Good morning. Today's plan is simple. Fully clothed (please don't get the wrong idea) I'm going to weed and tidy around the pond and behind the cottage. I will be extremely mobile. I will be capped and gloved, wearing everything except a face net (there are lots of mosquitos about). Wish me luck.
First thing this morning I sat with Speckles the stray and Minimus my cottage cat on the verandah. It started off being so peaceful and positive. Not for long.
I was bitten on the tiniest slither of bare ankle skin by an opportunistic mosquito. Then both Fred cats appeared. I shooed Black Fred away, but Red Fred took up a position up on the pond table, hidden of sight, and kept a sneaky lookout. Just in case Speckles should lose his guard and wander past.
Five hours later...
Have been zooming around at high speed. So, five hours later, I am pleased to report zero mosquito bites, five barrowfuls of mess collected, and the bonfire snap-crackle-popping. Today's rewards are a hair wash, a takeaway meal, a cool lemonade, and clean sheets on the bed. Oh yes!
I've cleared paths behind the cottage and in the Wattle Woods. I've also trimmed low hanging branches off some of the Oak trees (this is not easy). One small thing - I'm not sure where the short red handle of my hand saw is. Hope I haven't burnt it.
Monday 7th March
It's drizzling, so gardening is temporarily on hold. Have been for a swim. Am now going to tackle the Bach Partita with a pencil and put in some fingering. Sort out the problems. Easy as! Also, if it's not too wet, will take some photographs of my beautiful garden as it tiptoes into autumn, a few leaves changing colour, the quality of daylight mellowing.
Tuesday 8th March
First thing today I cleaned up the remaining mess from the woodshed roof, spreading the compost around and trimming the Carexes. I can see the stone edge again! Non-Gardening Partner took the ash off the bonfire, filling the tractor scoop. He found the metal end of a rake and told me off. Then as the tractor puttered off I saw that short red saw handle I'd lost, badly burnt. Oops. Shush. Am not going to tell him. Then more anxious moments as he mowed the lawns - kept hearing loud clunking noises. My immediate thought : I've broken the mower blades by leaving a gardening hand tool in the grass. But not this time - phew!
My new bonfire went well. Three barrowfuls of the last of the woodshed rose trimmings. Three loads of burnable mess from the fence-line, plus one from the Pumphouse. Collected armfuls of dead Cordyline leaves and pieces of gum tree bark. Then NGP collected two more barrowloads for me. Burnt everything. Yeay! Another hair wash as a reward, plus quiet time reading my book while sneak-peeking at the Winter Paralympics.
- Speckles is a mackerel tabby, very likely a tom cat.
Just for the cat record, Speckles the stray now appears on the cottage verandah most mornings for breakfast, as well as his evening meal at dusk. It's time he gave me back something in return. Some cat-love, perhaps? Dare I suggest a cautious smooch? I'm lucky to get away with a wee chin tickle without him running for cover.