… Just how amazing the weather is we’re having at the moment. I’m even feeling somewhat guilty about it, with all the extreme weather events going on apparently everywhere else on the planet, but with amber heat warnings creeping across the south of the country the only concession I’m having to make to this summer weather up here is heading out a little earlier on my bike to avoid the afternoon heat.
Indeed, this morning’s outing was just about the perfect summer bike ride, considering all I was really doing was going down into town to fetch the paper. Setting off before ten, there was still a cool pocket of air waiting where the road dips down through the trees to the burn on the way out, and the sun was not yet too hot on the ride back, although I did find myself actually welcoming the slight headwind as a cooling breeze across my skin, not something I could have ever imagined saying a couple of months earlier.
And as the weather has got into its stride, the harebells – already one of my favourite flowers – have excelled themselves. I’ve finally, after two years of careful nurturing, managed to grow a handful of these from seed for my little patch of meadow, but I’ve got a long way to go before they will ever reach the casual exuberance of the ones in the verges right now which lift my heart whenever I see them.
It’s the beauty of a bike that I can stop to admire such things, and also forage for gooseberries, having finally remembered to bring along a tub to put them in. This makes up for the failure of my own goosberry bushes – I’d say due to neglect, but I doubt the ones in the hedgerow get any more care and attention and they’re absolutely laden with fruit this year.
As I’ve said many times before, I chiefly ride a bike for short journeys like those into town because it’s one simple way of helping get us out of the mess we’re busy getting ourselves into with the climate, or at least not making it worse. There are days in winter when that feels like a penance, the hair shirt option. And then there are days like today when you honestly couldn’t pay me to do the trip by car.
I suppose you could say I’ve earned them.