It is the 27th July and I have arrived. I left my father’s house in Chester, where I had been staying for seven days following my permanent removal from London, in full sunshine. I was in shorts and a t-shirt and summer sandals with my hair, usually twisted into a knot on the back of my head, in a perky summer pony tail. A mile out of Llangollen and the clouds began to gather. By the time I had reached Bala it was a uniform grey, and by the time I reached Tal-y-Llyn there was a tiresome drizzle tapping on the windscreen. When I stopped off at the Spar in Tywyn to buy some odds and ends the skies opened and let rip, and I was more than somewhat embarrassed to find myself the only person in the shop dressed for summer. Everyone else was sensibly attired in weather-resistant clothing and I must have looked a ghastly sight, hair plastered to my skull and dripping rainwater from every bare limb. Typically, it stopped raining as soon as I loaded myself and my shopping into the car.
As I drove into Aberdovey, very warily out of respect to the tourist season that usually sees families and dogs throwing themselves under cars on the seafront road, it was just as I expected. The car park wasn’t completely full but it was seriously busy, and there were a lot of people milling around in that particularly British seaside resort combination of shorts and water-proof jackets.
When I reached the house everything was grey, the opposite side of the estuary at Ynys Las only just visible. The lawn, which was a brown scorched prairie where the grass had been burned by the nuclear generator in the sky, was mute testament to the recent high pressure front and the glorious sunshine of previous weeks. I will have to wait for a month or so to see whether or not it recovers before I decide what to do with it. A survey of the garden revealed that brambles and goose grass are beginning to establish themselves, with tall healthy weeds growing out of the paths, but that many of the garden shrubs are either partly or fully dead. The deep-rooted trees, however, are enormous, and need to be seriously truncated. Root systems really do govern what happens in this garden in a hot summer.
The garage is such chaos, both inside and out that it is almost funny, and it is damp. No idea where the water is coming from and that needs to be both investigated and resolved. An awful lot of work to be done there! One of the first tasks is to move junk and move in some of the boxes in my father’s garage – but only the weather-resistant ones! I suspect that there will be a lot of work to get the garage fully water-tight. It has that look about it.
The balcony, or decking, needs some work – flaking paintwork on the balustrade needs sanding down, some small patches of rotted wood need scraping out, painting with rot-killer, hardener and filler, and the whole lot needs to be repainted. The decking itself needs sanding and weather-proofing. On most days the view from the decking is wonderful, a joy, although the growth of the fig and bay trees has impinged on it, and that needs to be sorted out.
Lots of work to be done. Should keep me busy to get it looking good, or at least organized, before winter sets in.