A quiet Sunday afternoon. I’m alone, in the garden. For an hour or two there has been sun: a gentle warmth and some blue sky. A small, private aircraft chugs along overhead. Here it’s so quiet that it’s like a Christmas Day – in midsummer. There’s no-one about, no sign of life: because, where I live, life is going on indoors for most people. It’s the day of the Wimbledon men’s final. and it’s being broadcast on TV. This is an epic tourney but I thought I’d keep my distance from it -while checking on its progress from time to time.
I want to know what happens but this is a catharsis that I don’t want to live through. Five day cricket Test Matches are different. There is about them something stately yet precarious as a long voyage in a sailing ship – and the continuous potential for surprise – which I can handle. And really enjoy.
And so I sit in the garden while Mrs Llew, unusually for her, because she plans her days with the method and system of a Benedictine, is absorbed in every instant ebb and flow of the game. And again, because it is midsummer, – and how many of those have we still to see – I savour the scents of midsummer flowers: roses, honeysuckle, mock orange, which, as I’ve mentioned before, my grandmother, born on an Essex farm in 1882 always called syringha. I don’t know which name is right.
Summer scents despite weeks of rain, and more rain to come, so they say.
The grass at the back is long and really needs to be mown. I staggered over the front lawn with the mower earlier today. Its tiny yellow flowers – black medic – according to the description in my wildflower books will not seed. I owe that to my neighbours, because I want to be a good neighbour and they care about their ‘weedless’ grass..
The naturalised cowslips have seeded on my front lawn. They’re lovely in the Spring and early Summer. My mower cut them back but they will grow again.
The buddleia is bold and tall and will soon flower. I’m always sad when the blooms appear, for they foreshadow the beginning of Autumn. In some parts of town they are already flowering.