Monday, 4 February 2013

a taste of summer

This week I'm off gardening duty and it's full steam ahead with renovation.  The builders are in ripping out the ceiling in the back bedroom, while Mr Asparagus Pea and I plod on with stripping the acres of textured wallpaper that are welded to every surface of the high ceilinged Victorian/Edwardian lump of a house that we bought in the summer.

As they prised the cladding off the bay window, the builders came across a great big wasp nest (long vacated by its occupants).  It's so cool - I had to take loads of pictures of it, then take it round to my friend who teaches primary for her Nature Table.

Check this out....

Now I know wasps are a pain in the arse - but you've got to hand it to them!  It's amazing architecture considering it's entirely made from chewed up wood and wasp spit.  The layers have tiny pillars in between them like a little waspy multi-storey car park.

People have all kinds of theories about what constitutes the quintessential sound of British summer.  For some it's the gentle thwack of leather on willow and the (interminable) 'ball by ball' cricket commentary on Radio 4's Test Match Special.  For others it's the pop of a champagne cork followed by a sigh of disappointment as 99% of the British players exit Wimbledon in the first round.  But for me, I know that summer is truly upon us as I hear the traditional family ritual that involves sitting down for a picnic in an orchard, coating your children in sugary drinks - then beating at them with cardigans while screaming 'KEEP STILL, THEY WON'T HURT YOU!', as squadrons of wasps descend to join the party.

Happy days......