Friday, 30 September 2011

Suddenly it's summer

It's very odd.  The last couple of days have been warm.  Really warm, as in teeshirt weather even for the non-hardy.  The qualification is necessary as we live in the tough north and for a lot of the population even a blizzard doesn't stop them from wearing midriff-baring tops.  What is even more bizarre is that I've been hearing fairly consistent rumours that October (due to arrive tomorrow) is scheduled for snow.  Mother Nature is playing some pretty strange games.

Friday sees me driving up the A66 to Bowes where I run the Drama Club and will shortly be beginning work on the nativity play (and I'm not going to whine about that until I have to).  Normally Bowes is the last bastion of wind-chill.  Anything resembling wind, rain, snow or frost hits it incredibly hard even when the rest of the county is reasonably unaffected.  Today it looked and felt like the kind of rural idyll Rupert Brook had in mind.

I did the obvious thing and hauled the whole class out to their amphitheatre.  I have mentioned that Bowes is a very pro-active school and among other things they have a very functional vegetable garden backed by a small amphitheatre.  Overlooking the hedge are a pair of brass giraffes.  I hadn't see them before and they were a bit of a shock.  "Oh - them," a helpful parent kindly enlightened me, "our Tanzanian exchange programme."

Over the mild surprise of two life-size brass giraffes, we went on with the session in which I got them to demonstrate as many appalling things to do on stage as possible.  It was a hilarious session and quite an informative one.  By the end they were putting their hands up and bellowing "She's looking at her feet!", "I can't hear her!", "She turned her back!", "We can hear them offstage!", "They don't know their lines!".  "So do you think you can do better than that?"  "YES!!!".  We'll see.  The nativity will be the acid test of that one, but some of it may sink in.

Our own vegetable and fruit tree order has just gone in.  Two apples (Bramley and Braeburn), a stripey humbug pear tree, some asparagus crowns, many onions, shallots and garlic for seasonal planting, many potatoes (first early, second early and maincrops), parsnips, cabbage, strawberries and probably some other bits I've forgotten.  Look upon the Humbug pear and be amazed.  Love at first sight.

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