Ok, you’re getting the hang of it now, Brits really do talk about the weather constantly. This is because it is generally neither insipid nor deeply traumatic but impactful in that must-find-something-that-doesn’t-go-transparent-when-wet sort of way. British weather is idiosyncratically variable such that prediction is rather more psychic than meteorological and today is no exception. After hurling rain with the consistency of stair rods most of the night and glowering in a hostile manner most of the day, it turns the heat up the moment I hit the fields.
Not that this evaporates the moisture (I say moisture – it’s more like an Olympic swimming pool dangling on threads at knee-height) from the vegetation. No. Two yards in and I’m soaked from the feet up and the grass is at chest level so now I’m wading through the equivalent of the Thames and gathering enough seeds to keep me in lawn mowing for the better part of this century.
Donovan the Lonely Horse has friends today, both in outdoor kit. A nod to him (if it still is him, I’m not that great at equine face recognition) and I’m nearly deposited full length over a patch of nettles. The thing about long grass is that, while the motion is essentially one of wading through water, the behaviour of the medium is not the same at all. One wrong placement of the left foot clamps the distal end of a clump to the ground and constrains the proximal end under which one’s right foot is now hooked so that an impromptu triple axel is both beautifully executed and irritatingly unappreciated. The dogs, of course, are simply further convinced of the madness of humans and in that they are not far wrong. After all, I wouldn’t be out there at all if it weren’t for them.
From Not Being First Fish by P Spencer-Beck. Available from Amazon (non-illustrated edition). Second edition (illustrated) due 2018.