Sunday, July 17, 2022

A Summer's Day -

I'm spending a lazy weekend in the cottage per 'doctor's orders' - and it's
 enjoyable as it's far too hot to be outside today.
I'm playing this classical music which makes me think of England, the 
countryside, the history, MY history!

This is my favorite recorded version - click HERE to play.
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
 has to be one of Britain's best composers.

The focus is of course on the stunning music. Here, in the
magnificent Gloucester Cathedral, the cinematography, editing,
and lighting all come together to add an amazing visual atmosphere.
The way the orchestra is spread through the massive cathedral is
wonderful, can you imagine being there and hearing the music
surrounding you?

Fantasia On a Theme of Thomas Tallis

The BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis at
Gloucester Cathedral, where in 1910, it was played and conducted
for the first time by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The 'magic of a summer's day' doesn't happen too often for me. 
I do not thrive in heat, humidity, blazing sun, glaring swimming pools, and 
hanging out around outdoor grills, slapping at mosquitoes.
Afternoon thunderstorms are often welcome. 

I am a winter person I came from damp, rain, clouds, winds, cool.
I love moorland, gorse and heather, wild ponies, quick showers from
overcast skies, river banks, chilly babbling brooks. 
Afternoon tea in a shady, ancient apple orchard on an August afternoon. 
Raincoats, umbrellas, even rubber boots were good. 
No need for air conditioning, ceiling fans, ice!

Noticed this past very hot week. . . . . . . 
Home builders around the neighborhood spread out under trees or across
 their truck seats eating lunch or taking naps - much-needed breaks from
building oversized million dollar-plus houses.
Near death among the garden pots - canna lilies, caladiums, the few herbs
 I was trying to keep going, all on their last legs.
Birds are few as we are not feeding for a while - they look untidy
with their tired feathers.
The baby bunny is now large, golden in color - its ears so long it 
resembles a hare. . . . .which we don't have here. It nibbles the now
 browned out grass and hides under the fading hydrangea bushes.
A chipmunk comes to the small fountain in front of the porch - do you 
know they will eat almost anything, including your tomatoes.
Figs, small, unripe, hard and green are dropping fast and furious, rolling
 down the driveway - perhaps not a good harvest this year due to weather.

This past week was busy. My car required a new windshield as it was
 cracked by a thrown up stone.  
I had the final part of the root canal completed. The dentist, and his staff,
were stellar in every way. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .and then on Friday I went to the pain
 clinic for another, my second, steroid injection into my worn out spine.
It was unbelievably painful this time and I will admit I screamed!
This is why I'm laying low this weekend in hopes I will get relief 
from the nerve pain down my right leg within 3-5 days.

Sunday afternoon now, 90F but no storms predicted.
The entire week ahead will bring even higher daily temperatures
and little if any rain.  From what you my dear readers share, wherever
you are in the northern hemisphere, you are also having a heatwave.
Stay calm, cool and hydrated and make the most of each day.


  1. I do hope the rest will help your pain Mary. It's too hot to do anything but stay indoors here. My garden doesnt like it.

    1. Nobody enjoys this heat as far as I know! Stay safe dear friend.

  2. I hope your pain gets better. I've had back issues for a while. Nothing major but I've been going to physio, which has helped. But any time I do anything relatively strenuous, it starts to feel sore again.
    I think we will be 'welcoming' another heatwave this week. Summer's seem to get hotter every year. I constantly long for rain and fresh green grass. The only things that thrive here during summer are lizards, geckos and cicadas.

    1. Thanks Loree - take good care of your back, chronic pain is just so debilitating.
      We have geckos and cicadas too!
      Bob mowed the grass early today before the heat became dangerous!

  3. Poor you! Couldn‘t they give you an anti-pain injection before the actual injection? Hopefully, the rest will do you good.

    1. Meike, hope you made it safely to Yorkshire and are having a ball. . . . and that it's not too hot!
      No anti-pain injection but they did have me take a pill to help with anxiety! I think I needed more!

  4. Very hot here too 0 we have been advisded to stay indoors for the next two days.

    1. Definitely stay in and remember your water bottle dear Pat - must stay hydrated in these heatwaves!

  5. Oh, Mary! That sounds horrible. Hope that you have had some relief in the lying low and resting. So you're ready for winter already? Perhaps a nice gentle cooling down will be just right. We are on the high 80s this week, which is as close to a heatwave as I wish to be. You take it easy!

    1. Yes, cooler weather is always welcomed here. This year we hope to get to New England in autumn rather than our usual summer visit (we went to England instead!) - Maine is on the list of course!!!!!!!

  6. Oh Mary, I do hope your nerve pain is relieved by the injection. It's been going on for so long.
    Cooler than normal weather here again, with a bit of rain. I've just about given up on harvesting much from the vegetable garden. Carrots and kale maybe, and some onions, later on. Tomatoes and beans seem to be a washout, and something nibbled all the Swiss Chard down to 1/4 inch. Sigh.
    The heat in much of the world is really intense and I feel for everyone experiencing it. Staying quiet indoors is a good thing to do.

