AS kids, a Pinch and a Punch for the First of the Month brought great and terrible delight. Little girls shrieking, giddy with release, naughtiness, our innate cruelty acceptable for just this moment, at being allowed to pinch and punch and “NO RETURNS” just this once. Hard. No-one ever does a pinch and a punch softly. And if you get the kick in before she yells No Returns that was followed by us all running screaming away flapping our arms like mad birds. Laughing. Out of control.

You only got to do it twelve times a year. I always forgot, never got in first. Always the bruised arm for me. A step behind. It does not mean I did not want to though, just forgot the date, of course. Humans are a strange study. Little girls even stranger.moon1

The ancient versions  of this game had punched witches and pinches of salt and kicks and rabbits in it. But in New Zealand in the sixties we played the truncated version. No witches there unless you count us girls!

The clouds lowered like a great lid above our heads yesterday, using up the air and turning up the humidity. Keeping out the light. Turning up the heat. No air. No movement. Every now and then the clouds released a few raindrops that floated down like imperceptible miniature balloons. They hung there in the air, these droplets.  Weightless. I walked through them as I worked feeling them burst against my face.


The clouds slowly moving by, drifting from dark to more dark to less dark  again. Gliding above our heads. Seamless. Up a stop then down again.


But no real change all day.


Later in the evening, before bedtime, and without warning, the clouds released a deluge of raindrops. They streamed down from the leaden sky, still no wind or comment just rain. We all stood without breathing the animals and I. Afraid to voice our pleasure in case the clouds were spiteful school girls and turned our much needed rain back off. moon6

We need the rain – the cows particularly, the fields have stopped growing in this dry. We got a few minutes of heavy rain, not a lot but everything was wetted down and I was grateful. Then thunder and lightening in a drying thickening sky and then nothing again. Just clouds sitting low above. Watching our secret smile.


I awoke this morning to fog and 57F.  These cool nights are so lovely for sleeping.

Every day for the next ten there is a chance of rain. So hopefully we get a few more of these showers. Who knows.

I hope you have a lovely day.


WEATHER: Clear for the most part today and warm.

Wednesday 08/01 20% / 0 in
Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 82F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday Night 08/01 10% / 0 in
A clear sky. Low 63F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

5:49 AM 8:08 PM


Waning Gibbous, 81% visible 10:53 PM 10:15 AM



35 Comments on “PINCH AND A PUNCH

  1. I’m rather enjoying the rain for my garden. Having issues with something killing the bell peppers but everything else is good including 3 tomato plants that grew from tomatoes that dropped to the ground last year. Morning miss c…. t

  2. A friend e-mails me Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit every first of the month. Much nicer and no bruise! It is already AUGUST? Where is the year going? Old has set into me this week. The suffocating heat in Texas with less than 1 inch of rain in two months. My grandmother would say “Well this heat makes me OLD” -> I fully understand that comment now.

    “Rabbit rabbit rabbit” is one variant of a superstition found in Britain and North America that states that a person should say or repeat the word “rabbit” or “rabbits”, or “white rabbits”, or some combination of these elements, out loud upon waking on the first day of the month, because doing so will ensure good luck.

    • Oh yes! I still try to say “white rabbits” on the first day (but usually forget). I’m a Brit living in the USA so either white rabbits or Pinch-n’-a-punch has my thoroughly-American kids looking at me like I’m a mad woman 🙂

    • You guys are getting the heat out there – same with the west coast of America and much of the Middle East I am told. The Midwest has missed the heat this year and meteorologists are scrambling to work out why. It bodes ill for the winter here I suspect – maybe I will pop over to Spain!!

      • Amazingly, for a hot country, Spain doesn’t seem to have hosepipe bans every time the sun shines, unlike the UK.

          • Maybe, though there’s a scandal in England regarding water wastage, because privatised water companies have dragged their heals about upgrading Victorian pipes. I think they say 3 bathtubs of water per person (in London) are lost daily due to leaks. In England and Wales, it’s 3.1 billion litres per day.

              • They are slow leaks, on the whole, so it just goes into the earth. However, there have been three spectacular burst water mains in Islington in three years. One flooded lots of little shops and basement flats. Thames Water was told to repay £120 million to customers this year for failure to stop leaks. As a result, water bills have come down slightly, but I’m not aware of any improved performance.

  3. Just love your stories from childhood! I’m still waiting on your memoir, whenever the chapters fall into place and it’s ready to be published! 🙂

  4. I’ve been amazed, too, at the lush green-ness of everything hanging on well past spring… but that’s good; it indicates a healthy amount of rain. I also have no recollection of that 1st of month game… sort of glad that I don’t — heh heh. The kitties are sweet. Your orange striped one brings back strong memories of Simon, a dear friendly fellow from many years ago. Hope you have a lovely day too. ~ Mame 🙂

  5. That “Tail End’ set of photos is perfect timing at its best! Everything seems so peaceful there today compared to the rambunctious couple of days ago during the break out by the four naughties! Have a lovely, productive day, Miss C!

  6. Going back through, the ducklings are learning their manners well! Were mamma and calf already standing so perfectly posed for their photo shoot?

  7. My favourite pics today are the Cheshire Cat tail (in this case, his tail disappears last, not the smile) and the sedate crocodile of ducks, streaming home from school…

  8. A pinch and a kick for being so quick! And no returns! 😀

  9. One of your best. Don’t know what to say, except it punched. The whole thing, memories, weather, pictures. Big punch. Surprise! Life is fun, no matter what.

  10. An email friend from the UK mentioned saying ‘rabbit’ as the first word on the first of a new month which I found strange but kind of charming. The ‘pinch and punch’ is new to me and just seems mean. I guess little kids/girls ARE mean.

  11. We used to say a kiss and a kick for being so quick, to the one who got the first pinch and punch in. I still say it to my kids if they’re around, and always to the cats and dogs, with pats and strokes more than pinches and punches.

  12. Here in Australia we do pinch ‘n a punch too. We have supposedly had the driest winter on record for the whole of the country. Farmers are really doing it tough. So when you are finished with your rain clouds, please send them down under. x

  13. Following Ardys: ‘pinch-and-a-punch’ is well and alive around here too half a continent away from her 🙂 ! Even amongst many adults !!! Add my plea for the rain: we only got 12mm for the whole month and none in sight and the dams are half-way empty. At the same time we had 13 days in July with over 22C temperatures!! Plain wonderful summer weather in Europe . . .

  14. As well as the first of the month here isn Australia, August 1 is also the Horses Birthday and Wattle Day… well when I was a kid it was, I wonder if that’s changed too…

  15. We didn’t have a game like that, unless you count Punch Buggy (when you see a VW beetle and yell “Punch Buggy (colour of the car)” snd punch the closest person to you and run). And we punched hard too. Once I punched my Mom and got a spanking for it.
    Glad you have cooler nights, the heat can be oppressive on the plains.

  16. We didn’t do the pinch/punch, but still indulge in cries of ‘Rabbits!’ That lovely orange cat was obviously making profound observations, like, ‘Why are you daring to approach me, bovine creature? I am not giving audiences today. Goodbye,’

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