Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

27 degrees all week - phew!  

My rose garden

On my 6.30 am morning dog walk - I have been wearing shorts! 

No wet dog towels, wellies, socks, waterproofs, torches - just get up, put on the sun glasses (and clothes) and go.  Big Dog stops half way up the hill now and just stares at me as I walk on a bit further.  I think the walk is more for my benefit now than hers.

Everything is suddenly going mad in the garden with all the sun we've been having.  Garlic, spuds, broad beans, strawberries all ready now and more lettuce than we can eat.  Sarah was pulling spuds last night at 10pm in the dark.  I found her rooting around in the earth with 'Barber's Adagio' playing on her little portable radio.  Mad woman.

It's so hot in our south facing garden when I get home from my air conditioned office (set to a cool 18 degrees) that my life now feels back to front and inside out.  I do indoor jobs early evening and then gardening and walking the dog at nine, ten o'clock at night.

It's too hot for baking.  Instead, we've been gardening, eating ice-cream cornets on the patio and having BBQ's.  I still can't believe we are having a proper summer at last.  It feels like the 1970's! 

Chalke Valley History Festival -

We saw three different speakers.  We also had tea and cake, 1940's style, in an old canvas tent served by girls wearing dungarees and knotted head scarves.

'The Great Escape' with Guy Walters - about the 80 Allied prisoners who tunnelled under Stalag Luft in March 1944.

'The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler' with Laurence Rees - he discussed how it was possible for this man to exert such powerful influence over the people who encountered him.

'The Spy Who Loved' with Clare Mulley - loved this talk.  It was fascinating learning about Christine Granville who became Britain's first female secret agent during WWII and how fearless she was.  I am keen to learn more about this daring woman.

We didn't need tickets to the History Festival air show as the planes flew straight over our garden!  Oooh, the drone of Spitfires, Hurricanes.....  Gives me goose bumps.

Big Dog and I have had many, many hot sunny walks over the last ten days.  There seem to be more poppies this year.  The grasses and crops are already turning a soft golden colour.


Our usual walks look different, everything is so overgrown.  

Field Poppy

Hogweed or Cow Parsnip


Poppies on the veggie patch


Rapeseed nearly over - no more hay fever


We did what we call 'the circuit', an hour long walk.  It was very hot and sticky.

A carpenter must live here - spot the birdy

We admired the view over the barley fields

Hot dog

In to the cool

A clear view for miles 

My horizons are always wonky - I think I must have one leg longer than the other!


I decided to head for some shady woods!  I love the walks near the bungalow but the landscape is so open and baking hot at the moment.

We drove to Hare Warren, an old, much loved walk that we used to do before we moved to the bungalow. Hare Warren is a 300 acre woods.  During the 16th-century it was fenced off from the rest of the Wilton House parkland in order to preserve it for the hunting of the hare, hence it's name.   

I have always coveted this little wooden house, hidden in the trees

Welcome shade

Cool, cool, cool

A Monkey Puzzle Tree

Archibald Menzies, who was a botanist and naval surgeon, brought the first five saplings to the UK in 1795 and they were popular as Victorian park trees.  These trees rubbed shoulders with the dinosaurs 200 million years ago!  They can grow up to 130 feet tall and can live to 1,200 years old!  They are the national tree of Chile and the seeds (similar to pine nuts) are edible.  

 I can't get enough of trees.  Don't worry, I don't hug them.

What a scorcher!

I am a happy Bungalow Girl this week.  We have a new large gas tank (it looks like a submarine has popped up in the front garden) so Sarah doesn't need to tap the old cylinders any more to see how much gas we have left, the massive trench outside our back door is filled in and we have a new floor in the Dining Room after waiting three months.....  Yippeee.

And - my sweet peas which looked very unpromising are flowering, they smell heavenly.  We have an abundance of flowers, tons of tasty home grown veggies, rhubarb for crumbles and herbs for salad dressings.  Yum, yum and double yum.  I have eaten apple and rhubarb crumble and custard in bed the last couple of nights - so naughty!  Not good for the digestion but I wouldn't want it going to waste......

Just goes to show what a bit of good weather can do, and a clever fellow Bungalow Girl (I do the weeding)

We could do 'Pick Your Own', we have that many strawberries

The only down side to this weather and time of year is having to wear ear plugs at night.  Whoever thinks that the country is a peaceful place wants to be here at 5am in the morning!!

9.26pm - time for a spot of weeding.

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