A Non-Summer Summer Dog Walk

Summers in England cannot be guaranteed. Ask anyone who lives here.

But this summer has been the worst for a long time, especially in the East of England where I live, which has languished under gloomy cloud cover for what seems like months. Yesterday, It was dark while I was making breakfast, and the sun hadn’t appeared by the time I took Ollie out for his walk, at 1:40pm.

The temperature was only 16C (60F) and it was unusually windy for August too.

Since he had his Vet treatments on Wednesday, Ollie has improved immensely. He was pleased to get out over to Beetley Meadows, and it wasn’t too long before he was running into the river for a refreshing drink. As we walked around the riverside path after, the shoulder high nettles were on the move. Stirred by the wind, they seemed to be reaching out to others across the path, in the hope of stinging me as I passed by.

Like some kind of anchored monster, their tendrils waved in the breeze, almost as if they sensed my arrival. I had to weave in and out of the extended nettle heads, stopping occasionally to bash down some of the most impassable ones with my trusty dog-walking stick.

Oblivious as ever, Ollie trotted on, sniffing and marking. But he had no canine companions yesterday. Local dog-walkers were either away on holiday, or not willing to chance the possibility of rain.

When that rain arrived, it was nothing to speak of. Little more than tangible moisture in the air, followed by a few very determined individual drops that had escaped the heavy clouds overhead. Not even enough to wet my uncovered head.

After less than ninety minutes, Ollie’s enthusiasm waned, and I sensed he was preferring the idea of his dinner, to more walking. So we headed out of the alley at the far end of Beetley Meadows, with Ollie sniffing and marking the spots he had missed earlier.

I was left reflecting that it hadn’t felt much like a late-August dog walk. More like late March.

58 thoughts on “A Non-Summer Summer Dog Walk

  1. The weather has been either pouring rain and cold, or blistering hot. It’s a pendulum this summer. Like you, I agree that constant gray skies are depressing. I’m glad Ollie is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Lovely.. Central heating didn’t agree with me I would get skin rashes and if I got a cold It would go to my chest.. Winter was horrific for me then I would need an inhaler.. I get none of that here.. My health is so much better here.. x

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  2. Crazy how different our weather is Pete, we’ve been inundated with long hot days, no rain at all, just heat and humidity. I’m so ready for winter. Being Swedish I like the cold! So good to hear Ollie and feeling better! Now you can enjoy your holiday, C

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! We are having monsoon, so there are days when roads look like rivers, and yet, days when the sun is so hot that you wonder if you prefer torrential rains. In fact, the humidity makes the heat oppressive. I am waiting for winters to begin.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m pleased to hear that Ollie responded so well to his treatments. If he weren’t doing well, that would have made for a miserable holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad Ollie is improving. Those nettles weaving about trying to get you sounded quite terrifying! We’ve had a few days of lovely weather but today the gloom seems to have come back. It’s dark already tonight and it’s only 8,30pm

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    1. The nettles did seem to be sentient, Mary. They were changing direction to get me! (Or maybe it was the wind… 🙂 )
      The west of the country has had the better weather for a change, so I am glad for you.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We’ve supposedly had 2.84 inches of rain here in Las Vegas so far this year. But some parts of the valley are more likely to get rain than others. I’d say it’s been dry as a bone in my neighborhood, but that would underestimate the moisture in a bone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maggie. We have had so long with chilly dull days and cloudy skies. I don’t want excessive heat, just some blue skies and no need to wear extra layers. Too late for this year now, I suspect.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. All sorts of things can be made from nettles, apparently. But it’s a ‘craft thing’ that not many seem to know about. We have so many here, they could make a thousand gallons of soup and still not notice any difference. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


  7. We actually had a lovely sunny day here yesterday, after the early cloud had shifted, but it’s back to gloomy cloud & breezy today, I’m afraid; it didn’t stop us walking into town for a couple of hours, then back home via the clifftop, though, so I’ll be ready for a siesta in a little while 😉 Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Strange weather here, we’ve been in grey gloom for ages, and today is no different, but yesterday Phil’s sister and hubby had a big party to celebrate their 50’th anniversary and the sun shone all day! Brian said he felt he had a guardian angel 😊.

    Liked by 2 people

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