Oh, the seaside

We just finished a week of very very hot weather – for us, and maybe in general. Mid to high 80s (around 30 C) and humid. It was truly beautiful and the garden loved it. In all media outlets, it was called a ‘heat wave’. Probably not for many other places, but for here, definitely.

The dog didn’t love it. He and I walked early and he slept most of the rest of the time in front of the fan. Every once in a while he’d dip his front paws into the little pool I got him, but he wouldn’t go in all the way. Which is weird because he’s always been happy to go into the local stream. Maybe he only likes moving water.

I loved the heat and didn’t love it. I adore summer. But hot weather is harder here than any other place I’ve been (New York City and North Carolina in August; an island in the Maldives 40 km north of the equator — they were all easier). Beyond the fact people here go loopy (seriously) as soon things really warm up, and you can’t escape to air conditioning, the consistently very high humidity just makes everything … sticky.

Anyway, the weather broke on Friday evening. It rained all night and into Saturday late morning. Then, the sun came out again. On Saturday, I persuaded my son to go with me to the recycling centre and then to the garden centre with the promise of ice cream at the garden centre.

No go. They no longer have a freezer near the door. Why take away an ice cream freezer? It’s no threat to anyone or anything.

So, he said, could we go to the seaside and get stuff from the new shack. So we did. Salted caramel ice cream for me with clotted cream and toffee sauce in an edible cup. He got Biscoff and cookies & cream in a waffle cone.  It wasn’t the same as ice cream from Ample Hills in Brooklyn (which we went to each evening the last time we visited NY in 2018) but it sufficed.

(Second line from bottom says ‘Condition: British Weather’)

Then we walked from the new development (mediocre patisserie and very expensive ‘beach shack’ — who locates a pricey restaurant in a down-at-the-heels seaside town??? – I mean I know all of a sudden everyone and their mother wants to own property down here, but they don’t want to be here – rather, southwest and northwest out on the spit of land that’s south Devon, north Devon and Cornwall) to the other end of the seafront and back again.

I haven’t been to the sea front near us in a long while. The light, the air, the smell. It made me yearn for a beach holiday. Can we pack and leave now? Sigh.

The heavens opened up again just as we got home. Mother Nature really wanted us to have that ice cream …

One of the things I noticed during our heat wave was that the jasmine was stronger this year than ever before. The smell was glorious – in the morning, the only time it was remotely cool; at night, just sitting in the air.

The smell is still strong, but nothing like it was last week with the fragrance sitting on that hot, humid air.

So, how’s your weather? What do you think of down-at-the-heels seaside towns? And is jasmine a thing for you?

  • Patty says:

    Talking about clotted cream is cruel! I’ve bought it here, but it isn’t quite the same. I’ve even made my own scones … not quite the same either. 🙁

  • SpringPansy says:

    Hi – I haven’t had much time to post lately as we’ve been hosting lots of guests (and having lots of fun). I enjoy your posts and reading about somewhere different from where I live. I kinda like old seaside towns, even if a bit down at the heels. Much more approachable than swanky, crammed full of expensive hotels, seaside towns for me.

    A big yes to jasmine – as a flowering plant. I wonder if I could grow some. I want to love jasmine perfumes, but I have trouble with it unless it’s fairly light.

    I’m in the Pacific NW (Seattle) and we’ve been having gorgeous weather (except for our horrible but relatively short 100+ degree heat wave in June) but unfortunately, I know that means drought issues and heat and forest fires for other areas in the U.S. west.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Agree down-at-the-heels places are more accessible in so many ways. Best wishes on your weather situation. It’s very scary reading about things in west of the US.

  • Dina C. says:

    We’re in a heatwave up in the 90s here. I love the smell of jasmine but I don’t find it growing naturally in my area. It probably gets too cold in the winter for it; I don’t know. The beach sounds wonderful right about now.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I was surprised by how moved I was by being at the seaside. I mean I live a 10 minute drive away. Why haven’t I been there?? Best wishes with your weather. I wonder if jasmine might be ok in a sheltered spot and if mulched well before winter.

  • March says:

    Oh, this is wonderful! Have you ever watched Mr. Hulot’s Holiday? It’s a French film, at the beach, not much happens lol. It’s a delight. I just watched it again last week. That … timelessness of a summer beach vacation. One of the things I loved about visiting Florida in the winter for several years was the profusion of jasmine. Even though we can grow it in pots further north, it’s never the same.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I have never watched that. Will you be able to do jasmine in the ground in SF? Indeed, beach holidays can be other-worldly — especially if one doesn’t live near a large body of water.

      • March says:

        Nope, way too cold in the winter, although I wonder if having so much sun would compensate. I have to water the pots I have outside daily anyway it’s so dry, so I’m planning on finding out next year! A pot of jasmine or a gardenia … or maybe both…

  • Musette says:

    it’s been in the mid-90s here – Jane (TGirl) is completely over it. My L. ‘Casablanca’ are blooming like they’re getting paid to do so. I can’t spend much time out in the garden, save for early mornings because by 10a it’s like the surface of the sun and 5p on brings out the biters.

    But it’s still lovely Summer, for all that!


    • Cinnamon says:

      What does Jane do in the heat? Joe just grumps and settles either in his bed in front of the fan or on the tiled kitchen floor. Lilies sound wonderful. There are some tiger lilies out in the village but they aren’t as grand as Casablancas.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    WOW! You hit two things close to my childhood heart.
    We had a fence of jasmine alongside the pool and it would belt out the fragrance from dusk till brunch, intoxicating and so beautifully mixed in with salt water and chlorine swimming smells.
    Also, most summers our family would pack up and rent a house right on the eastern seaboard of Australia for a week or two. Those towns were all shack towns still back then. Some had a small year round population that lived in brick but mostly it was weatherboard. Friends and family would rent nearby houses and we would all congregate for meals and adventuring.
    Times have changed and most of those shack towns are multi million dollar McMansion nightmares now.
    Portia x

    • Cinnamon says:

      Yes!! The smells of summer. Frying food, suntan lotion, sand, sea air along with flowers etc. That walk along the sea front threw up all kinds of memories and yearning. I can completely imagine such a change to McMansions. That’s also what’s happening here on the coasts west of here. Lots of articles about people no longer being able to afford to live where they grew up and where they work. Not good.

      • Portia says:

        Yeah, the lure of once unfashionable to live in seaside towns has definitely changed the affordability landscape worldwide. Had we only bought some 20 years ago, when they were basically free!

  • Kathleen says:

    It is hot here as well; I dislike it mostly because I like to do everything with my dog and we walk daily. He melts in the heat despite us leaving the house at 6am.
    Jasmine is everything in perfume and I wish I could smell it outdoors. I’ve not smelled jasmine outdoors living in CO; however, I enjoy most any perfume that features jasmine.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Life is hard when you have a lot of fur. We have a weird climate here so a fair number of what I perceive to be hot weather plants thrive. Along with the jasmine, lots of honeysuckle in the hedges as well, but also palm trees.

  • Maggiecat says:

    Jasmine is and will always be a thing for me. It’s one of the few things I miss about South Florida, where I spent most of my life before moving to Texas 15 years ago. It’s not as humid here but summers are terribly hot – it hit 99 today and will be over 100 tomorrow.

    • Cinnamon says:

      It’s odd. The year before I moved away from New York we had a few days around 110. It was ok — light clothing, hat, careful about when you went out, lots of water. Here, weather like that would be impossible. How long will your weather be like that? What about a jasmine in a pot?