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AUGUST - "Bog Beans, Butterflies, and Silver Filigree / In the Gutter Looking at the Stars"

August was often dusty, sometimes muggy and always wonderfully free. We followed the farm vehicles up the lane, skipped off into the ripening hedgerows and down the grassy banks - sneezing and laughing and daring and scaring each other. Cycling like a mad thing along the quiet Lincolnshire roads between the villages took my breath away. I sometimes packed a snack into my saddlebag but rarely stopped for long enough to eat it. Happiness, exhilaration and joy! Was it really like that? That's how I remember it and that's good enough to see me well into old age - AND to understand the high spirits of the kids who forget there is anyone on our Caithness roads - other than themselves!Towards the end of the month, the misty early mornings grew into steamy hot noons and, by evening, it was sufficiently cool to dress modestly again. The children in England right now continue their summer holidays with little thought for numeracy, literacy and the like. Their teachers would normally be …

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