The past three days have been sunny and dry, which means combine harvesters in the fields and tractors on the road well into the twilight. Over the next week the fields will transform from seas of grain to blond buzz cuts stacked with oversized sugar cubes of straw to the ploughed under rubble of earth and sticks and stone. Along with the early dusk—8pm I mournfully noted on my drive home tonite—this reconfiguration of the landscape is one of the more dramatic reminders that summer is nearly through.
Taking my example from the farmers, I will make hay while the sun shines, an attitude to which the late summer social calendar is being particularly accommodating. Friday night will be spent with Chloe the Midnight Story Teller, one of our many local eccentrics, on the grounds of the nearby 17th century Lodge Park. On Saturday husband and I are off to experience the giant marrow, damson wine, and homemade chutney marvels of what will be our fifth consecutive Annual Boylestone Show in Derbyshire. And on the holiday Monday, the Jacobean mansion turned hotel, Bibury Court, will host the local fête—the last of the season—which promises to reveal the mystery of the coconut shy, which I in turn will reveal on the pages of this blog for the benefit of other readers like me who are ignorant of the curious customs of the English at play.