Apparently we can't call it a heatwave because you have to have five super-hot days in a row for that to apply- but the day before yesterday was hot and yesterday was extremely hot- topping 90 farenheit- one of those days that pops up once in a while when temperatures in England outsoar those of North Africa. Today the sequence is broken; it's still warm but with a bit of a breeze, grey skies and the threat of thunder storms on the way.
Microsoft have decided they're not making enough money out of me and have very drastically reduced the free storage space they're allowing me for my photos- and I've taken this as a prompt to go through the files and throw out the dead wood- there's a lot of it- and also to rescue things worth rescuing and post them to Wikipedia Commons.
Here's something I just rescued- a detail of a window in St Weonard's Church, St Weonards, Herefordshire. It's Victorian. but I think medieval fragments have been incorporated. Look at St Catherine with her wheel- surely some of that is 15th century work...
St Weonards is a tiny village. You have to traipse through a farmyard to get to the church. When you reach it it looks like this
Here's a view of the surrounding countryside. No leaves on the trees because this was taken last November.
Weonard, by the way, is pronounced Wonnard. History has forgotten exactly who St Weonard was- but tradition suggests he was a local hermit.
Here's a funny thing. A bunch of photos I took 45 years ago are appearing as illustrations in a book an old friend of mine has just published (Stonypath Days: Stephen Bann: Wilmington Square Books) I got my copy yesterday. It's a collection of the letters that he exchanged with the Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay in the early 1970s. Finlay had recently moved to a farmstead in the Pentland Hills and was beginning to turn it into the garden-cum-art installation now known as Little Sparta- and I was the only person, by holy accident, taking colour photos of him at work and play. The pictures- even though colour slides aren't supposed to have a long shelf life- have reproduced very well- and I'm proud of them. I figure in the text too- to the extent of warranting an explanatory footnote.
The ascendancy of the Bullingdon boys is over and may, in retrospect, seem like a quaint wobble away from the principle- established in the Heath/Wilson era- that our rulers really ought to come from a background with which most of the electorate can identify- and not have daddies who were multi millionaires. May is a hard grafting grammar school kid- and the kind of person who should be getting to the top in a society that likes to think of itself as a meritocracy. Her first prime ministerial speech- delivered outside the doors of Number 10- might have been delivered by a Labour politician to the left of Tony Blair- and came as a pleasant surprise. I like it that she has sacked George Osborne and think it shows savvy to have promoted Johnson to a role which gives him a chance to show what he's made of- because most of us are still unsure. It was surmised that she was going to promote a lot of women- and she hasn't- which is a pity. I'm glad David Davis is in her cabinet; I've always thought he was real.
Meanwhile the Labour party is giving every indication of not wanting to exist any more.
1.It was late afternoon and the sun was beating in from beneath the clouds- which were dropping a lot of rain on where I was standing- and the garden was straddled by one of the most perfect rainbow arches I've ever seen...
2. I dreamed I was in old East Berlin. I was asking this old woman who looked like the popular idea of a witch whether I should take a coach tour and she said I should take a walking tour with her friend who ran a walking tour business and I said but my wife's in a wheelchair and it looks like it's going to rain. Then I changed my mind because I liked the woman and felt- as a privileged westerner- I should be doing what I could for the local economy. East Berlin was really rather beautiful- and the old woman was living in a palatial appartment- but money was tight and the media was censored and, of course, nobody could leave...
Every time there's regime change my heart gives a little flutter and I find myself wondering whether the new lot will do any better than the last lot. Theresa May seems to have some sort of substance to her- daughter of the vicarage and all that- but it could just be a stick up the back of her coat. Well, we'll see.
He kills in a panic - as scared of his victims as they are of him. He looks tremendous, but he's a botched experiment, a splicing together of ill-matched DNA- and he knows how weak he is; there's little going on in that great coffer of a skull but fear and self-pity. Consider him well; see how that wedge of an upper body tittups along on those spindly legs and silly little hooves. He's top heavy. Barge into him- rugby tackle him- and he'll go down on his back and be as helpless as an overturned beetle. All you have to do is slip a blade between his widely spaced ribs and you're done. Actually he'd like nothing better.