17 June 2008


Mid to late June. Such a lovely time of year in the northern hemisphere - though last year this city I inhabit was struck by biblical style flooding around now. Not so this year. As the days and the weeks pass, it feels as if we are having a proper, sun-kissed summer - interspersed with acceptably short spells of wind and rain.

In Endcliffe Park, the annual travelling fair didn't have to call in tractors to drag their sodden vehicles out of the mud and behind the school where I toil, the earth that the construction team pile into mounds is as dry as coffee granules. Last year, a natural swimming pool complete with muddy brown waterfalls formed over the emerging foundations of our new school.

I love these summer skies, in a period when the darkness over Yorkshire lasts for little more than three hours a night. Every evening the sky is different - sometimes streaked with yellows, mauve, rose-pinks and gold but the sun rises so early I hardly ever see what's happening up there on the beautiful ever-changing natural canvas beneath which we mortals parade upon our ant heap of a planet. But just last weekend I greeted a summer 3.30 am dawn on the old bench at the bottom of our garden - mug of tea in hand and a rosy birdsinging glow from the east. Beautiful.

See the sky beneath which bats weave and flutter and crows flap to their evening roosts. See the never-to-be-repeated patterns of light and colour, shadow and cloud. The gradual dying of the day - over silhouettes of rooftops and sycamores - a promise of something finer, brighter far to the west. Human beings have always looked up there - to the stars, the clouds, the blueness and the grey - the sky - silent and perpetual witness to a billion zillion ridiculously brief lives.


  1. A lovely, poetic post, YP. But it does prove me right on one thing - as I suspected, you never sleep!

  2. Oh God, we're almost into the run-down to winter! Any day now the swifts will be gone and mere moments after that it's Dark November bringing Fog! Thanks, YP!

    Oh, fantastic sky pictures, btw.

  3. Anonymous7:03 pm

    This is why I love Norfolk .... far horizons and big big sky....We were in Dingle in Ireland last week..fantastic in every way but I could'nt live fenced in by mountains...flat land has an appeal to it(to me)that just takes my breath away ..... your photos are lovely....

  4. Lovely post YP. You should of been a English teacher.

  5. Anonymous2:57 am

    Wonderfully poetic post Yorkie. The words definitely fit the pictures that you posted to go along with them.

    Seeing skies like that is part of why I like to head up into the mountains. We can see things gradually darken for miles around, and where the ocean meets the sky in the distance.

  6. Anonymous2:27 pm

    yp, you made me quite envious, winter here wet and cold, great post, you made me long for summer.

  7. JENNYTA - Yes! I'm a vampire sokeep yer neck covered up lass!
    ROB CLACK - So you're the guy whose cup is always half empty! Think positive man!
    DEIRDRE - Actually Sheffield is probably England's hilliest city even if my pics didn't show that.
    KATHERINE I am a human being! But for money I am an English teacher - notice I wrote AN English teacher - not A English teacher. See me in my study!
    RUGRAT Thanks. I was trying to make that post "wonderfully poetic" - trying - however clumsily - to use words like paints from a palette..
    CRAIG Thanks. I can't remember where you are. Must be the southern hemisphere. Let me know mate.

  8. I see you've come back to your first ever blog topic (oh yes, I notice these things) of just about this time three years ago - - and very nicely done, too. Hurrah for summer.

  9. Anonymous2:54 pm

    i am australian, have enjoyed reading your blog for some time now

  10. That ALMOST makes me homesick.


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