Friday The Thirteenth Again

Are they coming around any faster? It seems like only yesterday I was warning that we shouldn’t stir too far from our beds. What’s fate got in mind for me this time? But still, I don’t need much of an excuse not to stir my stumps these days. Perhaps it will be my lucky day.Looking back, the last one was in November, when I wrote a little poem. Don’t think I’ll break into song this time. After watching the Invictus Choir last night, I don’t think I can compete.

Warm, warmer, hot!

Joy! For the first time I could actually say that it felt balmy when I collected the newspaper from the mailbox at 8.00am this morning. The TV weatherman pointed to a rare indicator saying 25ºC in the London area today and maybe 26º tomorrow – that’s early to mid 70s Fahrenheit, which is where I like my temperatures, although the early to mid eighties will do me fine. The sky’s a bit hazy today so far but there are signs that the sun may burn through later. Summer is a-truly cummin in! Will it last? The oaks and ashes tell me it will. I believe them.

Summer is a cummin’ in

Well, I’ve even changed into a singlet and short-sleeved shirt today and for me that’s quite an admission that it really is getting warmer. It’s horizon to horizon blue skies out there today – the ash trees are just beginning to show leaf, which is a good month after the oaks.

We’ve got ice in the freezer and Pimms lined up for the weekend!

Oak Before Ash

The old saw tells us it’s going to be a long hot summer … let’s hope the trees (or perhaps I should say Timbers) are better forecasters than the miserable Climate Change doomsters. My (every man’s?) favourite weather girl, Carol, tells us it starts today and gets warmer as the week goes by. I’ve left off the long-johns and given up the vitamin D tablets to welcome that glorious yellow stranger up there in the sky. Somewhere down on the south coast this weekend they’re holding a Green Man festival to mark the beginning of Summer (the Roman’s knew and celebrated it as Flora’s Holiday, 5/6 May). I wish they’d pass on the good news to the BBC, who ignorantly maintain that summer doesn’t start until the solstice on 21 June (or thereabouts) – known to all once upon a time as Midsummer’s Day.

The Spreading Chestnut Tree

Cousin Mandy has continued her research into her (and therefore my) family background on her mother’s side – Stella the cousin I never knew I had and, sadly, never met. She hasn’t quite exhausted the male Timbers line ancestors (the bearers of the name) but she has found some fascinating branches down (or is it up?) the female line. Her best success so far has been on her great great grandmother’s family (my great grandmother) Emma. On her father’s side she was a Dobson, on her mother’s a Bussey, so on Mandy’s tree she features as Emma Bussey Dobson Timbers, although I very much doubt if she ever referred to herself that way – double or triple-barreling only ever applied way up the social scale amongst the aristocracy, who needed to keep family bloodlines well defined, especially down the female line.

Now I find I have a cousin of roughly my own age named Dobson, living in (or near) Brisbane in Queensland, a part of the world I have never managed to visit, despite having a firm friend who hails from there and a godmother who lived out her life there with her daughter after the war, both survivors of Japanese POW camps in Sumatra – the ‘Tengko experience. I have an invitation from Gresham Dobson, said cousin, to visit his home via Google Maps. That I will do. I may even call on the psychic powers of my sci-fi ( or should I say psi-fi) trilogy characters when I go!