Summer was this weekend, or so I suspect. After some glorious false starts in the spring, our summer so far has seen me to bed with my pajamas topped by the same grubby old cashmere sweater that I wore all winter.
The village on Saturday morning was like a country-themed “It’s a Small World” ride. Pensioners practically skipped into the local shop to collect their weekend papers. Four cats frolicked in the lane (cats! in all my years as a cat owner I’ve never seen a cat frolic and yet…) while white butterflies skittered above. As we set out on a bike ride husband still found something to moan about, but conceded it was an altogether more pleasant sight than the post-Friday night “cider cans in canal” tableau we’d face if setting out for a morning ride in London. (Thank god cider hasn’t made it’s way to the states yet – perhaps just a matter of time until the alcohol marketers make inroads).
In the evening we drove over to a rather grand country house hotel that was hosting an outdoor opera. It was too wonderfully British with elaborate picnics abounding—crystal flutes adorned more than one folding table. I even spotted a cravat. We fit in fairly well with our smoked salmon sandwiches and strawberries even if our plastic tumblers did let the side down (not to mention my husband chasing down photographers from Cotswold Life, the local mag, so he might make himself available for a photo op on the social pages). As night fell I was most impressed by the many tables that set out candles. Well, that and the portable loos which were the nicest I’d ever seen — think drop lighting and Molton and Brown soap. Thankfully the opera itself wasn’t too high brow. Without the aid of a programme husband recognized “the World Cup song” and “the British Airways ad from the eighties” song.
Sunday morning we went for our normal jog along back country lanes. I’ve lost all heat acclimitisation from L.A. I looked like a beet at the end and had hardly cooled down by the time we were showered and heading off with some neighbors to an afternoon hog roast/jazz concert in the field behind the village hall in G. Without aid of a portable marquee (the hallmark of the truly seasoned British picnicker) we roasted to the tunes of Artie Shaw. By the second bottle of cava we resorted to putting up our rain umbrellas for shade. Our collective stamina was as resolutely British as it had been several weeks earlier when we sat through three rainsoaked hours of outdoor Shakespeare under blankets and brollies. This is our summer and dammit we are going to have it.