Knowing the date tells you exactly what time of year it is, but actually feeling where you are in the rolling seasons is far less definite, governed as it is by instinct and the subconscious. There are way markers of course, stimuli that speak to us of the year’s progress; the sight of snowdrops opening, the sound of the cuckoo’s call and the smell of mouldering windfalls, but it is to the weather that we respond most profoundly. I write this, because at some deep level I am confused. Confused because there simply hasn’t been enough hours of sun to convince my being that summer is here. Yet beneath every hedge I see the husks of green hazelnuts, thrown down by squirrels and the first blackberries already ripening beside the scatted remains and I know that summer is waning. In a few weeks I shall wake to fields wrapped in mist and know that up the lane hop bines are being cut from the wires. By then the Summer will have departed, long before it ever arrived.