Monday, 30 May 2011

Seasonal Obsessions

An Englishman's summer obsessions are these:
  1. watching the weather
  2. watching the cricket
  3. watching out for summer migrant birds
Well, those are my obsessions anyway.

Firstly, the weather. It's actually been raining this afternoon as is evidenced by the above picture. It hasn't rained properly in my part of the world for the last two months and everything, especially in my garden, is looking rather thirsty. The ground is looking like this:

Now I know that's no big deal if you're reading this in Adelaide or Texas but this is England in May.

Then there's Cricket, that strange pastime which usually causes the heavens to open. England have just recorded a remarkable victory, but that's not what I've ben thinking about. I've been thinking about village cricket, which bears as much relation to international cricket as a barn dance to the Bolshoi ballet.

I was watching a match on Parker's Piece in the centre of Cambridge. They'd obviously been watching a lot of first class matches on TV and were "trying to do things proper, like". At least, they all had white trousers and walked around clapping their hands like real cricketers. All rather different from the first game I ever saw on a cow pasture in Caldecote. Some of the men wore their work boots and the ball had to be frequently retrieved from the brook, having been deposited there by a red-faced farmer who may have lacked timing and technique but made up for it with brute strength. Or at Grantchester where the opening bowler had to be summoned from a lunchtime drinking session in the pub.

All that remains of Grantchester's team is the old pavilion, now used as an artist's studio, and the roller which was used to prepare the pitch.

And finally. Turtle Doves are in decline and you can spend a lot of time searching for them. Even if you can hear their gentle purring song it can still be difficult to catch sight of one. Or you can come home as I did this afternoon and see one walking about on the grass just outside the window. Thanks once again to my neighbour and his feeding station. I just hope he saw it too.

Take care.


  1. The Test Match win this afternoon was a touch unexpected wasn't it? I enjoy watching cricket in all its forms and DH is a fanatic. He's in Sussex for three days at the moment watching them play Yorkshire. As a Lancashire man he is of course supporting Sussex:) They got pretty much a full day's play too, here we got non stop rain which is badly needed though not quite so badly as you do by the looks of it!

  2. The final part of my previous comment is such dreadful English! What I should have written is 'which we need badly though not quite so badly as you do by the looks of it!'

  3. John, I believe the heavens are confused this year, because of the rain we've had, we're all late planting our gardens!!! I've prayed for a few days of sun to dry out the gardens so I could till them and plant the vegetables I want to grow, and we get more rain instead! Then, it's been as hot as Hades here the last two weeks; if you go outside to do anything, you're covered in sweat and feeling sluggish because of the oppressive heat!! Horrible start to the summer. I only hope it gets less humid, more sunny and the gardens finally get a chance to grow! Whew! That was alot of complaining about our weather here in the US!!! Other than that, I love the picture of your flower!! Great photography!! :)

  4. Ugh! Humidity AND Yorkshire cricket - both are guaranteed to send me to sleep!


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