The Beetley Heatwave

As Irving Berlin once wrote, “We’re having a heat wave, Tropical heat wave”. The last couple of weeks have seen temperatures rising in Beetley, and every day has been sunny and hot. Even though it makes it hard to sleep at night, I’m not complaining. For too long, we have had damp and cold, followed by rain and damp. This sight of summer is long overdue, and most welcome. Ollie has been feeling the heat though. His coat may be short, but it is thick, and he is listless and uncomfortable. His only relief is to get into the river, something he does frequently on his walks.

I have had to limit the scope of our usual dog walks for now. The other places we go do not have access to any water, and Ollie would get far too hot. I probably would too. There is shade and breeze available over at Beetley Meadows. Away from the exposed sun on the playing fields, trees offer shade, with picnic benches and seats available to rest on. Sitting quietly, you can see the neon-blue damselflies skimming over the water, brilliant against the green of the reeds and river plants. Large brown dragonflies, as big as small birds, patrol their sections of the bank, like WW2 fighters, swooping and diving. Their turn of speed is amazing to watch, and they can change direction in the blink of an eye. Occasionally, they kiss the surface of the water to snatch prey, or tangle with another of the same type, in what appear to be territorial disputes.

The plants in the small river have grown so extensively, it seems as if they will choke its flow. But the water always finds a way through, and continues to trickle rapidly eastwards. At the bend in the river, where access is easy, the summer has brought out the seasonal visitors. Young mums with toddlers, older children with nets and buckets, catching water-insects and tiny fish. Boys fling large stones in, excited by the splashes; some even appear with inflatable boats, determined to explore past the limits of the bend. Picnics are spread out, wet clothes laid out to dry, and new friends are made. Our dogs are eyed with trepidation. We reassure them that they are here every day, and will not harm, or even approach the noisy children. These fair-weather arrivals seek to claim the place for themselves, at least for the duration of the heat, or the holidays. From September until next July, we will see none of them again.

Ollie seems to be confused by their presence, and the absence of attendant dogs. He is only used to seeing other people with dogs, and finds it strange that they would be there without a canine companion. He takes a dip, has a drink, and comes out again. No doubt he wants to escape the squealing and splashing. We wander on, around to the shady dell where the rabbits live. He has a sniff around, but the heat makes him less than enthusiastic to seek them out and chase them. I sit for a while, enjoying the breeze. It is cooler here than inside the bungalow, so makes a nice change from feeling sticky and overwhelmed. The playground and basketball court are both full of children. They only finished school for the holidays the day before, but they are soon out in the fresh air, which is good to see. Seemingly oblivious to the heat, they charge around with footballs, or run up and down slides and climbing frames.

The TV weather news says that it will soon change. Cooler temperatures and heavy showers may well be here by Sunday. But we have made the most of our own little heatwave, and will look forward to when the next one comes around.

41 thoughts on “The Beetley Heatwave

  1. The boat ramp at the end of Kerr Road has been invaded by the same families with small children who look askance at intruders on their outings. Of course, with the COIVID-19 running rampant, they are here in droves. Funny, they were not here last summer. Since they do not want me to intrude, I have not picked up trash there in well over a month. Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can well imagine. The footpath at Beetley Meadows was blocked by some picnickers today. They informed me that they wanted to sit in the shade, and asked that I not let Ollie walk over their food. I was tempted to throw their stuff into the river and continue walking. Then I thought of my blood pressure.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We were in the UK during a two week heat wave in August 2018. The weather turned just before we left and it was freezing. Colder in the UK than here in SA where it was winter. What is hot, Pete? If it hits 15 degrees Celsius here, South Africans go into shock from the cold.

