Thursday 26 July 2018


I've been wandering about the house and garden with a couple of DH Lawrence poems floating around in my head. The first one, 'The Best of School' is prompted by the way I'm running the house at the moment in an effort to keep the rooms cool, closing and opening blinds as the sun moves from east to west. I've known this poem since my schooldays and love the noise the words make; the long-drawn out, 'drawn', 'room' and 'gloom.'

The blinds are drawn because of the sun.
And the boys and the room in a colourless gloom
Of underwater float: bright ripples run
Across the walls as the blinds are blown
To let the sunlight in

It's worth the effort of pulling the blinds down and up, twenty-one blinds in all, because it does keep out a fair bit of heat. It feels rather like sailing a boat!
The other Lawrence poem that I've remembered is, 'Snake.' The other day I was shocked to see a long, yellowish snake swimming across our small garden pond. I'm hoping that it was nothing more troublesome than a grass snake. I wasn't, like DH, wearing pjs, but I did have open-toed sandals on my feet and have walked round the pond area very carefully ever since!

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot-hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there

The poem continues

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second-comer, waiting.

This was just how I felt, disconcerted and rather alarmed, but also fascinated, aware that so many creatures that I never, or rarely, see share my garden space. I've peered into the pond since then to check on how my newts are faring in this extreme heat. Only one to be seen. I do hope that the snake hasn't eaten all the rest. Time to go on google and find out what snakes eat!


  1. This must seem so shocking to you and all of the UK.
    When I used to travel I loved all the lush green of the UK. So different from where I live.
    We desert people live through such weather changes and our super hot summer with wildfires is normal.
    But even our weather patterns are changing.
    I hope this heat ends soon for you.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Dear Parsnip, it's not such a 'green and pleasant land' at the moment but there is talk of a thunderstorm for Sunday. Here's hoping!

  2. We have had constant rain here in Pennsylvania since April. Unfortunately, many people have lost their homes and more because of flooding. This last week’s weather has been very destructive and deadly. It is also very hot, but we are used to that in the summer. Meanwhile, our west coast burns. Climate change is very real.

    1. Oh, dear, Maybe, constant rain is no fun, but you and I are very lucky compared to the dreadful things that are happening elsewhere. The deaths caused by fires in Greece is heartbreaking.

  3. What you are saying sounds like all part of the normal summer routine. Here we complain about too much rain during most of the year, but then the real secret is that for a few months in summer, it all but disappears, as is again the case this year. This year is sizzling, so I open windows in the wee hours and shut up shop (closing windows and thermal blinds) usually before noon. We use a fan blowing directly on us to cool things down at dinner hour & beyond. Surprising perhaps as I supposedly live in a cool sort of place! LOL... Everything is relative, but everything outside looks a bit shriveled and driveled too... But I toss our 2nd-use water here and there, sometimes 3rd-use, just enough to hopefully stay alive to see next year.

    Hang in there, Rosemary! You're doing great!

    1. Dear Wildside, yes, I'm hanging in here and a thunderstorm is a possibility for Sunday. A garden hose drains out our bath water and buckets are taking used water from the sinks. This is a new experience for us, but you sound an expert! We are a fairly climate conscious household, trying to do our bit to combat global warming with solar panels on the roof and an air-source heat pump for water and heating. We are eating well from the garden so air mile food doesn't feature much in our diet at the moment either. I love sunny weather, it's only the garden that's complaining!

  4. Have much more to say, but think best I just say the most important. And that is, I admire all that you are doing & your attitude to keep on going! You inspire me.

  5. Shouldn't worry, don't think you get adders down there in deepest Englandshire.

    1. Oh, yes we do, but they like the warm, dry spots
      and their markings make them fairly easy to identify.

  6. If you park your car in the show field my garden (dry stone wall) is just over that field! Pop in for a cuppa if you like.

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