A Long Hot Summer

While the UK has been baking under an unseasonably hot spell this summer, Soddenham has been experiencing its first ‘drying out’ since 1976! As the name implies, Soddenham was founded upon the sodden earth and surrounding woodlands and has evolved to embrace it’s unusually moist environment and giving birth to the once proud and mighty lichen/spume industries. Normal periods of dry weather have very little effect upon the general sogginess of the area and only in exceptional circumstances will there be any noticeable difference upon the landscape.

This year we have seen dust clouds during cricketball matches on the village green, which ironically is almost entirely brown! We have felt the abrupt hardness of the earth beneath our feet and witnessed hard-baked lichen dropping from the trees. The boating pond has become little more than a hard, cracked earthen pit more akin to the wadis found in the parched deserts of Arabia.

Needless to say, this has put the people of Soddenham in a rare and unfathomable state, and the village lies uneasily quiet. A visitor happening upon us now would find themselves in a place not unlike some 1970’s Hammer Horror film. The lanes and alleys are silent where the cries of children at play should be heard. The few folk who are found out of doors are sullen and suspicious, unwilling to linger in the prevailing dry heat of the day. The birds have stopped singing. Except for the crows. Always the sound of crows.

Don’t come here. I don’t think you’d like it. Pray for rain. Pray.

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