Sixty-five loud hand-claps!

OK. Ready for a bit of a song? Here goes... Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeee, happy birthday to meeeeeeeeee, happy birthday dear Moosey, Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeee. Hip hip hurray etc. and sixty-five loud hand-claps. So many! Please don't lose count...

 A pretty spring combination.
Happy Birthday to Me

Monday 8th September

I've already celebrated my pre-birthday week in some style, and this week has started brilliantly too. My friend and I have been for a day hike in the foothills. We stopped about half an hour from the top of Snowy Peak as the southerly cold front rolled in. For ages we'd enjoyed brilliant blue sky, with a long line of fat grey-white clouds 'way over there'. Not a problem. What a lovely way to spend my birthday.

Pensioner Selfie :
Sorry about this!

Oops. In a blink of an eye we were enveloped in swirling mist, the temperature dropped, and there was nothing left to see. So we had a birthday lunch and took a pensioner birthday 'selfie'. I'm not so sure that old ladies should do this. Well, perhaps not to be published... Anyway, we retreated, down into the sheltered gorge and plodded back along the bush track to the car.

 Happy birthday!
Me By Washpen Falls

It was a lovely trip with minimal challenges, just an extremely scary (for me) staircase down the cliff to the waterfall. A highly recommended birthday hike for a pair of intrepid and seriously mobile pensioners, hee hee.

Tuesday 9th September

OMGG! In other words, 'Oh My Golly Gosh'. Wow. A-Mazing! Today, earlyish in the morning, I was chatting to the chap who operates the orange scoopy digger machine next-door. And we came to a lovely arrangement. He would pull out all the neighbour's pine tree stumps along the side of my driveway. Right then and there! So I quickly shifted plants out of the way, and he trundled around wreaking controlled havoc. Half my Allotment Garden disappeared as the huge tree roots came out, leaving giant holes. Oh My Golly Gosh.

Up, Up and Away - a Pine Tree Stump

He tipped some scoops of stony dirt close by for me to use as fill. And slowly, gradually, bit by bit, I replaced the soil and rebuilt my garden. First the daylily and the peony clumps, then the irises and little vegetables. I raked out as many stones as I could, and carted in soil to rebuild up the garden beds. It took me all day, and it was really hard work. There's an awful lot of other mess to clear up, but the Allotment Gardens are eighty percent restored.

No Finesse...

I watched the big orange machine nosing piles of dirt sideways to flatten them, like a dog using his nose to cover up a half-buried bone. No finesse, though - just like a dog! Oops. Sorry Rusty.

 Not easy to photograph nothing!
One of the Holes


Aargh! I've just shown Non-Gardening Partner the results of the stump removals. Aargh! Not a pretty sight, but a rough and rugged mess, with large holes on the sloping bit of the Welcome Garden, and some new deodar plantings gone. I'd forgotten to shift these little trees (recently planted). Oops.

Wednesday 10th September

I was up this morning early after night-worrying (in a gardening sense) about the power of a machine. It's quite an eye-opener for me - a one-woman gardener with two arms, a green wheelbarrow, a rake, and shovel - to see what a machine does in five minutes with my land. Oh boy. It's overwhelming, but not in a negative sense, just a huge concept to process and digest. I've already been outside three times to have a look.

+10Yippee for my animals. Minimus the cat was super-smoochy in the cottage this morning (nothing to do with the emptiness of her food bowl). She was trying to give me confidence, I'm sure of it. Then every time I've been to look at the mess the 'very-good' bird has whistled to me : 'Very good! Very good! Very good!' Thank you, dear bird (a thrush, I think).

  My faithful companion, and hole-gazer.
Dear Dog Rusty

Hmm... Today, unfortunately, I am doing a big road trip down south and back. Oh boy, again. But I think I can do this! I think I can make the whole of the fence-line look beautiful. It may take me and my green wheelbarrow until Christmas - no, just joking. Even Rusty the dog seems to understand that something momentous and serious has happened in the garden. He's stood alongside me and patiently peered into all of the holes. 'So run it by me one more time. We are looking at nothing, right?' Hmm...