I know we’re past the solstice and it’s due to rain here through Monday, but there have been some things recently that have just sung to me of summer, including the blackberries, which are doing very well this year. Around here we won’t have fruit for another few weeks, but our mediocre summer weather hasn’t appeared to have hurt them at all.
In any case, below are five bits of summer.
First of all, the other day there were dragonflies in the garden. I’d seen them all over the village and the neighbouring village, but not in the garden. They flitted around, past the jasmine and the rose, skimming the red poppies and cornflowers. I cannot describe how happy this made me. I recall lightening bugs during the summer when growing up on the East Coast of the US, but dragonflies were more rare. I feel so lucky they’ve been hanging round here.
Second, my son made his own version of Brooklyn’s former wonder-ice cream-palace Ample Hills’ Ooey-Gooey Buttercake (heavy duty vanilla ice cream with pieces of butter cake). It was stupendous. Glorious. Wunderbar. It tasted really good. I hope he does it again. If you never had the chance to visit Ample Hills it was probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had. When we visited New York, we’d go by every evening. My fave flavour was Peanut Butter Takes the Cup, but then I am very partial to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. (Sadly, the place under the original owners went bust. The company was purchased but I don’t know what it’s like any more.)
Third, among all the flowers in the garden I’m most wowed by the idea that this summer I may actually have managed to grow a tuberose. I’ve been trying for years. It’s small (see pic) – I’ll post a picture if and when it decides to bloom.
Fourth, iced tea from Sara’s bakery. I only taste this, as I usually get a chai latte (even when the weather was briefly very hot) but I get it for my son. Sometimes watermelon flavoured, once passionfruit. They make tea and add good quality syrup. It sings of summer. My mother used to make iced tea all through the warm weather. So, this reminds me of her and I can keep saying to my son, “your granny loved iced tea”. Something else he can know about her (she died long before he was a whisper in my ear).
Finally, fifth, a book for young adults I picked up from my son’s room when I was between things and waiting for a delivery. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. This turned out to be so utterly beautiful I tried to draw out the reading. A coming of age story. The writing is glorious. I’ve read other things meant for my son (The Century Quartet, The Hunger Games, various Michael Morpugos) and been very pleased I agreed when he insisted so we could discuss things. A coming of age story is perfect for summertime.
Finally, not among the five, the dog posed beautifully so he is included in the post. He did this himself – I didn’t help at all.
So, how about you? Anything from summer (well, winter down under) that’s really had an impact?