Today’s picture, sent by my brother, shows the hobby horse procession which is part of the mayor’s parade in Banbury where my brother lives. It’s a big day there as you can see.
We had an absolute 100%, cast iron, guaranteed summer day today, better than any day we had in the whole of last summer, temperatures well into the 20s, blue skies, hot sun and what is there to say about it? It was far too hot. Some people are never happy.
Dropscone turned up for a pedal at 9 o’clock after a week in which he played six competitive rounds of golf which had severely interrupted his cycling routine. As he had won two out of three singles matches in matchplay and had achieved two podium positions in three stroke play events, he felt that his choice of activity had been vindicated. It hadn’t affected his cycling either as we went round the morning run in just under 1 hr 20 mins which is below our target time of 1 hr 21 min. While we were cycling at speed, the accompanying breeze kept us cool enough but up the hills, it quickly became very hot and we were pleased to get into the cool of the kitchen for coffee and scones.
After Dropscone left, I went on a rose hunt round the garden.
Other colours could be found.
Though I think that a yellow iris was my favourite flower picture of the day.
Then I pedalled up to the High Street to make some purchases and visit Mel to thank her for suggesting the horse trials which we went to on Saturday. She said that there would be another one coming up soon but I said that from my point of view, I had probably photographed enough horses for the moment as one looked much like another. She replied that she couldn’t imagine for her part anyone taking pictures of more than one chaffinch as they definitely all look the same. This was a fair point and I won’t put any more chaffinch pictures on the blog until I take another one.
By lunch time, it was really warm and when I rang Sandy up to see what he was doing, I should have known better than to agree to go for a walk with him up a hill. He took me along a track from Whitshiels which I have never walked before. It started coolly enough in the shade of the trees….
…but the view soon opened up on our left.
There was plenty to attract the eye as we walked, both beside the track…
…and in the broader view.
There were trees, both gnarly…
And plenty of gates.
As we climbed the track, the views up the Ewes Valley got better, even on a rather hazy day.
We had company as we reached open ground.
Finally, after going through one last gate…
…we hit the Copshaw road and the way back down to the town.
By this time we were thoroughly boiled and had to seek a little shelter under a tree before continuing. We passed under a substantial power line…
… which may have intruded somewhat into the beautiful scenery but without which I wouldn’t be posting this blog.
We arrived back at the car on the Kilngreen feeling a bit exhausted after what was really just a short stroll. Sandy’s car thermometer reported the outside temperature as 33° C which may have explained it. He dropped me off at home and I staggered into the house and ate some ice cream which cooled me down a bit. This was the only time of the day which we had available for an outing but you can quite see why the siesta is regarded as essential in hot countries.
After a decent interval to cool down, I went out and gave the front and middle lawns a quick mow and then went in and did some more sitting quietly.
I don’t do well in hot weather and I was so tired by the end of the day that I didn’t go to play music with Mike and Isabel as I would normally have done. I don’t mind hot weather if I am sitting on a beach in the shade of a taverna with a bunch of grapes in my hand and the inviting sea beckoning but when it gets above 22 °C when there is work to be done, lawns to be mowed, compost to be sieved music to be made and cycles to be pedalled, then I collapse and get grumpy. I can only admire the tennis players yesterday who played a great game in really hot temperatures. Oh to be young and fit again.
I did manage to find a flying bird of the day as we walked along the Kilngreen though.