Extreme times call for extreme measures and I've found it time to deploy the head-in-the-sand approach. It is summer. It just doesn't feel like it. I like the summery notion of being in the garden bare-foot and picking sun-drenched flowers just as my forebears did, not that far from where I live now in some cases, attired in suitably, sun-drenched, flowery garb.
I am not willing to give in to the rain-soaked alternative reality, as the sum total of this summer's story so...
... my sweet peas are blooming and, although sparkling with rain drops rather than summer sun, they are beautiful. I am going to pick them and enjoy them.
The grass, although soaking wet underfoot, is green and soft ... so it is time to dispense with shoes and go barefoot.
There has been not a lot of time to sew a flowery, country summer dress full of romantic tucks and gathers but there has been time to dream up something smaller and quicker so ... I have made a flowery country apron not for the practical use of my earlier business-like Spring Aprons but for unashamedly ditsy and impractical use.
Let the reader understand: this apron has no serious practical use - if you wear it to whisk a bowl of cream, you will probably end up with cream all over your clothes; if you wear it to replant your cuttings or wash the patio, it will probably do no more than shield you from half the spillages; if you wear it to prepare supper that consists of anything more lively than a serene salad, you will probably wish for something more business-like; but if you wear it to feel in touch with your Victorian forebears and the inhabitants of country cottages and country gardens I guarantee you complete and utter satisfaction!
Not an entirely hypothetical question as I plan to make another couple over the next week or so to give away. Anyone like one? Let me know, if so. (Sweet peas not included, I am afraid, as they are too fragile for posting!) I'll post a little tutorial in case you prefer to make your own apron anyway.
Who said aprons were a functional rather than a decorative accessory!? I don't know and I don't care. Wearing this one makes me feel summery, timeless and a bit floaty. All good in this humdrum world in which "human kind cannot bear very much reality"
I began with TS Eliot and I'll end with him. These lines from the first of his "Four Quartets" might make a suitable elegy for the English summer of 2012.
"And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
and the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
the surface glittered out of heart of light,
and they were behind us reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
what might have been and what has been
point to one end, which is always present."
(TS Eliot: Burnt Norton)