The stormy season seems to be getting longer every year. When we first came to Bulgaria, there’d usually be a stormy few weeks in May – lovely warm days, then these great crashing storms in the evenings. Then, within a couple of years, the storms started creeping into June as well as May, but still mostly occurred in the evenings. This year, we had storms across the end of April, all through May and all through June – and they’d often crop up during the days, not just at night.
We gave up looking at the 10-day weather forecast because it just kept saying the same thing: ‘thunderstorms’ ‘a thunderstorm or two’ ‘chance of thunderstorms’…
I like the storms here. I’ve never seen or heard storms like it. We get everything from impressive, strobe-quick lightning storms, to almighty downpours that turn the village road into a shallow river. Sometimes the thunder booms so loud in the night, I wake up with a little scream, convinced the house is falling down (massive catastrophist that I am). We rarely have to think about watering the garden in May or June. Plants grow fat and burly from the combination of rain and sun. As do the weeds.
But it does tend to get a bit old after, you know, eight weeks of storms.
So we’ve been pleased to see that the first few days of July have been baking hot and calm. Not a snifter of wind. No yellowing of the sky, swiftly followed by rumblings and the inevitable power cut. Not even a brief shower.
To celebrate, I made a cherry pie with sour cherries from the garden, which we ate with vanilla ice cream. All very wholesome and old fashioned, in an endless-summer-holidays, jumpers-for-goalposts kind of way.
Hopefully, this marks the end of the stormy season and the start of summer proper. Being up in the mountains, it never gets silly hot here. We hit 33°C yesterday and the day before, which is manageable while maintaining everyday routines. (I think the hottest we’ve ever had was 37°C a few years ago, and at that point we just stayed indoors and lazed around like cats. You can’t do anything in that sort of heat. How on earth did France cope with 45°C? Did everyone just close the curtains and sit in the bath for the day?)
The garden seems to have coped well with the storms and we’ve not had any major casualties so far. In fact, it’s all looking quite full and chaotic (in what I hope is a charming, romantic way, but perhaps just looks a mess to other people).
In the flower garden…
And over on the veg side…
|Leeks at the front, doing well.|
|New trellis for the butternut squash to climb up. Chillies in the foreground. Kale on the other side.|
|Wonky polytunnel is wonkier than ever this year after our 5.5kg tomcat got ON TOP of it.|
What about you? Have the skies been clear and friendly? Are you already sick of the heat? Is it really only the English who obsess over the weather? Discuss.
Dear Claire, It is always a pleasure to read your wonderful blog! Your gardening pieces are an inspiration. I am still teaching at St George's School in Sofia. At the moment we are on holiday in Greece and the weather is Hot. Prices in Greece are about double what you'd pay in BG. Ouch!
Thank you. Enjoy Greece — we'll be heading there too next month!
You really did speak too soon, didn't you, Claire!
A common trait among the impatient, yes. We had a stinker of a storm within about, oh, six hours of me posting this one!
We baked here in July . Hottest July EVER nearly 40 degrees! Luckily I was working on that day with 2 fans and the blinds drawn ! Lovely to catch up with Aunty B by the way . Love the recipes .
That's too hot for me. What a trooper you are! Thanks for reading.