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Purple rain

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Aston Juxta Mondrum
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Aston Juxta Mondrum

Well Minshullites, since I last wrote we've enjoyed the extremes of a "British Summer" — but don't complain, it could be like Scotland where as Billy Connolly once said "there are 2 seasons, June and winter". At least its not been that cold.

So onto this month's theme, Purple Rain: himself told me he thought of it while I was taking him for a walk this morning. As I've had to explain to you before I don't mean this morning the day you are reading this, but this morning of the day I'm dictating to him. It was raining so hard that I thought about shaking the water off my fur before jumping into the River Weaver and the Canal for my swimming sessions. It was raining almost as hard yesterday causing his shorts — empire protector models — to cling to his legs and chafe such that this morning he put on his waterproof over-trousers, his waterproof coat, his rubber boots and his great big waterproof hat. (Sounds rather like AA Milne's poem about John don't you think?) I on the other hand went out in my black fur suit but at least had the fun of a towelling rub down when I got home and then we played the game of kill the towel. But I digress: we've noticed on our walks recently how many of the wild flowers are purple-ish or pinky/purple at this time of year, so joining this thought with the teeming rain gave himself August's title. Hardly worth waiting for as an explanation was it! I think he thought it might make a (faintly) amusing link to the Prince song Purple Rain, but having heard it just now on YouTube I've asked him to leave the link out — you can always search for it in your own time.

So in exchange, and knowing that several villagers, and including our own visitors last weekend, had been to CarFest North (aka the great mud challenge), here is a link to one of himself's favourites being performed live just over 60 years ago. He (himself) was wondering why Donald Swann often added Russian verses to songs. Now he knows: Swann was born of Russian parents who escaped from the Russian Revolution to England. As an aside, his grandfather had married the daughter of the "horologer to the Tsars". That's an occupation that you wouldn't find in a modern drop-down list!

As well as pinky-purple flowers it's also a good time of year for insect spotting, particularly the hedgerow and grass loving butterflies, so as some sort of comment on the way his brain works, flitting aimlessly I call it, I've asked himself to add some insect pictures to my blog.

So for this month's test he's put together a collage of some of the flowers we've seen recently. As as usual there will be a unique prize for the best botanical response. Answers on a virtual post-card to madaithelabrador@gmail.com.

Madai the Labrador, your rovering reporter
PS: new this month, the Rees-Mogg pedant prize to the reader who spots the greatest number of grammatical gaffe's,
incorrect commas and inappropriate apostrophe's
PPS: s'hould have read Pendant not Pedant. Mea culpissima
PPS: in case you have no idea what himself is on about read this
PPPS: himself thinks he's given you a link to Mud, mud, glorious mud before, but couldn't be bothered to check through all my old blogs. They are here if you want the job