It was damp and cheerless enough this morning for me to turn on the Aga, a day before I had intended to. I don’t like being without it, I admit – all these years of going straight to the cooker and having all the heat I need, instantly, means that I find it quite hard to plan time to put the oven on and wait. And there’s so much room for everything and my back-up is a very small oven and two electric rings, awkwardly high. However, my kitchen ceiling is low and the heat becomes unbearable in the middle of summer. Sadly, summer is receding quickly, wished away by people in a way I don’t really comprehend.
Summer didn’t start until the end of June. It was the day after the blog party, so the last day in June, when heat blazed out suddenly. Since then, some places that are not in South Norfolk have had thunderstorms and even flash floods, but most of the country has had hot weather and here, it’s been both warm and dry. I’ve appreciated every minute of it, after the long cold winter and the spring that seemed nothing but a continuation of winter. I can quite see how it’s been a bit much for some, especially if they work in the city and have a long commute – but it’s a matter of opinion, not fact.
It reminds me of one of the differences between my mother and me. She was very black-and-white. If she liked something, it was great and there was no room for dissent, but nor was there when she took against a thing. She hated hot weather, so hot weather was a Bad Thing. I should add that cold weather was also a Bad Thing – she didn’t really like weather at all. A few spring days, when it was warm enough not to wear a coat but you still needed a jacket suited her. I never said so, fortunately, but her complaints did spoil the pleasure of a lovely summer’s day.
In a few weeks’ time, I daresay I’ll start to look forward to the season of bonfires and warm jumpers, but it’s still August and I’m nowhere near wanting to relinquish the summer yet. A couple more months at least, and I’ll still hanker for the warmth of the sun, even when I’m enjoying a brisk walk in crisp morning air.
Most of those who are grumbling about the warmth that seems to have abruptly ended today are young, and that’s another thing. Wanting to move on to the next season is too much like wishing life away, and that’s something that a person in the first half of their life is more casual about than one in the second half – the final quarter, very likely, I don’t come from a long-lived family.
I believed for many years that I was indecisive, but now I’m not…no, I’ll resist the old joke. Actually, I’m not indecisive at all. If I can’t make up my mind, neither option is the right one for me and if I don’t much care, then either will do. Growing up with someone who always knew her own mind made me assume I didn’t. In addition, I was too shy to be decisive, I was afraid of my choice being ridiculed – not that it ever was, but a shy person isn’t necessarily that rational. In fact, my instincts weren’t entirely wrong there, as I discovered when I was older and less afraid to speak out, much to the annoyance of my mother if my tastes happened to differ from hers.