Derek – Thursday 11th July 2019

It’s hot and dry, with water stocks low. So reminiscent of last year’s drought. We have had so little rain in the past few weeks that I am too aware of what is to come in the coming decades with climate change.

Just before leaving home, I read in the paper about a report from the Crowther Lab, a Swiss research group. The report assumes a 2º rise in temperature above pre-industrial levels. And given this, it predicts London will have a climate like Barcelona’s today by 2050, with temperatures on average 6º warmer.

We know it’s happening but we push it aside. *Mañana.*Let others give up flying and meat, I recycle.

Discuss (with the FG branch of Extinction Rebellion)

We ferry water across the road from Kevin’s flat. He has a hosepipe out of his 2ndfloor window, running down to the gate, to fill our bottles. If there’s a hosepipe ban, this source will be denied us. But deal with that if it happens, and we’ll water our plants while we have water.

The pond is low and green with algae. We have added no water to it and it is 10 inches below its spring level. The water boatmen dart below as I approach. There’s a monkey flower in bloom on the pond ledge.

Nearby are hollyhocks, tall and gangly, like teenagers on a corner. Smoking dope perhaps. We put sticks in and circle them with twine to support them. At the base are two gazanias. They are low growing plants with large daisy-like flowers of such amazing colours and patterns, originally from South Africa.

The wild flower bed is looking rather ragged. That doesn’t bother me as its raggedness is good for wildlife, but I know others who bridle at untidiness. I see lots of wild carrot, a few California poppies, and one or two cornflowers.

One hollyhock by the pergola has flowers that are almost black, with just a hint of purple. It is remarkable, but not so remarkable that I’d put every penny I had into their development, as too many investors did in the 17thcentury tulip craze in Holland. A madness that had less and less to do with the beauty of tulips, but all to do with money, and the fantastic prices that gamblers were willing to pay in order to make a killing in the rising market. And then the bubble burst.

And all they had were bags of worthless tulips.

Nearby the buddleia is as high as I have seen it, twelve feet in places. The shed in the middle, which had a play kitchen inside, is now the story shed. The kitchen has gone, who needs to cook in this weather? Instead, inside the house is a stool and a bookcase with three shelves full of children’s books.

Reading will save us.

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