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    1. Hot here is anything over 27 C. We had 33 C one day, which is considered to be very hot! It is worse in cities like London of course, where the traffic and people seem to increase the feel of heat. I don’t mind it so much if it’s not raining, but when it doesn’t drop below 21 C at night, it can be hard to sleep.
      By contrast, today is only 19 C and breezy, but it is still pleasant.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. It is humid in the UK, Pete, which makes the heat more difficult to bear. 19 degrees for me is cold and I would be wearing a long sleeved Spencer. Our temperatures are between 33 and 38 degrees in the summer. Our heat is also very dry.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had to look up what a Spencer was. 🙂
          Yes, I never felt the same humidity in Africa, I remember. When it was 32 C here the other day, humidity was over 70%, making it feel uncomfortable.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. He was two and a half then, and has surprisingly changed little since. He has slowed down considerably, and doesn’t play as much as he did, but he doesn’t look any different now.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. I don’t remember what the weather was like for us back then. Our summer seems to go in stops
    and starts – two days glorious sunny days followed by two weeks showery weather before we might get another day or two of sunshine. I suppose that’s why everything is so green!

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  4. What. Lovely description Pete. You have enabled me to see it even though I am blind. Wonderful. It sounds idyllic. We have found the heat overpowering here in North Lincolnshire, so not done much. As hubby saidbthe other day, “whatever did we do withoutair conditioning in our cars?” Well, we drove with the windows open! It was still hot though. I wore few clothes in those days! I must admit that I prefer the cooler days, but you can take a good thing too far lol. Don’t want it TOO cold! Enjoy your weekend Pete xx

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    1. Thanks, Lorraine. The air-conditioning broke in my car 3 years ago, and it is too expensive to have it replaced. So I am still a ‘windows open’ driver. I prefer any weather to rain, so don’t complain too much when it’s too hot. But my wife absolutely hates anything much above 20 C. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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      1. I am very much like your wife Pete. For me personally the heat is lethal. I like a nice sunny day. I love the sunshine. But not TOO hot. I really suffer in the real strong heat. So does hubby. So we do what we can. I think we would have avouded the car nowadays on these really hot days. But I should hopefully make you laugh when I tell you that we were once on a camping holiday in Kent, and it was REALLY hot. Travelling home at the end of the holiday, it was just SO hot in the car, and I had a short skurt on with just a bikini top. As we drove along, I took off my bikini top lol. So I guess I was flashing a bit ha ha. I figured that nobody could really see me anyway!

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          1. It was the days before seat belts became compulsory Pete. We were in our mad twenties 😀. Yes, hubby has Type 2 diabetes as well. And of course you know my problems. Don’t get me wrong, I like sunshine but just not TOO hot! Xx

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  5. Reblogged this on beetleypete and commented:

    Six years ago this week, we were in the middle of an unusual spell of very hot weather, much like we have seen over the last few days. I wrote this about it at the time, and it is remarkable how nothing has changed since.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I here it was hot up North as well this last week! Glad to here that some of our Polish sun has made the trip to the distant isle, and f it is travelling all that way then you have rain to come for a few days, then more sun 🙂

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  7. Your post reminds me of the song that goes “I’ll see you in September, when summer is gone….” Enjoy the rest of the summer months. Here in our country we only have two seasons, the rainy season which we are in right now and would probably lasts until the early part of October and summer. Summer here is hot but the lovely months of November to February are the best because we get to experience cold weather then.

    Nostalgic post Pete, I like it 🙂

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  8. Pete,

    When I read your articles I find myself remembering a simpler time, and today’s was no exception. I found myself literally hearing Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe singing it in two separate movies…a wonderful memory. Thank you!

    Phil

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Phil. Walking the dog in rural England, no pressure from the world outside, children playing, and hot weather. This is still that ‘simpler time’. It hasn’t gone away from here yet.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  9. My summers were spent in the woods, carving trails with an ax and a sickle, building bridges across ravines, constructing tree forts, swinging on grapevines over deep muddy ravines, and dealing with poison ivy. Invariably, I missed dinner….

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  10. When I was a child it seemed summer was always like this – hot, sunny days, shorts and tees, playing outdoors all day long only going in for food, cricket, football, tennis, riding bikes, getting sun-burned, scraping knees, cutting toes on the broken glass in the river! And thunderstorms so fierce that the electricity cut out!

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