What a difference a day makes. The Systems Administrator returned from day two of the Clacton Airshow having seen a full flying programme and with eight hundred photos to prove it, one of which, the SA said hopefully, ought to be good. That was one of the things my friend and I pondered as we looked at the Victorian photographs in the Tate exhibition. How different was your approach to taking a photograph when each shot cost you such effort and expense in developing and printing it?
Meanwhile my headache was steadily on the retreat. As somebody who used not to get headaches unless I had drunk too much, in which case it was my own fault, and now does through no fault of my own that I can see other than the shifting hormones of middle age, I never grasped how much of a nuisance they were until I started getting them. They are, I guess, medium grade headaches. I can still function. I don't have to lie down in a darkened room. If I have agreed to do something it would be awkward to cancel I will do it, fortified by three aspirins and regular supplies of carbohydrate to keep my blood sugar level up. But they destroy my concentration, enthusiasm and general desire to do anything except sit down and not have to try and think about anything, let alone move. They are thieves of time and action, headaches.
So it was with great pleasure that I realised when I woke up this morning that this one was on the wane. A two day headache generally needs another day to calm down, and I wouldn't have tried to do any sustained gardening, let alone cut the long grass or the eleagnus hedge which are two tasks near the top of the list, but as it happened I'd arranged to have lunch with a friend, so all I had to do was sit in her kitchen and then under the shade of an umbrella in her garden, only rousing myself to defend our lunchtime ham from her cat while she was still assembling the salad.
I'm looking forward to autumn, though, which I know is deeply ungrateful of me. There is our holiday to look forward to, and all that long grass to be cut and the daffodil lawn planted up with the little mallows and knapweeds that have been baking in their pots on the concrete all summer. I've been eyeing up roll necked sweaters and corduroy coats in rich earth and jewel colours in the newly published autumn catalogues. Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo will be back from their holidays and normal service will resume on the film review programme. In only six days it will be September, one of my absolute favourite months, and by the time we go on holiday we should be able to put aside the hot, dusty interlude that is the British summer for another year.