Thursday 11th August 2022

By Jove, Barbara, it’s hot.

Those words have become immortalised in our house, and beyond, during the current hot spell. They’re not my words. I stole them from a stout woman travelling on the number 37 bus at the same time as myself a week or so ago. She spoke them to her companion who sat gently simmering in the seat next to her. The heat on the bus was stifling, even with all the windows open. It was like an oven on wheels. I don’t know why, but the woman’s words and the heartfelt way she said them, just stuck in my head, and then found their way to my mouth. They’ve become my favourite catchphrase of the summer. I’ve got Dick saying it, Rob, Lee and even Eileen. It just cracks us up for some reason - perhaps because we need some silly light relief in these grim times, a bit of daftness. The icing on the cake came yesterday evening after dinner. We were wilting in the lounge, windows flung wide, fan going, when Shane’s phone pinged. His eyeballs made an almost audible rolling sound as he read the message. Sticking his phone under my nose, he said, ‘you’ve got a lot to answer for, boy.’ The message was from Leo, and it said simply: By Jove, Barbara, it’s hot. Dick and I both gave a whoop and then cracked up laughing. Shane shook his head, made a comment about being the last adult standing, but couldn’t quite hide a smile. I’ll have him saying it yet.

In some ways the hot weather is nice because it means lots of time outside, enjoying the garden and the summerhouse. It’s also concerning because of global warming fears, wildfires, and talk of droughts etc. I must say that ZZ and I have struggled to keep the garden borders and the lawns pristine this year, because of the heat. It’s been a dry year all round and plants aren’t thriving as well as they might. My biggest success has been a long lavender border I created. I planted different varieties and it’s been gorgeous to look at and with a gorgeous scent. The bees have loved it. I’ve never seen so many, and lots of different ones too. I like to feel I’m doing my bit to help our buzzy friends.

Dunno what to do for dinner tonight, nothing that requires toiling over a hot stove that’s for sure. I could probably lob a raw chicken onto the shed roof and have it roast in no time given how hot it is outside. Chuck in some carrots and spuds and I could cook a meal without adding a penny to the leccy bill. Mind you it would ruin the roof and I can’t see Shane being thrilled about scooping lumps of bitumen out of his dinner. I’ll probably end up doing something with salad. Leafy food isn’t the men folk’s favourite, but tough. I'll serve up a lush dessert to make up for a frugal main course. Summer is the time to indulge in sweet treats, ice creams, fresh fruit, gorgeous gateaux and cheesecakes, that sort of thing.

It’s too warm to be stewing in front of a computer, so I’ll say bye-bye and go get creative with salad ingredients.

Thanks, as ever, to those who have emailed with thoughts and news. My best to you all. Stay safe.


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