Apart from putting forward the ridiculous hypothesis that Jesus once visited Britain, William Blake’s poetic reference to “England’s green and pleasant land”, with specific reference to “mountains green” and “pleasant pastures” , ignores the fact that it is only so because it rains. A lot.
Thursday morning and again grey cloud but thankfully dry. I prepared the soil in a terrace in the vegetable garden and planted ‘Pink Fur Apple’ potatoes to add to the ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Picasso’ I planted in a similar dry slot on Wednesday. I cursed the slugs which had munched on the sprouts, red cabbage and leeks I planted the day before that then headed off to cut the hedge in my son’s garden before catching the bus to Cardiff for essential pre-trip shopping and meeting an old friend for a curry and a pint. By which time it was raining torrentially.
Such is spring in Britain and, increasingly so, so is summer. Sufferers of SAD just groan.
There has been a rapidly accelerating pace of activity over the last few days as my departure gets closer and the amount I have to do before I go doesn’t seem to get any smaller.
Friday was frenetic. Long phone call with friends coming out to visit. Trip to the bank to sort out an ISA to protect my meagre savings from the taxman. Visit to the barbers for a summer-weight haircut. Fish and chips with the Ladzwotlunch before we go our different ways again. Pick up grandchildren from school then plant some potatoes with them in their bit of the garden, explaining that they are neither Pink, Furry nor Apples. The rest of the family arrive for a meal. When they leave I do the washing up and clearing. Then walk the half hour to the pub to meet a friend for a pint. And it’s suddenly gone midnight and I fall asleep in the armchair in front of the TV, hot drink going cold on the table beside me.
Saturday, it’s grey and drizzling. Still have seeds to plant. Must protect the prickly pear cacti from slug-attack (they ignore the spines and feast on the thick flesh). And it’s now desperate that I start to pack, a necessary process not yet progressed beyond thoughts whirling around in my head.
The preparation is all about escape. Escape from the grey and the wet but more positively, escape to the sun. As soon as I feel the sun seeping into my bones the hassle of preparation will be forgotten. It won’t be a new world, we are stuck with that for now, but it will be a sunnier, warmer world. For a short time at least.