held good. It does seem however that whatever the British weather there is always one group or another that will complain. It’s either too hot or cold, too dry or wet and so on. At the moment it is those worried about possible drought caused by the lack or rain but I find that Mother Nature always seems to find ways of balancing things out.

The past few days in Britain has seen a round of street parties, barbecues and other celebrations due the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now entitled the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Such events are not everyday happenings and the ceremonials were stunning to watch. I for one wish them a long and happy marriage. My guess is that Kate will now be popularly known to most people as Princess Kate whether protocol allows for it or not. I do find it sad that the rat pack which collectively go under the name of paparazzi seem determined to track them down on their honeymoon wherever and whenever that may be. I cannot help but feel how most of us would deeply resent hundreds of baying photographers camped on our doorstep during our honeymoon. I wonder how those photographers would also feel if the same happened to them?

It’s a pity there seems to no longer be any common boundary of decency between natural public interest and the invasion of privacy by the paparazzi in what can only be seen as their prey or victims. One has only to witness recent scenes of this faceless baying mob constantly hounding people like Lindsay Lohan, just waiting for her to pass wind in public before screaming probation violation that fills one with disgust. It was the same faceless rat pack that Princess Diana was trying to escape when her car crashed. It may be difficult but perhaps there should be laws to restore a balance of decency.

My property overlooks fields currently full of sheep. I find it quite amusing to see the antics of the new-born lambs. For about their first ten days of life they tend to cling close to their mothers. As they gain more confidence in their surroundings, the lambs tend to form gangs which then go racing around the fields. Although the lambs tend to all look the same, it is a common sight to see sheep nudge away a lamb which is not their own as they mistakenly try to suckle from her. The large flock of sheep are also constantly on the move with each sheep following the one in front. It is not that the flock are going anywhere in particular, it just seems that one follows the other so they are not left out. Perhaps they have copied the habit from watching mankind.

April 2011


April heralded the arrival of a much welcome Spring, however it also feels like Summer prematurely is here as well with temperatures reaching the 70’s F (22 C) The old saying goes, cast not a clout until May is out, which is generally interpreted to mean do not wear less clothing until the beginning of June. This old adage appears to have little meaning this year. There is also some debate as to whether this refers to the month of May or the flower of the Hawthorne which is also known as May. If it is the latter, then the flower has already been and gone. One thing is for certain, the unseasonable heat wave as brought everything into bloom at once. Leaves on all trees came out overnight leaving the countryside a dazzling lush bright green.

Yesterday we took one of our occasional trips to Dorchester in Dorset which has an ancient weekly market that we quite like. There is something quite soothing about mooching around the stalls or the flea market section. This was followed by a short journey south to Weymouth where we purchased some fresh crabs and oysters from a quayside fish shop. The new road to Weymouth is now open but alas the old road which contained a steep but scenic hairpin bend has now been torn up. The long beach at Weymouth was heavily packed with early holiday makers all enjoying themselves but as usual, parking remains extremely difficult. We are normally lucky in finding a free short parking spot on the quayside.

At the moment the town of Weymouth appears to be a sea of road works as preparations for the sailing events of the 2012 Olympics are well underway. I could still see no evidence of additional parking and I cannot help but wonder if the thousands of extra visitors coinciding with the additional Summer holiday makers are going to create one huge parking problem. I hope not but I have my doubts. It will certainly be too late to do anything about it once the Olympics have started.

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