Summer Highs and Winter Blues

It’s cherry season. We have several cherry trees, sour cherries. Every day we have been picking and pitting. I am not jam making this year, I found that my jam last year was more skin than fruit. I have been freezing them for crumbles and my husband is experimenting with cherry gin and vodka.

I enjoyed reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee this week. It follows several generations of a Korean family who migrate to Japan in the twentieth century, living through World War Two and facing both terrible hardship and racism from the Japanese. It worked better for the earlier generations but became less engaging for the later ones, I felt. However, I learnt so much that I would happily recommend it.

From March through to October, I am in with love my house and garden. It’s not just seeing everything creeping into bud and flower, it’s the light. This time of year, it scarcely gets dark. There are still vestiges of light at eleven o’clock and the sun is back up before five a.m. Downstairs in the garden room, I live the day glorying in the everchanging skies. Occasionally, I have to work in the garden or the kitchen, well, more than occasionally, but I skip back to the garden room to look at how the sun lights up the pansies, gorgeous faces of blue, yellow, red and white on the deck. I love how the tall white daisies are lit by the evening sun and how the sunset turns the whole of the kitchen into an orange glow. I can’t get enough of it. It’s like a drug. A sunset drug.

The sunsets of winter are lovely too but they are over by five o’clock and the night seems so long. In summer, I may be up at six to watch the birds on the feeder while I do the crossword. In winter, I don’t use the garden room because I worry about using more electricity to heat it. This coming winter will be a nightmare as prices rise to over three thousand pounds to heat and light our homes. I worry so much for the barely managing. At least we have solar panels to offset the cost and a log burner. But this house demands constant feeding with logs or pellets. I do hope we can escape to somewhere warm for part of of the winter, otherwise I am dreading the four months ahead. Reminder to self – renew passports.

Planning permission has gone in for our guest suite. Much later than I had hoped but things seem to have got very held up with the local planning authority and the pre-planning advice we paid for never happened. Now we wait and keep our fingers crossed. I also have in mind that if we super insulate it and make it all electric, we could live in it ourselves in winter and heat a much smaller space.

About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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