When's winter?

More days of what I'm calling late autumn spread out before me. The garden is full of beautiful leaf colours in the trees, and more late roses are blooming. OK - so when's winter?

 A rose with a very special meaning.
Golden Tribute

Wednesday 4th May

Aargh! It's raining. Not scooty, whooshy rain which comes and goes, either. This rain has batches of vertical vectors. I'm going for a swim. The arthritic hip objected to yesterday's bendy leaf-scooping efforts, and I refuse to let it get away with that!


Total excitement - Sifter the cat's portrait has arrived in the post, all the way from South Africa. I'm not opening the parcel until Non-Gardening Partner comes home. There'll be a small unveiling ceremony and then I'll frame him and hang him (Sifter I mean) on the wall, just above the TV. Sifter - what a cat!

Sifter's Portrait :
Oooo - I'd so like to peep at Sifter. I've already seen a small and lovely photograph of the painting.

I feel total pleasure at the unfolding day, even if I spend it inside. And fancy getting such a nice surprise in the post - I am very lucky. And I aqua-jogged briskly by myself for an hour and didn't get bored - or sore. And still it's raining, which means the walking group's trip up Mount Vulcan would have been wet and uncomfortable.

My dog loves me because I've thrown him outside with a large meaty bone. My cats love me because they're finishing off some salmon. My cup of coffee tastes wonderful.

 Soon they
Golden Wisteria Leaves

The fantails love me. Or, rather, they love the fact that I don't use nasty chemicals to remove all the spiders, etc. from around my house windows. A flock of them is flitting and chirping excitedly on the house patio, flying in and out of the yellowing Wisteria looking for insects (food). I have silver ones and all-black ones, and unfortunately they are impossible birds to photograph - for me, anyway.

Later - Sifter the Cat Unveiled

In the simplest of ceremonies after our evening meal Non-Gardening Partner and I cut through the layers of wrapping together, and carefully pulled off the tape. And there he was. 'Sifter - you're back!' said NGP, who is cat-sentimental, in the nicest possible way. He loved the portrait (as I do). Off goes the cat to the picture framer's tomorrow. Sifter won't ever fade away from us again - the picture glass will be UV-resistant, hee hee.

Thursday 5th May

Rusty the dog and I are off for a walk. I need to talk with him, anyway, about my mellowing, slackening attitude to the garden. Apart from the brick courtyard (which is nearly finished, by the way) I have no major projects (AKA sillinesses) in mind for this coming winter. Shouldn't I at least be planning to redevelop something? There must be some new landscaping feature I can bug Non-Gardening Partner with - a second pond, maybe? I can't spend the rest of autumn and the beginning of winter reading my Famous Five books on suitable seats and wandering around taking photographs of autumn leaves. Back soon.

 He enjoys going out. He enjoys coming home. Dogs are quite simple, really...
Rusty the Dog, Back From His Walk

One Hour Later...

That didn't really work. Apart from the nearly-finished courtyard I can't think of anything else I want to do. So I'm off outside to clean the last bricks and place them.

Fluff-Fluff :
This is the thoughtful, pensive Fluff-Fluff.

C'mon. Fluff-Fluff, Your Fluffiness, I require some solid cat-company. And who says that cats aren't telepathic? Fluff-Fluff, sensing that I have just mentioned him, has strolled across my keyboard and left behind this important message: 'mjnkkkkkkkm,jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj'.

And now he's waiting at the door for me. He knows! What a cat!

Friday 6th May

I'm back, with more bricks! To explain this excited outburst, this morning I've been out playing chamber music - just Bach, who always sounds so good. On each playing I hear new things in his music. Just Bach? Some musicians would say 'Only Bach', hee hee. I drove the long way home, calling in at son's house to load my little green car with more used bricks. Wouldn't it be groovy if I finished the brick courtyard today? I'm going to try my best.

 Bright pink Flower Carpet roses.
More Late Flowering Roses

But first I'm going to be nice to my dog and take him for a long, slow, snuffly walk down the road. A walk where he can smell things, pee on posts, and generally muck about - as dogs do. A thought - if humans were as easily pleased they might go for walks more...

Two Hours Later...

Blast. I have a design dilemma - the circle is tightening (this does tend to happen in a spiral) and great triangular gaps are starting to pop up between the bricks (I knew that would happen). I didn't get all my latest batch of bricks cleaned, either. Sorry about that. But the more I try the closer I get.

 This Dogwood changes colour very laste in autumn.
Dogwood Leaves

Saturday 7th May

I've think I've solved the brick design problem - I just use half bricks and turn them around ninety degrees. But, alas, it's raining really heavily, so testing the theory (which came to me in a flash in Pond Cottage last night) will be uncomfortable. We could go to pick up more bricks, but Non-Gardening Partner says he will wait in the car. Blast!

Cats and Dogs?

This is real rain. But why do people say it's raining cats and dogs? What on earth do cats and dogs have to do with rain? They are not particularly wet creatures. One could just as well say 'It's raining frogs and toads', thus making a closer connection.

Rusty the dog is being a dreadful nuisance. He doesn't get it - NGP is lolling on the couch reading his new nerd book. It's the daytime, in the weekend, and there are conflicting clothing signals. NGP is wearing his exciting weekend shorts and shirt, not the boring-pants and the boring-shoes of the week. Poor, confused dog.