Sunday 16 August

A day of domestic chores really. Much scanning of the weather forecast, which has changed from relentless heat to cloud and drizzle. A return to typical English summer weather.

I decided it would be fun to do an HF walking holiday on the Isle of Wight in October and contacted 3 walking companions to see if they might be interested. After a flurry of texts, emails and phone calls, I think we may have managed to book something but a previous attempt was foiled: everything was sold out in the first 24 hours. Everyone has decided that UK holidays are the only way forward. Good news for the providers. Anyone running Airbnb will be happy and holiday cottage agencies will be blissful. I have to say it beats the aggravation of hanging around at airports and losing luggage somewhere along the line. I do wonder about the future of public transport though. At Charing Cross there was a notice saying, have you considered other forms of transport, and it had a picture of a bicycle, a pedestrian and a car. This is the diametric opposite of what up till recently has been the policy, which is to encourage people to leave the car behind and take the bus or train. I think in future public transport will run at a massive loss and merely be an extension of the social services.

I picked blackberries in the garden, and using apples from Andy and Maeve’s garden, made a crumble for tonight’s dessert. I was also very pleased that the greengage tree has this year produced a modest crop, and as I netted it, the squirrels did not steal the lot, nor the parakeets. I sometimes feel that everything I manage to produce is achieved in defiance of the marauding wildlife: the above-mentioned, plus deer, slugs and snails. I can see why farmers use herbicides, pesticides and shotguns. Very tempting.

My greengage crop. I think the centrepiece looks particularly delicious.

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