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Mud On the Road

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Random Thoughts 1

Posted by Deborah Courtnell
Random Thoughts Following a Heatwave, Part 1

So. I'm back.

     After an eight week absence and with only a shaming two blog hit rate to boast of in the last three months....I'd like to be able to tell you I've cycled to Uzbekistan for charity, solved World Peace, writtenTHAT book or at least been hard work slaving over a steaming compute making squillions and squillions of pounds and then going shopping.
     But I haven't.

     Let me see.
     Since the end of June...
     I invested an inordinate amount of time and energy applying for a job I didn't get. We're talking weeks here not days.
     I invested an even more ridiculous amount of time and energy - ten hour days, yes really - transferring the contents of this blog from my previous host, Serif, to the current host - 'Google Blogger' in order to take advantage of the built-in and automatic archiving system.
'Maniola Jurtina' - Meadow Brown butterfly, male
'I've loafed and idled and taken pictures of butterflies!'

     This is a bit like iron-age man forswearing in a true troglodyte fashion the first iteration of the wheel as needless and not at all useful, arms and legs and physical sweat and labour being far better, blah, blah, blah, only to decide a year later that actually the whole wheel thing for getting about and shifting other stuff is really rather a neat idea: quicker than walking and less arduous than carrying.



So it is with a drag-and-drop manual archiving and DIY comment system versus the slicker if less pretty and a lot more clunky Blogger.

     And then, round about the first week of July - Wimbledon was dry and the finals I remember were hot, the heatwave kicked in.

     At first I ignored it from the relax and get your bikini out point of view. I admired the sunshine on the garden from the perspective of my third storey eyrie and I enjoyed watching the three dogs basking like seals in the unfamiliar warmth and the sight of Shedley Mode lounging on the sun lounger and turning a natty shade of brown.

      'Enjoy it, I called down to him, 'make the most of it, this is England remember. It won't last.'

     And besides I was extremely busy not writing Mud On the Road  which arrived at  its first birthday at end of July all horribly disfigured and dismantled and shuffled about and now showing ghastly disfigurements: '404 page not found'  errors;'crawl errors'; all the nasty creeping html problems and mistakes convince  Google in nasty Snakes and Ladders mode, to send your blog shooting back down the page rankings.

     Even though it's because you've moved to Google it's all gone horribly wrong.

     So I was very busy wrestling with html code and experimenting with new swear words and suddenly we were into the second week of soaring temperatures, gorgeously long, langourous evenings and  impromptu party invites which began trickling in as people realised they could actually plan a BBQ or drinks party or lunch in the garden three or four or five days ahead and it would still be hot and sunny and it would not rain on the day.

     And then one day it was so dam hot in the eyrie I nearly suffocated  and I more or less haven't been back up here since. Despite the arrival of the gorgeously sumptuous black leather Executive chair which Shedley bought me so I could do wheelies in the eyrie  and turn 360 degrees without getting up and feel important without actually being important.

     Even as we were unpacking the chair the heat was calling.
     I abandoned it and my websites and tangle of html code for over six weeks.

    The websites have been neglected - my rankings have probably hit rock bottom or, at least, an all time low.

     But I've spent the day with a friend I hadn't seen for three years.

     I've been taking pictures of butterflies at Stockbridge Down; we've spent hours on the marsh watching the boxer dogs swimming out of their depth in the river and doing hilariously brave things with errant tennis balls; We've had friends and family to stay; I've done a shameless amount of pottering in the back garden and a dangerous degree of meddling in the Man Shed; both of us have eaten more BBQ, drunk more Pimms and champagne and consumed more strawberries in a month than a person ought to in a lifetime.

     I've loafed and idled and ambled and strolled and cooked and baked and pottered in the garden and taken yet more pictures of butterflies and cycled for miles down lanes and inadvertently swallowed midges whole and not once been stung by a wasp.

     I've been to Northampton and back twice.

     We've had the 'Stay-At-Home' vacation to end all 'staycations' and will forever remember this as a blissful Summer. Better still it's still warm.

14.08.2013



Our roses did not fare well in the heatwave
A David Austen rose - I'll have to look it up....

The garden in July
There are four bantams in there somewhere

'Maniola Jurtina' - Meadow Brown butterfly, male
The Meadow Brown Butterfly - I'm fairly certain this one is a male

A Rose against the Blue Salvia
Pottering about in the garden




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