This time last week, I trudged off to a meeting wrapped up in a scarf in the teeth of a brisk north wind, the temperature struggling into double figures. Yesterday it was 26 degrees and I paid the price for not using sunblock as I cycled to West Bromwich and back.
The warm weather has made the asparagus burst into action so we went to the allotment to have our evening meal. We keep a little camping stove stashed in the shed for making cups of tea in the winter and al fresco dining in the summer. I picked a selection of salad leaves from the garden and selected the biggest freshest eggs and we cooked up a storm. The huge pile of asparagus was steamed and a couple of poached eggs sat on top, with a little mustardy dressing. We cracked open a couple of microbrewery beers from Cornwall reserved for such an occasion and toasted the summer and more of it.
It was a beautiful evening, still and warm, a rare thing here in the UK at the best of times, never mind as early as May. We have a “vintage” table and chairs left behind by some short lived tenants and we’ve strategically positioned it under the little apple tree that actually contravenes allotments official tree height policy but so far, no-one has mentioned it. The blossom is all out now and the tree was full of bees. We were also half deafened by bird song, with a particularly impressive performance by a song thrush a few feet above our heads. We sat until it was dark, listening as the birds dropped out one by one, watching a huge orange sun sink down over the city, then wandered back through the lane, scented with wild garlic.