It’s doing monsoon…
The rain flings itself at the windows, the wind moans, grabbing and rattling the doors.

A fire burns brightly in the sitting room. The kitchen’s full of fragrant aromas. I slow cook tasty, succulent diced shoulder of Whiteface lamb in a port wine sauce with prunes and apricots. Roast the sweetest freshly-pulled baby beetroot and carrots drizzled with olive oil, and scattered with flat-leaved parsley. Chop and gently steam the colourful green, red-veined beetroot leaves and their deep red stalks, which I toss in butter. Bake our second early red potatoes to steaming, fluffy perfection.

We eat and feel wrapped in a warm cosy feeling more akin to autumn evenings than those of mid-summer.

I take a steaming rhubarb pie with rich, golden, butter-crumbly pastry out of the aga and offer it around with a bowl of thick, yellow, crusted clotted cream.
We eat enjoying the sounds of wild weather outside.
‘I’m off to set my moth traps’ states Robert.
‘What?’ we chorus. This seems so out of place. We’ve forgotten for a moment it’s summer.
‘There’s hours of daylight yet’ he says.
Yes, we suppose there is, though days and evening have become a monochrome grey.
‘I’ll set the alarm for five in the morning; I should manage to get to them before the next band of ‘chucking-it-down’ rain arrives.’

It’s doing monsoon…
The dogs look drippy and forlorn by the back door – all three curling up together in the back porch, eyes looking up at me, reproachfully. Wet, pointy, steamy-starey muddy coats…Skye’s summer clip looking strange and inappropriate. Occasionally they venture to a favourite summer spot on the back lawn during a break in the clouds, but return to the porch with a look of weary bafflement as the heavens open yet again. They’re even slightly reluctant to come on walks finding the long, thick, wet matted grass, water and mud heavy going (their owner, in full waterproofs, is finding it pretty draining too!).

This isn’t dreary, depressing, misty-low weather – this is full-on – ‘weather’ weather in all its glory! Yes, I need to do haylage, and yes, my meadows look like paddy fields. But there’s not a thing I can do about it. Strangely, the stock aren’t complaining either; and I’ve found watching them cope and manage with new behaviour totally fascinating. So put on your wellies and waterproofs, go out there and experience, first hand, an English monsoon!skye-in-river-oct-04-wf-reduced-size.jpg