On Summer, Writing and Life

The shed aka The summer-house aka This is mine

Yay! Hi there, all you lovely people. Summer in England.

Week-end hot enough for you? If you live in the South of England, then this week-end was a corker. Further north, not so amazing. Even the sun wasn’t that amazing for some of us. The whole summer has been a catalogue of grey skies, pouring rain and flooding, still continuing in parts of the UK.

And now we have had some sun, some really hot sun, none of us are used to it.

People have been moaning about the heat, yes, that’s right, moaning.

They say, it’s been too much. Me? I keep quiet. I have to admit that I’m not a great one for the heat anyway. Cloistered away with my computer, I prefer to be a little chilly, my trusty beige cardie sufficient to keep me at an even temperature. (Regular readers may have come to know the disreputable beige cardie is my garment of choice when the weather is cool. No, I am not a beige person. I am not a cardigan person either. I am a writer. Leave me to my foibles). Yesterday was not the weather for cardigans, beige or otherwise.

Here in Suffolk, the temperature gauge hit 32. That’s degrees Centigrade. That’s 89.6 in Fahrenheit. Yes, I know, a lot of the world lives in temperatures in excess of this for most of the year, but here, my heating has been trying to click in at about 15 degrees for most of the summer and when the temperature doubles virtually overnight, you tend to notice. A lot.

When it’s warm, I take my little laptop and retreat to The summer-house. I add the capital letters because this is how my husband refers to it. Others have more disparaging titles. The Shed being the principal one. In conversation, I call it The summer-house too. In my head, This is Mine. I have filled it with old, but nice furniture (OK, the table has a hole in the top, but it’s under a pretty oilcloth, so you can’t see it. And there is an old teacher’s desk (no, not a new desk belonging to an old teacher, get real). Sloping top, place for inkwell and quill, you know the sort of thing. A cross-backed high stool so I can reach the desk. Some comfy chairs with squishy cushions. Pictures, fans, candles, a pretty rug, muslin curtains to keep out the buzzies and bities, two nighties… What?

Two nighties. That’s right. Doesn’t everyone have nighties in their summer-house/shed? They are Victorian, white and lace-encrusted, and they hang in the window with two functions: they look pretty and they act as extra curtaining. I thought of taking photographs, but I’m a writer, writing is telepathy, read my mind.

But the nighties are not working and nor is the summer house. Because it is too sunny and too hot. My paints were out there in that desk and when I brought them in yesterday, I had to put them in the fridge, they were so hot. If I’d been working out there, I would have been fried to a crisp in ten minutes. Possibly a little less. Still relegated to the cupboard then, from which I really do need to escape if I am not to be gifted with a permanent crick in my neck.

So the warm weather has been driving everyone mad. How long before the moans begin about the rain and the chilly wind?

Ah, the great British Summer.


17 responses to “On Summer, Writing and Life

  1. Yeah, what is it with sheds, in my experience you either roast or freeze and there are about 2.5 days in the year where it is actually bearable, oh yes and mine is full of spiders – big black ones that go straight for the throat 🙂

    • Thanks for the info on the spiders.
      That makes the whole place a great deal more appealing – not!
      I look forward to the 2.5 days.
      Otherwise this is going to be an expensive place to store the garden furniture!

  2. Sounds like paradise to me, spiders or no spiders. Been trying to wangle my own shed from hubby for a few years now … you’ll have to tell me what your secret is, Pat! 😉

    • Theft, plain and simple.
      Was never supposed to be mine. Just seemed to become so. Mostly on account of pretending it is to be an outside dining room and then filling it with pretty, girly things.
      So that’s my advice: subterfuge and theft.

  3. oh!! a writer’s area. How cool. I like my patio or my desk in my bedroom. It’s important for us writers to have retreats.

  4. Great to have a room of your own, even if it is uninhabitable right now. I am still trying to get my head around the beige sweater (I mean cardie) I have an office in our apartment which is mine. It is piled high with books and papers and everyone else is afraid to go near it. That’s where my computer lives and where you will find me most evenings and weekends. (BTW I have an old black hoodie that keeps me cozy)

    Thanks for the award!!

    • For the award, you are very welcome. But do not mock the beige cardie. Very old, very precious.
      (Most people would consider it fit only for the rag bag. But it’s still in quite good condition. Only shrunk a bit and not too many holes…)

  5. I’ve just succeeded in getting my partner to agree to a summer house – previously his reasons ranged from ‘it’ll interfere with the cricket pitch’ to ‘it’ll create too much shade’. Now he’s out of excuses. Hurrah! I guess it’ll always be too hot or too cold in there, but it’ll be mine, all mine… 🙂

    • Well done! And although the temperature is terrible in there right now, I am sure that it will be fine soon. Maybe for breakfast meetings with my computer.
      Good luck with choosing your new summer house.

  6. I know what you mean. I have a large wooden deck in the backyard with a table and chairs and other furniture which I would love to use. But, this year, since around the end of April, It’s been too dang hot. Normally the rain would keep me indoors but we have had very little of that this year. When we do get it we also get a severe thunderstorm with 60 mile and hour winds. I can’t write outside during those either. 🙂

    • Whereas this year we have had rain in bucket-loads. The heat is a recent thing so none of us are used to it. Looks as though we’ve had your rain and you’ve had our sun!

  7. Oh it would be lovely to have such a retreat to shut myself away from the world and write, write, write. I’m envious of your summer house!

  8. Well I’ve joined the crowd of envious writers who want your summer house. The way you describe it, it should be featured in Country Living – Writer’s Garden Retreat

    • sorry, didn’t mean to make you all green!

      You’re right it should be featured in Country Living. It is very beautiful. Unfortunately, the writer-in-residence-can’t reside because it’s still too hot, so at the moment, I envy me my own hide-away!
      But as soon as the weather cools a bit, I shall be in there.
      Maybe I shall post photos for a later blog to show me working in it.

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