The heat is most definitely on.
At this moment in time, my favourite Winking Weather Girl is still in a job.
(That line has just prompted me to try out that old joke on the kids: What do you call a three-legged donkey? A wonky. What do you call a three-legged donkey with one eye? A winky wonky. Sailed right over their heads, should have saved my breath).
Anyway, yesterday a bedraggled, initially enthusiastic group consisting of my wife, my four children, a family friend and myself decided to head to Dovestones reservoir for a picnic on that most glorious of days. Finding a shaded spot beneath some trees, we unpacked the food to fill complaining, hungry mouths.
As you can see from the photographs above and below, the water level of the reservoir is quite low. Despite last year’s record rainfall, I suspect soon we will be slapped with a hosepipe ban. I must see what Winking Weather Girl has to say about that. What is a guy with a rose bush supposed to do?
After filling bellies with food and liquid-replenishing juice, the children made the precarious trip down to the water. Unlike our recent trips to Blackpool and Southport, my two youngest decided to brave the water and paddle. Perhaps because water without waves appears much safer, and perhaps buoyed more by the encouraging and reassuring presence of their two older sisters, they went in to torment the ducks.
Meanwhile, attempting to take advantage of the absence of these ravenous young wolves, the customary, ubiquitous jackdaws appeared en masse, casting hopeful pale eyes towards abandoned bread crusts. Surely they know that eating crusts makes your feathers curl? Surely they know that I will be posting reports of their conduct to the WordPress world?
Intelligent birds though they are, I think that bottle top may pose a problem.
After a memorable time spent in our selected spot, my two eldest daughters were keen to walk a circuit of the reservoir up in the hills. But us adults were flagging, wilting in the relentless heat of the sledgehammer sun, and decided to retreat to our air conditioned cars and call it a day.
And my two youngest children?
Now that is what, in the parenting business, come rain or sunshine, we call a result.