My piano is back...

 With Sonata in G minor by Schumann.
Pescy and the Piano

Just for once, my garden is relegated to second place in my heart. Because my piano is back in my house. It has been reconditioned. It feels amazing. It feels settled, totally connected to me, and finally at peace. Wow. What a transformation.

My piano purrs...

My piano used to be prickly, a bit growly, quite indifferent to my struggling fingers. Now it purrs, like a languid cat, ready to be tickled and patted. Ha! Thirty-five years old and all fixed up. Wonderful. Am so grateful.

Thursday 21st January

Today has been a very bitsy day. I went to my ballet class (first one for the year, great fun), then went to a meeting, then drove for ages to drop some almost-overdue library books back. Got home, walked the dogs, played Bach's Partita in C minor - oh joy! Then zoomed outside to do some planting. It immediately started to rain on me.

 No sure which one...
Fred in the Piano

My dusty house...

My piano (a grand) has to be shut up when not in use, because I have a very dusty house. Oops. And my piano fixing man has told me off. I have to wash my garden-grubby hands and clean my fingernails before playing it. Oops again!

I notice with some embarrassment that I have many photographs of my piano, lid up, with one of the cats sitting or snoozing inside. Oops yet again!

Friday 22nd January

Have already washed my hands, played my beautiful piano (the Bach Partita again), shut my piano (good girl), and done a couple of hours gardening. Have come inside to talk some sense into myself.

OK, this is one of the scruffiest months in my garden, which relies rather heavily on foliage for its good looks. The huge gum trees shed bark and leaves, and these get blown here there and everywhere. Phormiums spread open and flatten. Dead Cordyline leaves fall, weeds grow. The borders look dusty - yes, I have a very dusty garden, as well as house. They're connected, perhaps?

 Please try not to flop over in the wind!
Shasta Daisies

I rake and scoop, piling the mess up on the fence-lines. Two days later more mess has blown down. So there's fleeting joy in the tidy-up. One problem is that I don't know how high a standard to set.

 Phloxes and Leeks gone to seed.
Scruffy Garden

So I've thought, and thought, and all I can think of is clearing the paths and trimming foliage plants (including shrubs and trees) which are close to the path. That's it. Easy.

 Phew! They must be indestructible...
Red Hot Poker

Embrace scruffy...

So far today I've been in the Hen House Gardens. I've widened and cleared a path, split up some Rock Lilies and replanted them, and popped in two Choisya Ternata shrubs. The hose is on. I've trimmed overhanging Pittosporums and picked up gum tree bark. Have pulled out loads of mess, and it does look so much better.

So there wasn't really any need to slump into the house in a garden sulk. I must learn to embrace scruffy.


I embraced scruffy for four more hours, clearing the path behind the cottage. Very proud I was, too, and quite stiff afterwards. Showered, washed hair, and fell asleep on a Youtube train journey in Thailand. As one does...

Saturday 23rd January

Today the big winds are back. I've been swimming, sewed a huge fitted dust cover for my lovely piano, washed my hands and played some Hindemith (OK) and Albeniz (humph), and watched an exciting boat race on TV. It's just been too windy to be outside in the garden. Am now going to return to the piano. I just know my playing of Albeniz (he is a stinker, oops) will sound better.

Finally, a small word from the garden. Guess what - the red hot pokers are almost flowering - finally! I thought I'd done something to put them in a perennial sulk, hee hee...