I’m having a bit of fun looking back over the last eighteen months of blogging, and adding where appropriate some older photographs to the posts. Today I went back thirty years in my archives add added three to ‘Reminiscing With Don’ of last August.
Albeit extremely blustery, it was a beautiful autumn day as we set out on a journey the Met Office had warned everyone against. Leaves scampered across the sky like swifts riding thermals. Indeed, as we drove to Mat and Tess’s we saw a number of birds seemingly doing just that. When reading BBC News Jackie came across advice to ‘keep away from trees’. She thought that given where we live that might be rather difficult. Michael Fish was interviewed yesterday predicting that the current gales would not be as devastating as those of 1987. Someone in charge was having a laugh. Mr. Fish, you see, is probably the best, indeed, for most people the only, known weather announcer of all time. He famously broadcast a reassurance, in 1987, that the rumoured storm would not happen. It did. So if anything was likely to confirm fears of tonight’s tempest it would be putting Michael Fish on air to refute it.
Trees were already bending beside the A27, their foliage tapping on our windscreen seeking shelter within. As the leaves rushed towards us they reminded me of the one scene in the 3D version of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ that made me flinch. Boulders came flying out of the screen straight at the audience’s heads.
We were not to be deterred from our trip which was a belated birthday celebration for our daughter in law. Jackie took a delicious apple and apricot crumble to follow Tess’s superb roast pork; roast potatoes, carrots, and parsnips; Dauphinoise potatoes; leek and cabbage compote; apple sauce; and dark red wine gravy. Red wines by Tess and me and various beers by Jackie and Matthew were consumed. Tess liked the presents we had bought yesterday.
After the meal we had coffee in The Village Shop so that we could see the new counter layout. Every time we go the establishment seems even more inviting and attractive than the last.
The clocks were turned back an hour at two o’clock this morning, the end of British Summer Time. This meant that it was already dark at 6 pm. when we set off back home. Dark, wet, and windy. At times the windscreen wipers could barely cope with the water that was thrown at it. Rain hammered down directly into it, splashed up on impact with the roads, and formed a fine spray spinning from the wheels of other cars. I don’t know how Jackie managed in the driving seat, but I found the wipers mesmerising as I seemed to be peering through a Jackson Pollock painting on glass. The halo effect around traffic lights and car headlamps and taillights, coupled with the sparkling bits of twig cracking on the car gave the impression that November 5th was already upon us.
In fairness to Michael Fish, the gales, as I write have not reached the force of that October night 26 years ago.