    1. Some relief already but hoping for more after that awfully painful procedure!
      Glad your weather is good and you've at least enjoyed some veggies. The price of fresh produce in the shops is just unbelievable here now - I noticed $7.00 on one of those small plastic boxes of cherry tomatoes yesterday - I passed them by!
      Enjoy your summer days dear Lorrie - they sound perfect.

  7. Vaughan Williams is a favourite here too and Gloucester Cathedral is literally on our doorstep - I know it well, and have attended many musical evenings there. Hope your painful issues are sorted out quickly - pain is very debilitating to cope with - take care Mary.

    1. Thanks Rosemary. Some days walking in Devon were tough going - thank goodness it wasn't hot like it is now!
      I recall you telling me before that you've enjoyed concerts in the cathedral - I'm envious as I know the acoustics must be fabulous.
      Stay cool and be safe.

  8. Beautiful music Mary. I love Vaughn Williams and especially this Fantasia. So peaceful. I am so sorry you are in such pain, and hope you get some relief from rest and soothing music. Your descriptions are wonderful of the charms of cooler weather, and I am with you on this one. I grew up in a cold area, and we are on the cold side of Brisbane where I relish the Winter season. Your current heat wave has even reached our news services. We always find it best to take it easy and stay indoors during extreme hot weather. The golden bunny sounds gorgeous, and the little chipmunk. Your garden is magical. Take care dear Mary. xox

    1. Thanks for the 'get well' thoughts dear Trish. Brisbane was very hot when I visited but I do recall it cooler away from the coast. I would love to come back some day.
      Garden not so 'magical' this week - although we did get some heavy rain last weekend - just so hot again now.
      Hope life is good - thinking of you in your cool season xx

  9. Ugh, Mary, that injection sounds awful. I'm so sorry you're in pain like that. What will happen when you can't have anymore injections?

    We've had a beautiful summer here but starting today, the more intense heat has hit us. I'm just glad for AC. And I won't complain about the heat, as I'd take this weather over our winter days anytime!

    Sending you a gentle hug and hope you are feeling better soon.

    1. . . . . . well there's always surgery, but needless to say that will be a last resort as far as I'm concerned! You can only have so many steroid injections, and they have to be spaced out over several months.
      So happy you are enjoying your summer weather Mel, you really do deserve it after the severe winters in your area. Just remember to slap your sunscreen on!
      Hi to Brian. Hugs - Mary

  10. Dearest Mary,
    Glad your root canal treatment is done for now!
    What a fate with your car...
    Heat never has bothered both of us, we grew up in greenhouses where it went as hot as 120°F so we are fire proof for the remainder of our lives. Hence the name 'hothouses'...
    It is sad that the original composer, Thomas Tallis, is only briefly mentioned as having used a theme of him... That is called plagiarism.
    Both of us never ever have heard any piece, nor read about Vaughan Williams... It is a rather somber piece.
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Interesting thought Mariette but I can find nothing in regard to VW 'plagiarizing' Tallis' 400 yr. old piece that Ralph composed for a full orchestra - he was inspired by the theme, did not copy the original - read below.
      You may enjoy reading this about the amazing history of this music.

      Vaughan Williams is one of Britain's best and most-loved composers - his music transcends the boundaries of countryside and nature (e.g. The Lark Ascending). Personally it takes me back to my childhood/youth when I spent so much time in the countryside/farmland around my Devon home. . . . . . .and also brings thoughts of John Constable's magnificent oil paintings of the English rural countryside. I guess it's all a memoir of home for me - music and art - and a countryside never forgotten.

      Glad you and Pieter are managing in the heat - the people in Europe are really struggling with the dangerous temps. - and usually no a/c - my brother's little village in France is having temps. close to 100F and his potager is definitely suffering. Luckily he has thick stone walls in his 200 year old house - and a lovely swimming pool!!!!

    2. Mary, my word of plagiarism was maybe what too strong... Wrote this in a hurry before departing for Mt Rushmore with Pieter. Still it remains sad that Thomas Tallis is only briefly mentioned. Sure for the 16th century there was little possibility for publicity and so much of his work is being lost...
      Yesterday, in northern Nebraska it was 111°F but VERY windy.
      Indeed, in Europe most homes, restaurants and businesses are NOT equipped with airconditioning and the biggest benefit from using or having airco is that first the high humidity gets removed from the air and then the temperature is being lowered. Most people don't realize this but for our work we constantly had to measure and juggle the right humidity and temperature for mushrooms; they are far more sensitive than humans 😏
      Big hugs from both of us for both of you!

  11. I wish we could send you some of our weather! It keeps flooding in Australia, big, damaging floods!

  12. Obviously not wishing floods on you, just some of our unstoppable rain!


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