Tag Archives: summer

1947. Seasonal Alphonso

Alphonso hated the Spring Equinox. It meant we’re heading towards summer, which is hot, sticky, and utterly uncomfortable.

Alphonso hated the Summer Solstice. It meant the hottest months are on their way.

Alphonso hated the Autumn Equinox. It meant we’re heading towards winter, which is cold, icy, and utterly uncomfortable.

Alphonso hated the Winter Solstice. It meant the coldest months are on their way.

Alphonso hated the weather on television. “They’re forever predicting bad weather. I’ll watch once they start being a bit more positive.”

1897. The maze

It really was rather annoying. It was wearing her parents down to a frazzle. Aurelia wanted to try the local hedge maze. She was only nine years old. She wanted to do it on her own.

It was summer time. Every time they drove passed the maze place Aurelia would pester her parents.

“Can I go in the maze on my own?”
“I want to go in the maze.”
“Let me do the maze.”
“Monica went in the maze.”
“Muriel went in the maze.”
“Why am I the only one not to have done the maze?”

Enough is enough! Aurelia’s mother stopped the car (she was driving).

“Here’s four dollars,” said her father. “We’ll pick you up in an hour.”

That was seventeen hours ago.

1779. The days were drawing out

The days were drawing out. Summer was approaching. Spring had not fully run its course, but the sun was definitely rising earlier and earlier. Soon it would be the summer solstice.

Young Grant was about to turn twelve. His birthday was on the last day of spring. “The start of a new beginning”, his mother would say. “Grant’s birth was the start of a lovely summer.”

Grant asked his parents if he could watch the sunrise at the solstice. “Of course you can,” said his mother. “What a silly question! There’s no school tomorrow.”

The next morning, the day after his birthday, Grant watched the sunrise. The day had dawned cloudless. It was a perfect start to summer.

Grant wasn’t the only one watching it. His parents were there, as was his older brother and younger sister. It was a family affair!

After the sun rose, Grant went to bed. He was dog tired having stayed up all night. The rest of the family were fine. They had gone to bed, had a good night’s sleep, and simply got up early.

1650. A vegetative state

As usually happens here on this blog when an extra round number appears, something slightly different happens. Today, to celebrate story Number 1650, we shall look at aspects of my vegetable garden.

Although humility goes hand in hand with gardening, one could perhaps be excused for showing a little pride in one’s harvest. At least occasionally. So with a great deal of self-effacing non-aggrandisement, I submit four untouched photographs of me standing in front of four of my gardening successes. There could easily be a lot more, but modesty prevents over exposure.

Here is me standing in front of a couple of turnips. As you can see, harvesting one would’ve been adequate for my needs.

Here I am standing in front of a prize cauliflower. As can be seen from my shirt, these photos were all taken on the same day.

Let the size of my watermelons speak for itself.

Finally, here is a globe artichoke. It was late in the season; hence it’s quite small compared to ones gathered earlier.

To aspire to continued success this coming spring and summer, I have extended the vegetable garden by digging up my front lawn! It is now all ready and waiting for the date of the (hopefully) last frost to pass – which here in New Zealand is usually around October 25th. Here are a few snapshots of the work in progress. I just might post the occasional picture throughout the coming season to show progress!

Cheerio for now! And if I don’t appear too often on the blogs this coming antipodean summer, it’ll be because I’ll be out on the front lawn weeding.

1595. Weather report

The jolly internet has gone down. It sometimes does that during a storm. Apparently there’s a raging wind outside so I’m not surprised that things have got a bit shaky. The trouble is I’ve got a deadline to get an article to a local paper within the next two hours, which is why I got out of bed so early to write it. The Tourist Bureau puts out a free newspaper every week. I had better get the article ready in preparation to send the minute the internet connection comes back. I said I would report on the weather and surf conditions at the beach at Whangamata, which is fifty miles away. It’s the summer season, and people will want to check things before coming to the beach.

