Down By The Canal

It’s getting warmer here, summer finally on its way. Not quite as hot as the European mainland, sweltering in 40 degrees plus, but we are set to top 30 degrees on Saturday, which is quite warm for this little green isle.

I’ve lived in hotter places, but no longer have the benefit of a sea breeze to cool things down. So instead, I like to walk along the canal path, where willows dip over shaded water, and the air always feels a couple of degrees cooler.

Where an open gate leads to an old pub, and a cool drink on green grass. And where my canine companion can cool off her paws before the long walk back home.

Not a bad place to be, on a warm summer’s day.


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Wednesday Wander – Arthur’s Seat, Australia

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Arthur’s Seat is the promontory to the right of the picture. The car ferry in the foreground runs between Sorrento and Queenscliffe, a journey of about forty-five minutes across the Heads, or several hours if you were to drive around the bay.

Urf, it’s another hot night in the UK. Thunderstorms are on their way and I for one cannot wait. There’s nothing like the refreshing change, the ozone in the air, the fury of the elements – at least while I’m indoors ;-). When the weather is humid like this it reminds me of Australia, of several days in a row where the air would lie hot and heavy, the temperature above 30 degrees before 9am. Then the cool change would come, sometimes with thunder, sometimes just a fresh breeze, the temperature dropping literally in minutes.

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Looking back along the bay towards Melbourne. You can just glimpse the towers of Melbourne at the extreme left of the horizon, giving you an idea of the vastness of the bay.

Before we came to the UK (or returned, in my case), we lived on the Mornington Peninsula, just outside Melbourne. It was a beautiful place to live – we were there for seven years, and I just loved it. There are several tall promontories overlooking Port Phillip Bay – Mt Martha, Mt Eliza and Arthur’s Seat, named for the original in Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat is the highest of the three and the views from the top are spectacular.

Looking towards the entrance to the bay.
Looking towards the entrance to the bay.

In the photo above you can see the small towns strung along the curve of the bay – Dromana, Tootgarook, Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento, and the millionaires playground of Portsea. We lived in St Andrews Beach, on the ocean side of the Peninsula, where the land starts to curve towards the head. We were only a few minutes walk from the beach, waves pounding just beyond the dunes – I still miss hearing them at night.

From the top of Arthur’s Seat, the land stretches back in a ridge, the rich soil home to farms and vineyards, lush eucalypt forests and small towns. It is glorious.In fact, I think I’ll be wandering to this part of the world again, both in real life and on this blog. It’s a wonderful place to be.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time 🙂

It’s A Hot One

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Well, it’s not exactly England… but it could be

It’s hot.

It’s wonderfully, sunnily, bees-buzzing-mightily, hot. Get-your-sunglasses, tie-a-hankie-on-your-head, hot.

This is an unusual thing for the UK, in case you’re wondering. It’s an opportunity to be grabbed by both hands and enjoyed, as it may be taken from us without warning, not to return until July, or even August, of next year. There is plenty of joking about it, that this week is all the summer we are going to have, even though certain of the papers, as they do every year, are predicting a six-week ‘heatwave.’  Who knows? This time next week I could be back in my winter coat, as I was three weeks ago. The vagaries of weather on this small green island have made us a nation hopeful and resolute: ‘It’ll clear later,’ ‘blue sky over there,’ ‘mustn’t grumble‘.

So on days like this, when the scent of rose and hawthorn and honeysuckle fill the air, when bare arms and legs are kissed with Riviera-like heat, we enjoy. When it’s warm enough to walk up to school in the morning without a jacket, to sit outside for an evening meal, to keep the blinds closed in an effort to keep the heat out, we revel.

And a few months from now when the nights draw in, cold with frost, we’ll remember. And we’ll hope once more, looking forward to when summer comes again.