Archive for May, 2012
Remember those few Summer-ish days I mentioned way back, a thousand or so years ago, when everyone went slightly mad?
Yeah, I barely do either.
After those three heady Summer-ish days it rained for three weeks straight. It was cold. It was miserable. And, of course, during this time, we had two sets of guests. Those lucky guests got to view pouring rain, light rain, medium rain, medium-to-light rain, light-to-medium rain and a whole lot of mud in its various forms.
Then they left.
As soon as they were gone, the weather came good. And now, oh now!, it is truly, honestly (and probably for about five whole days)… Summer!
Like everyone else, we have been doing much celebrating in the lead up to the Jubilee (which we’ll be in Denmark for… whoops). The bunnies are hopping, the lock is working overtime, the bulrushes are blowing crazy white fluffy stuff everywhere and the spiders are inviting themselves in through the windows (oh, joy).
And me? I am the Queen of the daisy chains, making them every afternoon on command…
One of the first things we noticed in our initial few weeks in England, was that everyone seemed to own a waterproof jacket. Now, I don’t know about you, but not being the outdoorsy type, I had never owned a waterproof jacket in my life. Or a pair of wellies. For a while, we resisted the waterproof jackets (because they’re just so freakin’ ugly) and tried to use umbrellas. Yes, well, there’s a reason people don’t use umbrellas in Cambridgeshire, where it tends to be quite windy (read: you will be blown sideways several days per week). So, after we had turned not one, but three Ikea umbrellas inside out, we succumbed to the lure of the waterproof jacket. And after we had been up to our knees several times in mud and horse poo on the walk to school, the wellies also came into play.
Oh, but how things have changed on the jacket front. These days I own several waterproof jackets in varying degrees of warmth, length and cuteness and am now even on to my second pair of wellies (the first pair were destroyed in a freak Husky sledding accident — don’t ask. I can, however, highly recommend Norwegian hospitals if you ever need one).
We have obviously come a long way on the understanding the weather thing, because when Aussies come to visit us now, there is much sighing between us when they do not have Appropriate Clothing. Such as waterproof jackets. And wellies (I mean, really, how can they not know?). They do things like look at the sky at 8am when it’s sunny and say, ‘Oh, it won’t rain today, it’ll be warm! It’s May for goodness sake! I’ll just wear a long-sleeved t-shirt. And my sneakers will be fine,’ (fools! Fools!).
Anyway, this morning, after three weeks of solid rain, the sun came out. I must have officially turned English, because I went outside to the flower meadow for a romp (though, come to think of it, I’m probably still holding back a little. A real English person would have stripped off to the waist…). While I was down there, I took a pic. of the new wellies. Cute? I think so…
Oh, but I was so excited two months back when one of the pairs of swans in the area began to make a nest right below our little Juliet balcony. I watched their progress several times a day and Googled to see how the swan nesting process works (as it turns out, the female lays an egg every day or so for a while, before sitting on the nest full-time for around six weeks or so). We went away for the school holidays and, when we got back, the swan (Hildy? Maybe!) was sitting on the nest all day every day. I couldn’t wait to see those little fluffy grey cygnets emerge from under her and started counting down the days until they might hatch.
Until now, that is. Wah! Because it’s flooded. Several times over, in fact. The first time the water came up, the swans panicked. For 24 hours straight, they carted sticks to and fro, building up the nest. We watched, amazed, as they managed to turn the eggs over with their beaks and push more sticks under the eggs themselves (swans — they’re smarter than you give them credit for). The water began to recede and we thought the eggs might be okay. Sure, the nest would soon look like a penthouse apartment, but at least there would be cygnets. Then, yesterday, the water came back up again. Further, this time, to the point where our road has been blocked off by the police…
The swans began working furiously once more, building up the nest. This time, however, they might have started building too late. Because, this morning, it seems the female has abandoned the nest. Even during the building-up of the nest, she was so careful not to be off those eggs for more than a few seconds. But now, even though the pair are continuing to build the nest up, she has been off the eggs for an extended period (hours now). I’m guessing it isn’t a very good sign…
And, yes, I know that last year she had eight cygnets (if it is Hildy, and there’s a 50 per cent chance that I’m right as there are only two pairs of nesting swans around here), while two or three is normal. But, wah! I so wanted to see those cygnets. It was all so exciting.
Nature, you suck.