Everything, all at once...
Today I have to do everything all at once. Parallel time lines, or high quality clones are urgently needed. It's overcast, so I need to plant out the new pots for the patio. The light is brilliant for photographs - quickly, before the sun glares and spoils all the subtle rose colours. I need to finish the pine tree mess clean-up before the fire restrictions kick in. I've also got heaps of morning energy. Aha! The piano! My Beethoven sight-reading! My roses! The journal! I love writing and playing when I'm feeling fresh...
OK, one thing at a time - and easing up on the exclamation marks would help. Nothing is accomplished any faster by shouting, is it? But what I'm wearing is a good sign - rough and tough gardening clothes.
I've had a wonderful day. The tomato and lettuce plants are in patio pots, I ate my very first home-grown strawberry, I planted out more flowering annuals. Love that Cerinthe! It has such unusual colours. And I'm absolutely adoring the Poached Egg flowers, which are covered in self-sown Linaria. Oh so pretty, they make me wish that I'd sometimes wear a frock. Aargh! A frock?
Flowering Annuals - Linaria and Limnanthes
I've continued my functional clean-up of the Hump, raking up the mess and plodding over to the bonfire. However, this needs to be finished, and the Welcome Garden needs pieces of fallen pine tree removed. It pains me slightly that I'm still cleaning up from September's gales. Each time the wind blows, broken branches stuck high in the remaining trees come floating or crashing down, depending on their size. Non-gardening Partner tells me that all the neighbour's remaining pines are being felled next week. One lives in hope...
Shy Minimus Cat
Relaxing after the Beethoven Sonata de Jour (the lightly trivial no 19), a mature starling crashed into the glass sliding doors. Oh dear! It landed on the decking in the cartoon death-position (flat on its back with legs in the air). Young Minimus the cottage cat appeared. Why was this warm lump of feathers so deathly still? Eyes wide with puzzlement she slowly and casually sniffed the bird's beak. So - what exactly are you? Are you edible?
Eek! Time for me to intervene, but just as I opened the door the stunned birdie 'woke up'. Before Minimus could blink it took off across the decking, and whew! flew safely up into the Liquidambar tree, 'escorted' by an acrobatic ginger Percy (who'd been sneakily watching the action).
Thursday 5th December
Great excitement today. I'm off to the printers with the new Moosey Calendars, my Christmas presents for my friends and relations. And I'm taking another teddy bear (oops - I found him lolling around, topless and trouserless, in the upstairs bedroom) to my knitting friend, who will knit him a striped hoodie. That makes eight bears now living in the Moosey house and cottage. But don't worry - I haven't got names for them all yet.
I've been outside to put on the hoses and start my gardening, but it's just too hot. So I've done my piano practice instead. I've pulled out Beethoven's Sonata no.3 as my sight-read of the day. That's for later.
I've done some good glass-house work, potting up cuttings and pricking out seedlings (Petunias and Calendulas). I found three climbing roses which I'd rescued lolling in a bucket of water. Oops - they're in pots now, sitting outside in the sun. Sir Edmund Hillary has been in his pot for three weeks. Thank you sooooooo much for flowering, my good man - why couldn't you do this on your archway? Do climbing roses lose their nerve?
Sally Holmes Roses
It's still hot, and I've given up the garden for the day. The Scherzo in Beethoven's no 3 rather dribbled on (mind you, my watery quavers weren't exactly at full flow).
Friday 6th December
It is very obvious what I should be doing today in the garden. It is carefully itemised in a clear, and concise list, written yesterday. It has five items in all, only one of which has been ticked. When I return home from swimming I will complete this list. Here it is, for the record :
- Finish planting out the flowering annuals.
- Finish clearing the Hump.
- Finish clearing the Welcome Garden.
- Fire up the bonfire.
The flowering annuals that I have planted are absolutely beautiful. I seem to have a lot of fluffy ones this year, and I adore this soft look. Spending a tiny bit of my time producing these flowers is sooooooo rewarding. It's worth every minute and every bag of potting mix.
And secondly, imagine that today's bonfire is the very last I'm allowed to have this summer. I can then relax afterwards, basking in success, knowing that I've done the very best and thorough of clean-ups. Even if it takes squillions of barrowloads, and much determined, weary plodding. Ha!
Oh dear. I've only managed one wheelbarrowful. It's far too hot for bonfires. It's cool inside my house, and the cricket is on the TV. I also have two Beethoven Sonatas (nos 13 and 20) to play today. And some new garden photographs to look at. You can see where this is all heading...
Short spells outside, I think, interspersed with the cricket, Beethoven, and cool drinks. Right. Back outside I go, this time with all my hand tools, to weed the edges of the water race. If I get too hot I'll just sit down in the water.
RIP Nelson Mandela
Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela, you changed the world and touched us all. And taught me about forgiveness. You forgave twenty-six years, when I can have trouble forgiving twenty-six seconds. Hmm...
The Alexandra Rose