Country mouse on hectic summer days

The first of the corn was cut on the light sandy soil around Heathrow last week, much earlier than normal. The harvest, one of the great cycles of nature, is now about to move into full swing, and the farmers involved will work extraordinary hours over the next few weeks. These days, the combines are giant machines of extreme technical wizardry and use satellite tracking to gauge the yield of different parts of a field. But everything is busy at the moment.

We failed to be at two different schools at the same time for their open days last Saturday, incurring the displeasure of both headmasters. Village fêtes compete with each other on either side of the main road; Wimbledon, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the  Eclipse at Sandown clash on the same day. We’re late for dinner on Sunday after watching Roddick and Federer battle out the longest final in history.

The vegetable garden is groaning and running to seed; eldest son needs food for his camping trip to Newquay (62 Pot Noodles, 82 packets of crisps and a jar of Nutella don’t ask); and all the time, the sun beats down. Our summer is a crescendo of activity, wonderful, but blink and you’ll miss it.