Saturday, 27 June 2009
Anyone who watches the weather forecast might notice that the North East coast often has entirely different weather from the rest of the country. I know you probably all say the same about where you live, but unless you live in the Tyne & Wear area (or Stornoway), you haven't got much to complain about, I reckon. While you bask in temperatures of 19-24 (and 30 prophesied for next week!), we have 12-14; while you have occasional showers, we have rain, drizzle, downpours and occasional cloudbursts.And generally a nasty wind, a North East coastal speciality.
But yesterday and last night it was still and misty, a soft, hair-curling dampness that looked dreary when viewed from indoors, and not at all alluring to either the dog or I in our comfy chairs. But when we stepped outside, and in particular first thing this morning, oh, the feel of the soft milky air, the glorious scents, even in a city, of green things growing, of trees breathing softly, of the allotment calling faintly - come and see! everything has grown, the spider webs are glistening, the birds are flicking splashily in and out of dripping bushes, and your curly-leaved lettuces are ready to cut!
So the dog and I set off, lured by the scents and the feel of the air. I took a large umbrella, just in case, and we let ourselves quietly in at the allotment gate. Not a soul was there. The secretive little wrens allowed me to watch them for a long time, before we walked the narrow overgrown ribbon of path to my allotment, arriving soaked from the knees down, just through brushing past grass and cow parsley.
Everything glistened and gleamed; the pond was full, and the alchemilla mollis held perfect diamonds in the centre of its leaves. I watered the tomatoes, picked a handful of strawberries, encouraged the peas and beans with friendly thoughts, and tested one of the red gooseberries - no, not ready yet - and left it at that. It wasn't a day for gardening, but for being still. I could have sat for hours, drinking it all in, the peace, the silence, the utter tranquillity, fullness and greenness of it all, ten minutes from the city centre. I never cease to marvel at this, the isolated patch of gardens, surrounded by a belt of trees, hidden from the bustle and noise of the nearby streets and the thundering coast road traffic.
I had to change soaked shoes and trousers on returning reluctantly home, and the lettuce, sorrel, spinach and oriental salad leaves had to be washed twice to get rid of splashes of soil and tiny slugs, before sharing with neighbours. We'd had a lovely start to our day, and now the mist has cleared and the sky is brightening. I'm glad we hadn't waited for the weather to 'improve'.
Posted by rachel at 13:57