The Great Get Together in a heatwave

And so a heatwave descended.

Like long lost relatives, it dropped in, just like that. No advance phone call to tell us it was coming. It just turned up on our doorstep and didn’t even wipe its shoes.

Hanging baskets drooped, beaten senseless by the sun’s rays. Shade was hard to find. But, oh how we welcomed it, running towards it with open arms.

Dogs found the coolest corners to lie in, occasionally looking up to say please don’t take me out in this heat. I can’t stand it.

Farmers made hay while the sun shone. But even the tractors needed a rest.

Elderflower, comfrey and Himalayan balsam in the hedgerows, nodded in dappled sunlight in an occasional, much-needed breeze.

A farming wedding brought the centre of the village to a standstill, the bridegroom, his best man and ushers arriving by decorated tractor.

As the sun went over the yard arm, its reflection hit a window and the glow took on epic, end-of-the-world proportions.

The British Isles tree has put on weight around its middle, but is still missing Wales, the West Country and the tip of Scotland after last summer’s Brexit referendum.  In Eire, Kerry and Cork have drifted off into the Atlantic, looking for a better life overseas. The way things are going, more pieces could fall off at any time.

At a time when this country seems more divided than ever, locals took to the village green for a mass picnic, as part of The Great Get Together, in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

“We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.”

We must cling on to that belief. It’s the best hope we have, come rain or shine.

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