We seem to be alternating between winter and summer weather wise at the moment, no two days the same. It was ever thus, of course, especially when Wimbledon is on (and if you don't believe the weather used to be so bad, check this out from fifty years ago).
Two releases hull up on the horizon. Lashings of Sauce (which has my little were-sloth story in it) is let loose on an unsuspecting world on 23rd July.
And, of course, Lessons for Survivors on July 13th.
Here's another snippet:
“You survived, Professor Coppersmith.” Jonty cuffed his friend’s shoulder. All the solemnity and ceremony was done, Orlando had smiled at least three times and not snorted at anyone, and they could enjoy—really enjoy—some light refreshments. It might not have been champagne and lobster, but tea and finger sandwiches totally fitted the bill. The hall at St. Bride’s had been especially spruced up for the occasion; even the tiniest indications of a lobbed sprout or a flicked blackcurrant had been removed, and all traces of dunderheads with them. Jonty wondered whether they’d had the place fumigated, just in case.
“I did.” Orlando broke into his fourth smile. “Not quite like going over the top, but it had its similarities.”
“Comfier uniform, certainly. I suspect…”
Whatever Jonty suspected was interrupted as Dr. Panesar ran up to them—or as close to running as an academic gown, the solemn occasion and the press of people allowed for.
“Dr. Coppersmith.” He clasped his hands to his mouth. “Professor Coppersmith.” He shook Orlando’s hand, pumping up and down enthusiastically. “I’m so pleased for you.”
Orlando beamed. Maurice Panesar—fellow of St. Bride’s, mechanical engineer and budding astrophysicist, inventor of prototypical time-travelling devices and one of the nicest men you could care to meet—was among the elite group of people Orlando labelled ‘friend.’ He’d never once regretted it.
“Thank you, Dr. Panesar. I got your note—it was much appreciated.”
“I wanted to wish you all the best. I knew I wouldn’t get to talk to you beforehand.” He turned to Jonty, who’d managed to sidle through the throng right at the start and hadn’t budged since from his rightful place—only once deserted in many years and that because of misunderstanding—at Orlando’s side. “He’s done the college proud, hasn’t he?”
Jonty cuffed Panesar’s shoulder, then gave him a big hug. It was probably inappropriately affectionate for the occasion, but clearly Jonty was beyond caring. “He’s a credit to us all. It’ll be your turn next, Dr. P., when they’re filling the engineering professorship.”
“The Chair of Mechanism and Applied Mechanics?” Panesar shook his head. “I’d like to think I had a chance but I doubt my abilities are up to it.”
“Nonsense!” Orlando cuffed Panesar’s other shoulder, the poor man being buffeted about like a punching bag under the weight of affection. “You’ve more brains than all the dons down at Ascension College put together, although that’s not saying a lot.”
Panesar lowered his voice—there were a few Ascension men lurking about and you could never tell if they were going to turn nasty. “Even Nurse Hatfield has more brains than the whole of company of Ascension. Junior and Senior members put together.”
Jonty wanted to say that Nurse Hatfield, doyenne of the St. Bride’s sickbay, had more bosom than all the figureheads in his Majesty’s navy combined, but thought better of it.
Has to be watery, considering the prevailing weather!