What’s best – a hot sunny day in Devon or a hot sunny day in London? They are both beautiful in totally different ways. I love London shimmering in a heat-wave, the heat rising up from the pavements, the cafés spilling out on to the streets, the residential roads of Kensington, Battersea, Chelsea – everywhere in fact – with the cherry trees blossoming and scattering their petal confetti. The parks and commons full of sunbathers making the most of an English summer lunchbreak. My little Hollydog loved sunny days on Clapham Common; she loved the picnicking families sitting on the grass and would run very fast from one group to another asking for a sandwich or a chocolate muffin as nicely and politely as possible. Quite often she was allowed to join in and offered a crust of a Marmite sandwich or a biscuit so she could not understand when she was shooed away or shouted at other times by irate parents. The puppy training classes had obviously not worked very well and she was notoriously difficult to catch when there was a sausage roll to be had somewhere! ‘The sun is in the sky, oh why, oh why, would I wanna be anywhere else’, sang Lily Allen (London Town) back in 2006. Rather agree with her.
But sunny days in Devon have their own special magic too. The cow parsley along the hedgerows is at its best, frothing like spilt champagne alongside the wild garlic flowers. The lambs are all growing quite big now, nearly as big as their mothers and are getting rather anxious when they hear whisperings of ‘pass the mint sauce’, or ‘have we run out of RCJ?’. Today we drove up to the top of Exmoor where on a clear day like today you can see all the way across to Wales. With the roof down, sun shining, sea glimmering, it was perfect -what with the gorse flowering and releasing that delicious smell of coconutty sun tan oil in the air. We stopped at a Steam/Vintage farm vehicle Rally on the way back full of working tractors and old cars that mean a lot to fab husband but just look like old cars to me….. And so back home to the garden – now where’s that cold bottle of rosé?