So sorry...

 AKA Ivey Hall.
Sunny Smiles Rose

A heart-felt message to all the list-loathers out there. I am so sorry. But I'm simply getting nothing done in the garden. My life is a lovely, bubbling mess. I am urgently in need of a list, just to get me back on track. And so I'm going to write a sneaky one. Sorry about that!

Tuesday 2nd December

It's Advent, and I've filled my Advent Calendar with the names of piano works by Albeniz written on scraps of paper. Each day I pull one (or two) out and play them. Some (like the four Iberia books) will take me a day and a night to play. This is my personal December mission. I am fulfilling a promise made years ago to try and play absolutely everything that Albeniz ever wrote.

But it's vital that all other aspects of my life are orderly and organised as well. For example, my gardening! My sneaky list is a 'Do Each Day and Then Tick Off Things' list, camouflaged in sentences in a paragraph.

Each day I need to designate one garden area, and one room in the house. Then I start sorting these out. A general garden maintenance task, like weeding, or spreading mulch, comes next. Then I put in order one specific thing in my life - for example, I put all my chamber music into folders, I clear out a bookcase, something like this. Then I clean something in the house - for example, I mop the bathroom floor.

 The way is blocked by the Gunnera.
Puppy and Cat on Willow Bridge

My obligations to the animals are clear. I take the dogs and Fluff-Fluff the cat for walks on the properly, and we go (minus the cat) to the dog-park.

 So strange!
White Peony

Web-Site Obligations...

My web-site obligations are important, too. I take lots and lots of photographs and write witty burble about all the lovely things happening in the garden. For example, did you know that one of my white peonies has a streaky purple middle? This has never happened before.

And I don't forget my family. Each evening I must cook a wonderful meal for Non-Gardening-Partner, and occasionally remember to ask him how his flying lessons are going. And my friends - I must go out for coffee with them, and go swimming. I will practice my piano duets, striving to be a supportive Primo to my Secundo (or vice versa). I must try my best to get 'Night on Bald Mountain' up to speed, and also check I am correctly playing all the revolting double sharps and flats in the Brahms. Beautiful harmonies, but who needs seven sharps in the Christmas month? I certainly don't!

And every day I must do one helpful thing. It can be big, or small.

 This photograph was taken six weeks ago.
Flowers in The Allotment Garden


So far, so good. All my music is now organised properly in the book-case. I've had coffee with a friend, after taking our dog pack for a lovely, leisurely forest walk. My 'helpful thing' has been to offer a good home to two needy kittens - I'll probably pick them up on Friday. I've made a good start weeding and mulching the Welcome Garden, and I've been tidying the Allotment Garden. It's a little disheartening seeing the mess so close next-door, though.

My Advent Albeniz pieces for today are Bacarola and Minuet, both rather lightweight. I've read them off my clunky computer screen. However I have asked Father Christmas for a 'flattie' computer, near to proper music size, to rest on the music stand and eliminate the need for printing pages and pages. Hmm...


Right. I've done my last gardening session - trimming the edges around the house gardens. Another disheartening thing - the top-soil I added to my garden turns out to be very weedy. This seems so unfair. And I've lost my new hand-digger, so I haven't been able to plant out the last of the flowering annuals. I have to do this when Winnie the puppy is snoozing. She loves to 'help' by scraping and digging large holes...

Wednesday 3rd December

Ha! So far my camouflage list is working well. And yesterday evening I made a decision. I was busy telling NGP how disheartening next-door's weeds were when I noticed his eyes were totally glazed over. NGP is an expert non-listener, and ultra-cautions about making any comments about next-door's mess, lest he gets lured into building a screening fence. Which I would love. Hmm. Well, this morning I decided I would jolly well weed it myself. I think it's some Old Testament thing - if your neighbour's weeds offend you then weed them yourself, that sort of thing.

This morning so far we've been to the dog park, I've bought a replacement hand digger, and I've done that weeding, with Winnie the puppy and Fluff-Fluff the cat close by. I've even barrowed six loads of mulch over to the Welcome Garden. It's so sensible, really - I mulch it or weed it. Which would I rather spend my time doing?

Much Later...

My day is almost complete. Now I go out to a short piano duetting session (this is terribly exciting, since I have found Handel's The Queen of Sheba, piano duet extraordinaire), followed by my jazz choir's Christmas break-up meal out. I have planted the last of the flowering annuals. I have shifted the hoses. I have dragged pots of forgotten pelargoniums out of the glass-house. I think today has been wonderful. All thanks to my camouflage list. Right. I'm off to mop the bathroom floor...