Where's the kitten?

 Rusty and Little Mac.
Dog and Kitten

The retired older-woman's Monday is so restful. The dishes are done, Scarlatti tinkles away on the stereo, my dog is slumped in his chair snoring, the cats are lounging, all fed and relaxing - no, wait! I've shut the kitten outside by mistake. Eek! 'Little Mac! Little-Mac-Puss-Mac-Puss!

Sensible little chap - he heard me calling, came to the wrong door, and squeaked his tiny miaow. And now he's purring with joy and happiness. Such an easy kitten to look after (and rather spoilt, some family members would say). I even take the chill off his pet milk...

Monday 30th January

Right. I've got a morning music rehearsal, followed by swimming, followed by sushi, followed by some good gardening with the new kitten for company. Suddenly the retired woman's Monday has become rather busy. Hee hee. I love it.

Koru Courtyard :
The courtyard is built with bricks which fell in the Christchurch earthquake.

It's later, mid-afternoon, and I've done just two hours gentle gardening, weeding and trimming in the Dog-Path Garden. The Koru spiral courtyard is now clear of random little weeds, and the banks of the water race are reasonably free of clover. So tenacious! Little Mac helped me, scooting underneath the wheelbarrow whenever the dog barked at anything flying overhead (plane or bird, it's all the same to him). At one stage a squawking ducklet legged it past us down the lawn - fly, duck, fly! Noisier for me, but safer for you. Rusty, for once, was restrained by my bellowed 'Stay' command.

 Happy on a Ligularia flower.
Bee on a Flower

The Plan Was...

I did plan to plant some of my recycled daffodil bulbs, but Little Mac the kitten was getting a bit tired. And his needs naturally must come before my own. Then I thought of hot coffee and some yummy afternoon tea - yes! Then I remembered I am on the Shape Up For Life Campaign, 2012. Blast. Half an apple later... But really, that's OK. This Shape Up For Lifer will soon be able to refit back into her favourite gardening shorts, ahem...

Tuesday 31st January

I want to have a productive last day of the month. So I'm off to prepare the ground in the Hen House Gardens for some new, stylish shrubby stuff (variety as yet unknown). Daffodils can go along the path edge in haphazard clumps. Right. This is the furthest that Little Mac the kitten will have been from the house. He loves gardening, and is learning that the gardener (me) always returns to the Gardening IPod, or the cricket radio - which are always left going (just occasionally overnight).

Not So Much Later...

Blast! There we were, a squillion miles away from the shelter of the house (Head Gardener, tiny kitten, big Fluff-Fluff the cat and the dog). Suddenly we were surrounded by noisy thunder, dark grey skies and blobby rain starting to fall. I've made a decision, though - I'm pulling out absolutely all the Iris confusa. With the big Pittosporums felled this garden is now quite sunny - it could even take some of my latest batch of recycled roses (all potted up ready to go). Hopefully we can return to the garden later - I've left the bulbs and my tools underneath the Leyland hedge. But not my camera! Phew!

 This photograph is taken from Duck Lawn over the water race.
View of the Back House Gardens

I know - I'll drive down the road to pick up some horse manure bags while this dodgy weather blows over.

Much, Much Later...

I'm ready with seven bags of manure to start on this garden. But just a few roses, I think. Better to shift a couple of recently planted Cream Delight Phormiums and a Choisya Aztec from other parts of the garden. I feel so virtuous recycling my own shrubs, especially when they end up in a better position. Oh - reminder to self - no rhododendrons.