Summer starts on the solstice on 21st June 2021. Whatever the weatherman may say about ‘meteorological summer’ (which is just an administrative fiction) you cannot fight the universe. The planet tilts when it tilts. Summer results.
However, after the chilly start of Spring – with April frosts and rainy May – it has been wonderful to feel the warm sunshine. The vines agree. They have shot up, the trellis wires have been lifted to support the as they reach for the sky. You can almost see them growing. As vines have been around for 66 million years they can cope with a little annual weather variation, but the sunlight has spurred them into action.
Which is good news because they had a bit of catching up to do. Soon they will flower. Other people may find those little white spikes in the inflorescences deeply unimpressive., but they make my heart soar. True -They’re not showy blooms, but each one will be a grape, that will be a bunch, that will be a harvest, that will be wine. They are little white spikes of hopeful deliciousness, and I cherish every one.
Next week is English Wine Week, and then Wimbledon, so of course it will rain. Thunderstorms are promised appropriately enough on Thursday (Thor’s day) so I’ll listen for his hammer blows of thunder then. The vines don’t need the water. Unlike some places in the world, there is no need to irrigate vines in the UK, they get more than enough naturally from the sky and the ground. Their roots can burrow to 10 metres if they need to. So I’m hoping the storms will pass through quickly.
Brits are famous for their obsession with the weather. its because we’re at the crossroads of five different air masses which makes the weather less predictable. Stoicism is needed. So as the children’s verse goes:
Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not
Whether the weather be cold, Or whether the weather be hot,
we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.