Thursday 16 June 2011

The English summer: a cat's view

The English summer is an elusive thing.

Grey skies and chill give way to days, or maybe only moments, of sunshine before reverting unpredictably to downpours of rain.

Suddenly it's September and you're blinking in disbelief: 'that was it? that was really summer?'

There's only one thing you can rely on: around April/May every year without fail there will be confident predictions of a 'bumper, barbecue summer ahead!!' and we'll be bombarded with bright displays of garden paraphernalia, sun-loungers, picnic fare ...

Five years down the line I've come to rather admire this peculiarly British brand of optimism as a kind of triumph of hope over experience.

This was my garden in a sunny window of a couple of hours last weekend.

Even Toby, who's gone through his own complex adjustment to his adoptive homeland (in which the discovery of heated floors has registered prominently on his personal Feline Joy scale) appeared to understand the wisdom of seizing the moment. He ventured forth, in a rare spurt of energy, for a sortie to the Great Outdoors ...

... truly a model for Hills' Science 'Senior Light' cat food! 

Five years of 24/7 heated-floor sprawling ...

(no, he's not a normal cat really)

alternating with armchair-lounging will tend to pile on the pounds around one's middle ...

But oh dear, only moments later this was the view from the window ...

(spot the spider-web glistening with rain on the olive tree ...)

Toby knew there was only one sensible thing to do in the circumstances ...

Hope your weather is better! Me, I'm planning my hols in warmer climes ...


  1. Please thank Toby for a much enjoyed burst of laughter. The evidence would suggest he is an advanced life form with enough sense to know when energy expenditure is warranted.
    California has what we lovingly refer to as June gloom and so I have a great deal of sympathy. There's also some iq envy because in the few hours the sun made an appearance this two weeks past, the lens cap never made it off the camera. I'll settle for a vicarious garden...

  2. That Toby is a charmer. I love the first photo of him in the mosaic. His curves remind me of our articulated "bendy" buses that have to curl their way past double parked cars and wind through the east/west Central Park transverses.

    New York is also still trying to find a summer vibe that will please for more than eight hours. Perhaps the super hot or chilly wet days make us full appreciate the perfection....


  3. You will never be short of a topic for conversation as long as there's the good old British weather! If it is any consolation I was in Der Schweiz last week and the weather conditions were pretty similar. Disappointing I know - but hey, ho, it's only weather!

    Pictures of Toby making himself comfortable made made me laugh out loud (not keen on the abbreviated "lol" version frequently used in blogs and elswehere - but it did apply in this case!). Think my favourite has to be the sprawling around pic.

    Your garden looks great despite the conditions!

  4. lovely pics and your cat is adorable!! have a great weekend!!

  5. Toby thanks you all graciously for the admiring comments. He's never been compared to a bendy-bus before, but finds the analogy intriguing!
    And it's comforting to hear of June gloom in other parts of the world. As the English like to say, Mustn't Grumble :)

  6. lol! Stunning pics of darling Tobes - thank god for that underfloor heating, poor little poppet! hehe For what it's worth, the weather in Cape Town is utterly disgusting at the mo - been a few sunny windows, but for the most part it's kak-koud, windy and rainy!

  7. Your garden - so natural and therefor beautiful! Just as I like it! Nothing pretentious at all.
    And your lavender looks pretty good for 'English climate', and then this wonderful rose...!

    Not to mention Toby! What a lovely cat with great personality. Funny, same age like Oskar, 5 years old?
    The weather??? Well, pure April-weather here in our region and rather cold, but no rain for month, would you believe!
    Lovely post, Karen.


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