Early this morning I took a stroll along the beach at Whangamata. People, even at this early hour, were taking their dogs for a walk, throwing sticks and Frisbees. A couple of runners were enjoying the early morning to get in their exercise for the day. The sunrise was magnificent. It transformed the sea and its gentle waves into summer gold! Already several groups of people were setting up where clearly they were going to spend the day, swimming and lying in the brilliant sunshine. I expected the beach to get fairly crowded as the day progressed, and indeed I was right. As I returned from my walk a lot of sun-worshippers had descended on the beach with hampers loaded with picnic lunches. It was to be a typical day at the lovely Whangamata beach.

I asked one gentleman with a fishing rod where the best places to fish were, and he said anywhere beyond the swimming flags placed there by the surf life-savers. I also asked if he ever caught anything, and he said he got the occasional snapper and also gurnard, especially when the weather was brilliant like it is today. With his electric Kontiki longline fishing line the baited fishhooks could be taken way out to sea in such calm weather. The snapper and gurnard come a bit closer to shore in the spring and return to the depths in the autumn, so hooking them in summer is within the Kontiki’s range.

So come on down, visitors to the region! It’s safe! It’s sunny! Grab a towel and head for the beach! It’s always summer at Whangmata!

I see the internet is now back up, so I’ll send this article to the editor before this frightful weather outside causes an electric blackout.

1442. Ice cream weather

The day was very hot. Doug thought he’d take his three kids down to the corner shop and buy them each an ice cream. And he’d buy one for himself as well, of course.

The three children ordered their ice creams, although Elsie took ages because she couldn’t choose between chocolate chip cookie ice cream or guava and honeycomb. Eventually all were served and they began the walk back home along the pavement licking their ice creams in a cone.

Suddenly two youths rushed by and purposely knocked all ice creams onto the ground. Doug managed to grab one by the sleeve and gave him such a punch to the jaw that a tooth fell out. The youth ran off holding his chin.

The next thing was that Doug’s garage caught fire and burned to the ground. Everyone knew it was the youths that had set the fire going. The neighbours thought it was fair enough. You don’t bash up people because they think different, and besides they were foreigners. Didn’t Doug have more respect?

The Government from where the two youths originated, said it was all a bit on the nose and sent a few diplomats packing. Things went from bad to worse, and within weeks both countries were dropping bombs on each other. The decimation of both populations was horrendous.

So think next time you take the kids for an ice cream.

Poem 77: Now that summer’s over

Now that summer’s over
I’m a season older, and find
each summer season mines
less memories. It’s kind of sad
to think of times we had.
The heat-strewn days were glad when we
were children; so carefree,
chasing bees, climbing trees – the days
all melded in a haze
of ever-sunshine glaze. And yet…

It’s easy to forget
age casts far wider nets to catch
a varied vaster batch
of joys than those dispatched to girls
and boys. For in life’s twirl
of memory there swirls wise dreams
far deeper, so it seems,
than younger days we deem as fine.
Here, in my autumn time,
(I thank this God of mine) there calls
no need to live it all again.

 

(Based on the Vietnamese luc bat poetic form. For those who don’t know, I usually challenge myself with a weekly poem using a set poetic form each month).

Poem 47: Summer flies

(The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!)

Let me make one thing clear:
it’s not been a good year for flies.
It’s cold and each fly dies
before they can lay shit-pies and eggs
upside-down with their legs
stuck to the ceiling, pegged up there.

I’ve a good mind to swot
at the several I’ve got, but oh!
I think I’ll let them go;
fly free, you flies, but know one thing:
to pet cat food don’t bring
an egg to make a single maggot.

Poem 43: Golden Wedding toast

(The poetic form selected for this month is the English or Shakespearean Sonnet. This is the last Sonnet for this month.)

At minus two degrees it’s just like summer,
At least that summer fifty years gone by.
Let’s face it folks, that summer was a bummer;
It made the global warming stuff a lie.

Fifty years ago my girl was ice;
She told me straight, go jump into the lake.
Some other things she said weren’t quite as nice.
I took the plunge and stayed, for goodness sake!

Well, next she entered riding on a high horse
Just as autumn leaves were shedding gold;
She sneered and said go take a hike, of course.
So once again I stepped out in the cold.

A toast to icy days when we were young;
Yet winter’s snug because she’s summer’s sun!