It has been raining like billy oh on and off here for about a week now. In some ways, this is a good thing. I am the owner of allotment (for 'allotment', read 'nettle patch') and earlier in the year I planted a Cox's Orange Pippin apple tree in memory of my Grandad. Now, young apple trees need quite a lot of water, or so I believe, and time is scarce at the moment so a little sky water will do my tree no end of good. The downside to the downpours however is two fold - firstly, it is not just the tree that grows. Everything is growing at a rate that would put most forced rhubarb to shame. I would not be in the least bit surprised if the next time I managed to get down to the allotment I discovered a lost Amazonian tribe living in the undergrowth at the far end of the plot. If I could find a way of monetizing nettles I could probably have paid off my mortgage by now. The whole plot is desperately in need of a good mowing to make it look even passably respectable once more and there's no chance of that in this weather. What makes things worse is that both of my lottie neighbours have exceptionally well maintained plots. I am, without question, the thorn between two roses. If it gets much worse I will have to start gardening at night until it is tidier; I'm not sure how much longer I can bear the walk of shame. Someone recently even asked if they could rent my plot, so abandoned does it currently look. In allotment terms, by my calculations I am about three weeks growth away from being a complete pariah. Ironically, up until about a month ago, it was looking the smartest and most cultivated it has ever been while under my tenancy. Nature is a fickle mistress.
The second downside to the current weather is my four year old. I have come to the conclusion that small boys (or at least mine) share many of the characteristics usually associated with puppies. Certainly if mine does not get exercised on a regular basis he gets bored and starts to destroy the house. Whoever it was that said "there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing" was right and we are not adverse to a good puddle jumping session, but life is certainly easier when it is dry. We took advantage of a dry spell at the end of last week and got out into the garden, where he spent a very happy couple of hours hunting for woodlice under the planters and bringing me presents, like this lavender stem. The simplest gifts from my small people are without doubt the loveliest treasures I have ever been given.
I have also used the enforced house time as an opportunity to sort and deliver some long overdue projects. This little summer hat is finally on it's way out of my craft room, where it has been living for months, and across to the other side of the world. Hopefully its new owner will have better luck with the weather!
The pattern is the 'Flower and bead panama hat' by Shannon Rivet and is available for purchase through Ravelry - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flower-and-bead-panama-hat
Oh, and just in case anyone was wondering, the rain photo at the start of this post was taken earlier in the year - it is my favourite bad weather photo though and the one I always think of when I am dreaming of the sun.