Abstract Landscape Painter. Rural Dweller. Lover of Modernist Art and Design.
At 5.30am I open the windows and doors of the old house to let half an hour’s worth of cool air drift through, before setting out to walk. I will open them again at 7.15am when we return, but by 8 o’clock the blinds will be drawn for the day and the interior of the house kept dark until twilight, when they will be flung open once more. This daily pattern has become the new normal in this most unusual English summer.
Just up the road, near to Bury St Edmunds, a weather monitoring station has recently recorded the highest temperature (33.3°C) and the lowest rainfall (55 days with less than 1mm) in the UK. Tomorrow, it is suggested, may break the British record of 38°C, and today looks like it will be a good practice run!
But this morning, at 6am, I am grateful that the open neck of my old linen shirt scoops up the fresh air. There is a musty, damp smell rising from the ground, where the dew is still on the grass. The moisture sneaks into my battered running shoes, through a hole in the toe. Can’t say I mind. The last remnant of a layer of mist is disappearing above the western horizon.
Amongst the trees, the tapping of a woodpecker echoes in the stillness. It sounds like a lone, distant workman, effecting some unseen repair.
Out on the dusty track, a farm vehicle passes me on its way to deliver more water to the sheep. The tractor bumps along and the driver greets me with a sleepy wave. From the droppings on the path it looks as if the deer recently travelled this way too. I wonder if they attempt to share the rations?
The hares are about as usual and a couple of partridges run ahead of us. They look like two misty little skittles, wobbling their way hurriedly uphill towards the light.
Just before home, we pass one of the sheep fields. Some are already tucking into a pile of hay. It would normally be their autumn/winter rations. This really is turning out to be a year of extreme weather!
All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson