Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Lovely ripe plums

      One of the high points of the summer has finally arrived, the Laxton's Earlys, the first plums of the season are ready for picking and eating.
      They're a dangerous and addictive breed of plum too, you walk past with the two Jack Russell Terriers on their morning walk and sample two or three. Delicious in the cool of the early morning, and on the way back you sample two or three more because they are just irresistible. Then you decide to pick some to take home for the  family to sample while they are having their breakfast and, obviously, you have a couple more to keep them company.
      By this time, and after considerable over-indulgence, the realisation dawns that you dare not leave the house.
      That's fresh 'prunes' for you, well too many fresh 'prunes'.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A boy, a new pole and his first rudd

      Our grandson's are staying with us for a week before they jet off on their holidays with mum and dad to Cyprus. Personally I think that's all the wrong way round, after a week of hyper-activity and being woken up at dawn every day we should be the ones jetting off to Cyprus to sit round the pool having a cool drink and a good read, never mind, a grandparent's lot and all that.
      Last time we were out pike fishing before Christmas I said that I'd buy him a pole to get him started; well we're now the proud owner of a four metre pole and Sunday afternoon was spent testing it to destruction on the little river that runs through the middle of the village.
      Small perch have learned to fly but the ruffe and bream came in rather more sedately and this lovely rudd put up a real scrap before it was finally netted.
      Enthusiasm is growing. Rapidly.
      Grandad, can we fish tomorrow? Well, I wouldn't normally and we'll have to get some bait but let's see what the Boss says.
      'I don't see why not', says the Boss.
      It worked.

Monday, 25 July 2016

The return of Jason King

      Peter Wyngarde, aka Jason King the special agent from Department S, is back as a plant pot man and he's looking pretty funky too. There's no doubt that the addition of all of the flower power is making this his best summer floral display ever.
      The display, produced by a gardener in the next village, is eagerly anticipated every year but this year with the new fence, newly raked gravel and the the lilies behind Jason's romantic little arbour he's definitely gone the extra mile; and there's even a splash of Norfolk Bog Door Blue in the garden over the fence too.
      God bless the eccentric English gardener.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Menace, violence, then a rainbow

      Early on Wednesday evening we had a brief respite from the blisteringly hot weather that we have been 'enjoying', the blue sky became hazy and then big dark and bruised looking clouds began to build-up to the south and, finally, we could hear thunder in the far distance but slowly getting closer. The heat was totally oppressive and there was barely a breath of wind, even the birds and insects had headed for cover so they must have had an instinctive idea of what was creeping slowly but steadily over the southern horizon.

      When the storm finally broke we had almost half an inch of rain in under thirty minutes with the rain absolutely thundering down, there were some really decent pyrotechnics and a wonderful thunder sound track as an accompaniment. Gradually the storm moved away to the east and left us with a brilliant rainbow as a calling card and a fresher atmosphere to enjoy a glass of wine outdoors.
      Well done thunderstorm.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The big country

      A field of wheat under a gloomy and threatening Fenland sky and there's a lot of wheat and a lot of sky to see in the fenland prairies. The only thing that is breaking the skyline is a solitary wind turbine in the distance and the field of wheat has two dark 'train tracks' that the tractor follows when the wheat is being sprayed to suppress mildew and pests.
      Soon, instead of the sound of the wind in the crops and dykes it will be the sound of the combines as they harvest the oilseed rape, wheat, barley and in just a few places oats.
      Welcome to the big country.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Obsessive views

      Everybody has places and views that they always look at when they drive by in their car or are simply walking a favourite route and this is one of mine. Spring, summer, autumn and winter and whatever the weather conditions when I am walking the dogs or walking along rough shooting I always stop and stare, even when there is nothing to see.

      Maybe there are some elements of the simple composition that subliminally fascinate me I just don't know. Anyway I like the view and perhaps you are better off not over analysing things.
      Stop, stare and enjoy.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The polythene landscape

      A blue and white field with just a small amount of earth showing between the polythene protected ridges. Planted in little cuts on both sides of the polythene ridges are courgettes, thousands and thousands of them and all planted by hand.
      With the temperatures that we are enjoying at present the crop should be absolutely colossal and they grow and develop with great rapidity so there is going to be some serious back-breaking picking to do every day until the plants are as exhausted as the harvesters.
      Seeing crops like this growing makes you realise how agriculture has changed with new crops growing alongside the more traditional arable crops and we suppose it improves the crop rotation too.
      We like the blue weights on the rows, they match the sky. Tasteful.