Monday, 26 April 2021

Dry weather. Wildfires. Wild hair.

We’ve had a good week and a bit of fine, dry weather, some days warm enough to shed layers and walk about without a jacket. We’ve had the garden furniture out. Next door have erected a canvas pergola affair to give a little shade. Phil saw a chap walking along the Donkey Line in shorts and no shirt - not a young man either! Perhaps he’s been reading about the benefits of vitamin D and was trying to show as much skin as possible to absorb it from the sun’s rays, or perhaps it was just an example of British sun-related madness.

They have had to fight wildfires on the Mountains on Mourne in Northern Ireland, now successfully extinguished I think. I don’t know much about the geography of that region but I suspect they have the same mind of peat moor areas as we have here. People were advised not to drive up to look at the fires, even though they were in their way almost as spectacular as a volcanic eruption. And we are all somehow, perhaps morbidly, attracted by natural disasters and want to go and look. 

After the sun had gone over hill here I noticed that the sky, which had been clear and blue all afternoon, was filling with clouds or, judging by the colour, maybe smoke. It was hard to tell. I went up to the attic and opened a skylight window. Standing on tiptoe I could see beyond the village to where there was indeed a plume of smoke. I could also make out a patch of brightness that could have been flames or maybe just a well-lit spot. A wildfire on the moors? Or somebody burning garden rubbish?

Later in the evening, on the North West News they said that firefighters were tackling wildfires on Marsden Moor. So that would be what I could see. It’s another peat moor. They burn like crazy and everywhere is dry enough now for a bit of carelessness or an abandoned throw-away barbecue kit to cause major problems. 

In the middle of the night I woke up to go the bathroom, as you do, and realised I could smell smoke. Was it burnt toast? Had Phil been having a midnight snack? Was it smoke from Marsden Moor? Or was the house on fire? So I had to do a quick run round to check we were safe  - we were, of course! - before I could calmly go back to bed. 

That’s a bit of summer madness we can do without. Some places have forest fires. We have wildfires on the peat moors, almost as bad as the forest fires at times. 

Before you know it I’ll be saying we need some rain. That’s an exaggeration, of course. It has been so good to walk the footpaths around here without having to circumvent mud puddles.

I have finally managed to organise an appointment with my hairdresser. With my second dose of the vaccine booked I feel I can brave public transport once more. I still have to wait a couple of weeks before they can fit me in. Now, why have I not sought out a closer hairdresser, which would not involve a bus-ride? You may well ask. It’s one of those woman things. You get a sort of loyalty to your long-term stylist. 

 Zoe Williams, writing about haircuts in her column in the Guardian, understand perfectly:-

“The hairdresser has gone a bit lockdown-fundamentalist; if she suspects you of having had an illegal haircut, she berates you all the way through and then deprioritises your subsequent appointments.

Even if it is months since your offence, she reckons she can always see the ghost of your last haircut and can tell in an instant whether or not she did it – if she didn’t, it follows that you must have broken the rules. She is like a forensic stylist, dispensing vigilante hair justice. Even though I am as safe as houses in this regard, because I look like a train wreck, I am incredibly annoyed by it.”

I sympathise totally. When we have been in Spain for extended periods, I have had my hair-colour fixed in a salon over there but I have always resisted having my hair trimmed or, heaven forfend, restyled! And they quite understood that back in England I have my “peluquera de toda la vida” - literally my “lifetime hairdresser”. She would know if someone had been messing with her style.

So that’s the hair business dealt with. Now ai need to think about the eyebrows!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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