It's raining, it's pouring, the old man's snoring - well actually he's not, that was last night, along with the old woman: right now he's in the sitting room trying to stop the fire smoking -difficult when there's a south-westerly gale - and trying to watch Time Team - also difficult when it's raining because the signal breaks up. There are guests coming tomorrow wouldn't you know, two parents and two children supposed to be inhabiting the fabulous guest room upstairs (fourposter bed, bathroom with palm tree, annex with bunk beds and windows with fantastic views - when it isn't raining.) Granny has been moving all her stuff downstairs all week, to accommodate them and now has had to move it all back up again, because there are huge winds forecast for tomorrow and that makes the upstairs room rattle and shake and liable to frighten any horse let alone human young; still worse the skylight leaks. So guests will be put downstairs in plainer but more reliable rooms instead, at least for the first night. (But isn't beauty always more difficult to trust? Or is that just Granny sour grapes?)
Meantime email from them bewailing British weather forecast. Maybe they won't get here anyway. Oh dear oh dear. Of course this predictable enough for the British climate. What is less predictable is the way the Canaries, so-called provider of summer in winter for suffering northerners, has this year been so afflicted, putting off tourists in droves, as if the recession, the dire state of the pound wasn't quite enough to be going on with. The pathetic fallacy has gone too far: skies stop weeping for us, please, please, please. So say all of us and that includes the local Canarian press.
But oh aren't the flowers lovely, and didn't Granny have two lovely days last week, sun little wind hammock and a drink on the patio at lunchtime. So it can work, this summer in winter. BUT NOT ENOUGH. Certainly not enough for the tourists shuffling round disconsolately the rest of the time as if this was Scarborough in a wet August.
Let's hope Granny's chocolate cake and the locally grown in season strawberries will recompense the travellers somewhat. If they get here that is.