I learned today (whilst obsessively watching television) that a new series of Celebrity Master Chef is about to start. I do wish they'd learn to put the word "celebrity" in inverted commas for these types of programmes. It would make us all feel a lot better about not recognising any of the contestants!
There was a freak rainstorm at about 5pm, just as I was coming back from the gym. Part of me welcomed the rain. Our car was covered in a sticky mess which had dropped from the trees above the space where we park. The car was so sticky this afternoon that my back windscreen wiper got stuck mid-wipe. The rain will undoubtedly have washed some of the mess away.
What is less exciting about the rain is the water which poured through our sitting room roof as a result. It seems we have the same problem every time there's a downpour after a relatively dry period of weather. It's annoying. Our landlord sends friendly fellas up onto the roof to fix it, they clear the guttering, and then we're back to square one within a few months!
I watched some kind of gardening show presented by Monty Don today, who talked about the summer solstice tomorrow. Tonight is, of course, the shortest night, and at 10am, as I'm writing this, it's still pretty light outside. Anyway, Monty Don made an impassioned plea for everyone watching to go out and enjoy the light, even if it's raining, and I thought how wonderfully right he was, so when Nathan returned from work at 8.30pm, I drove us up onto the Heath so that we could watch the sun setting from Parliament Hill.
Of course, the moment we reached our destination, the heavens opened and North London became engulfed in a curious, yet somewhat romantic, grey mist. Suddenly, through a tiny gap in the dark clouds, we could see the sun. It was quite unlike I'd ever seen the sun before; a fuzzy white disc in the sky... But boy how it developed...
First the tips of the clouds in the Eastern sky turned pink, and then, as the rain started to clear, the sun got brighter and brighter, eventually melting into a glorious fire, with great diagonals of smudgy copper cloud shooting towards the heavens.
A mad Heath woman strode over to us and complimented me on my umbrella, which has an enormous poppy on it. I bought it at Thiepval in April. The mad woman told me I looked like Audrey Hepburn holding it, which I wasn't sure was exactly a compliment. Then she started talking about her Motorola phone, whilst her dog stole a small child's frisbee further down the hill. As the child tried to wrestle the frisbee back, the mad woman started shouting at the child; "no, don't let the dog jump, you mustn't let the dog jump..." Like it was the little girl's responsibility that the dog was out of control!
We walked into a wooded area and noticed how the sunset shone through the leaves of the trees and left bright orange fire pits in the puddles below. The air was musty with the smell of woodsmoke. I felt genuinely happy to be outside, marvelling at nature. So thank you, Monty Don.
One of the puddles...