Town mouse on the end of summer

Our Ramsgate idyll is, for this summer, all but over. Term starts, we fold our tents (literally) and go back to London, only dimly remembering how to get there. Summer has gone on and on. I say this, recklessly indifferent to whether you think me smug or not, but the Sun, throwing off the last veil of cloud, has blazed in indecent glory over Thanet throughout most of August.

Anthony Curwen, MD of the Quex estate, tells me that they had the earliest harvest for 30 years, in well-nigh perfect conditions. We’re accustomed to Mediterranean evenings, drinking wine and chatting around the dinner table on the terrace long after darkness has descended, the only light being a glimmer from torchères.

The clear nights sent my eldest son star gazing, guided by an ‘app’ on his iPhone, which uses geo-positioning to show what’s out. It was a shock to phone a friend in Herefordshire and find him miserable, water pouring down as if a water main in heaven had burst. At least he’s mentally prepared for winter.

We, by contrast, are having difficulty putting on our shoes, they have become so unfamiliar. How will we cope in the metro-polis? Oh, for the grey mullet and, on high days, sea bass from Ramsgate harbour, barbecued with the wild fennel that grows round Pegwell Bay. I fear I’ve gone native.