Tag Archives: heat

Spiders, Shopping and Dead Butterflies

A couple of days ago I noticed something fluttering in the front garden, It turned out to be the remains of a Small Tortoiseshell, enangled in a sider’s web. It was past help, but I thought I’d take a few pictures. If I ever need a picture of a dead butterfly with a spider I now have one in stock.

It was quite a cunning plan on behalf of the spider, stringing a web between the Red Valerian flowers and lying in wait for a passing pollinator. I imagine that it wou;d have preferred a nice juicy bee, but it got a butterfly. There must be plenty of food in a butterfly, but the wings are a bit of a waste.

I  tried to get some close-ups, but must have touched a web, as the spider made a rush for me, defending its lunch. In such a David and Goliath situation we were always going to have a non-traditional outcome. I was never going to fall over after taking a rock between the eyes. Fortunately the spider didn’t push its luck and, after a sneer, it went back to eating.

Moving forward to Bank Holiday Monday,  we went to the garden centre so that Julia could buy more plants. We always seem to be buying new plants. After the first half of the trip I hobbled back to the car, making much use of my walking stick, and allowed her to enjoy the centre without me holding her back. I am so noble.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with me, apart from laziness and the inability to put up with heat. I’m just a very bad husband. However, I was able to sit in a car in the shade and enjoy the breeze instead of sweating round a variety of converted polytunnels masquerading as a shop. I feel a little deception was good for my health.

Whether or not it remains good for my health if Julia reads this, we will have to see.

As I sat in the car I took a few photos. There wasn’t much to photograph, but when in doubt take a picture of things that look like a pattern. That’s why I took the pots and compost bags.  They aren’t good photos, but they look like they could be. The one with the pots would have been better if they’d been stacked on the level. Or if I’d noticed they were sloping when I took the photo.


It was nice day, even if it was too hot for me, and even better when we were able to drive round with the air-conditioning on.

At least we weren’t disappointed by this garden centre.

It’s now even hotter…

We’re back from the bread session, and the temperature has risen to 31 degrees. There’s a light breeze, but it’s not really helping.

In the care home everyone was so hot, despite the application of medicinal ice cream, that they found it hard to raise the enthusiasm. I didn’t get an ice cream, despite my sterling efforts at bread plaiting and various other forced jollity. However, as you can see from the main photo, I have now gathered my hot weather survival kit (fan and ice cream) and am feeling much better.

Only one lady could raise the enthusiasm to comment on my plait.

“I don’t like plaited bread.”

That put me in my place.

Another lady had been a sausage-maker in the family butchery business and many others had baked in school, so we did do some good by bringing back old memories.

However, “From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success” as they say.

Next time we are going to make sure we have a cooler day (as if we have a choice!) and we will make pizza. If there’s one thing I can do well for an audience, it’s make pizza. And, when we have our (yet to be) famous afternoon tea sessions with Quercus we are going to invite them out to the farm. Some have been to a bread-making session here and enjoyed it, others prefer not to travel. They might travel for tea and cakes. I know I would.

I’d better get planning those afternoon tea sessions…



Pizza? What, again?

We have 16 people coming to make pizza tonight, using the outside oven. Personally I can’t understand the need to regress by a century and feed pizza into a space full of ash and flame when we have perfectly good clean controllable electric ovens. Tonight I could be sticking 16 pizzas in and taking 16 pizzas out fifteen minutes later. Instead I’m going to spend the afternoon getting things up to temperature so that I can eventually feed a procession of individual pizzas into the baking equivalent of hell.

On the plus side, they want foraged salad, and I have just found a new stash of fat hen so I’m as happy as a pig in salad.


Fat hen

I just need to make some dressing with chive flower vinegar and the job’s a good ‘un.

In the gardens we’ve been interspersing light gardening with sitting under the cafe awning and drinking water from the fridge. One of the lads on the farm is currently off work after becoming dehydrated on Monday, so you can’t be careful. Despite that I will be ribbing him at great length as it’s a stupid thing to do and because we needed him here with a school party. Self-inflicted – no sympathy.

The outside temperature spiked at 35 degrees C for a few minutes, though by the time I’d collected my camera and taken a couple of outdoor shots it was back to 34, which is still pretty hot by my standards. Even inside it’s holding 31.


In the garden

We’ll be holding a birthday party for the farmer in a minute, though he’s late, as usual. Apart from the fact he’d be late for his own funeral, he fails to grasp that if you tell our group you’ll be here for 2.30, they start getting agitated at 2.31. Looks like we’ll have to make a few excuses.