What a Lovely Summer It Was

Summer has come and gone here in Sussex. It lasted five days—from the 3rdof May to the 7th—which, truth be told, is about two days longer than an average British summer, so we have little to complain about. Besides, it was a great summer, with clear, blue skies, warm sun, flowers blooming and tree buds practically bursting open before our eyes.
Summer, this year, had the grace to fall over a weekend, and we had the good fortune to be invited for tea at a friend’s house in the Sussex countryside. It was a modest estate but with an expansive garden, encompassing an art studio, walking paths and a large, flat grassy area where the tennis courts used to be. We had tea outside, in the sunshine, surrounded by the scent of new growth. There is nothing more summery—nor more British—than having tea in an English country garden.

This is just a sample; it was a huge garden.

Due to my current employment status, I managed to take full advantage of the summer weather. I went for walks, I greeted the sultry evenings with an adult beverage and cigar on the balcony, I let summer into the flat by opening doors and windows, I wore short-sleeved shirts and slept with just the sheet covering me. It was glorious.

This is the tea, after we ate and drank everything. Sorry, it didn\’t occur to me to
take the photo until after we were done. Take my word for it, it was lovely.

But, as all good things must, summer came to an abrupt end last Wednesday, with the return of rain, wind and a decided chill in the air. The days since then have been a variation on that theme: rain and/or wind accompanied by cool temperatures. Today dawned sunny, with blue sky, white clouds and the crisp feel of an October morning. “Languid” has been replaced by “brisk” and the walks are less leisurely. It’s back to long-sleeves, waterproof jackets, closed windows and quilts.

Still, there’s nothing more invigorating than an autumn morning, so it’s time to suit up and start the day. I may as well enjoy it; I expect there will be a lot more of this weather coming my way.