We in England have a reputation for talking excessively about the weather. In part this is because we are much afflicted by false hope. We take our holidays in August - the rainiest of the summer months. We hope for snow at Christmas - when it hardly ever snows in December. So we pass our time happily complaining.
On the other hand, we can go through a lot of weather in a day. We've grown up expecting a mixture of sunshine and showers so in the era when people bothered with umbrellas (it's out of fashion and too windy now) whether to take one or not would be a reasonable question to raise before going out.
We have a new topic now - that the weather doesn't change. It has decided to rain and the rain won't stop. There are odd breathers but they don't last long and the change from wet to dry and dry to wet can be dramatic and abrupt.
Last night I was woken by a huge crack of thunder. After that - silence. No rain; silence. I lay in bed listening for more, adrenaline surging because I'd come out of sleep too fast. Nothing. Then, in the distance, was a roar. The roar grew louder and louder. It came from the west and it was coming fast! I heard it come across the garden. I heard it hit the house. The house shook. Rain. It wasn't an intensifying drizzle. Nor was it a sudden heavy shower. This rain was Aggressive. Aggressive rain and it was coming - at us - pounding towards us like cavalry in battle line.
We went into the country on Saturday. It smelled horrid. Not everywhere but lots-of-where. Like old urine. Clearly it wasn't old urine. Only a giant could pee that profusely. But maybe it was? (A giant.)
Urine can be useful in a garden. It can work as accelerator in a compost heap. Male urine can be used to frighten away foxes and badgers. But on a lawn urine makes the grass die - you can see 'burn' marks on lawns where dogs have peed in patches. (Enjoying this post?)
Our weather giant is peeing too much in the fields. He's flooding them. (I'm assuming he's male. I don't think I'm being sexist in this - it's just that outdoor peeing is much easier for men than for women. A woman would have had to save it up in a watering can and I don't think watering cans water with this much force.)
Our giant is washing the goodness out of the ground and into the rivers. He's turning fields into lakes. It's pretty to see swans swimming where crops should be - but what about the worms? What about all the other organisms that contribute to the fertility of the soil?
I don't know. I admit it. I don't know. But when I smell that smell - the smell that is genuinely like a not very well-kept lavatory . . . the only way I can account for it is that things are dying; roots, worms and all.
I've been worrying my bulbs will be rotting in the wet. They aren't. Their green spikes are already quite tall. Even the hosta I thought was dead is sending up little twiddly bits of green. They may come to nothing but it shows there's life in it still. So it's not for my garden that I ask this, it's for the fields. If any giants are reading my blog (maybe because they've received posts by email ever since they signed up at the top of the page) I would like to ask them, respectfully, if they can go and pee elsewhere. (Like in a reservoir.)