Nearly June

The garden is still a delight. Managed to wash all the pots. There are so many that the empty ones won’t fit in the shed, so they’re dotted around the garden, intended to just look nice. And I think they do.

Also spent a happy morning sorting out my part of the shed. It’s not divided up, you understand, into partitions or anything, but I just tend to use the potting bench, which hubby made for me, and it gets into a real old muddle. Anything else is a bit too big for me to manhandle. Hubby’s bike, the lawnmower, hubby’s workbenches, so that needs to be a joint effort. Before I started work on it there was barely room to get inside.

Lots of tea breaks and rests. Lots of spiders, and the odd wasp, which had died, presumably of boredom, but nothing nastier (for instance, dead mice). I threw loads of stuff away, sorted into recycle, the tip (public waste disposal area) and just the bin. Lots of sweeping up. All re-organised and looking absolutely spiffing now. Gleaming, in fact. And it’s stayed that way because I have barely needed to go in for the last week!

You might think that isn’t really gleaming, but compared to how it was before, believe me, it’s amazing. You couldn’t see through the windows for cobwebs and bits of dead insects. Everything’s relative . . . .

Last night, as forecast, there were the most spectacular thunderstorms I think I’ve seen in the UK. It was like pink strobe lightning. Started at 1.30 am, went on till 3.30 am, started again at 6.30 am. Sigh. I quite like thunderstorms, they’re exciting, but really, lying awake all night wasn’t great. So I got up, had breakfast, and went back to bed, where I slept from 9.30 am till 1.30 pm. Much better. More thunder and lightning forecast for tonight. Hey ho. Hopefully it will get the worst over before bedtime. Hopefully.

And so far, despite the heavy rain, the garden hasn’t turned into the usual flattened mush. Possibly because everything is a bit later this year, so instead of lots of poppies, there’s only a couple open. I did have to stake up some aquilegias, but there are loads of those, so one or two smashed ones don’t matter so much.

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The knitting is going well too. I’m making a cabled hooded jacket for the 3 year old, and it’s been a bit of a challenge, shall we say, but an enjoyable one. Done the back and one front, and the sleeves and hood don’t seem to have the difficult part of the pattern on, so that should help. Am going to contact Sirdar, though, whose pattern it is, and suggest they provide charts and/or pattern panels even if only downloadable, so they don’t need to print them out. The instructions for each row are a paragraph long, and look like computer code. If I hadn’t been knitting for about 100 years, I would have given up. What I did was put stitch markers either side of the difficult bit, and mark the corresponding part of the instructions on the pattern itself with highlighter. That itself took some doing. But the feeling of achievement will be all the greater when it’s done. I think. It’s double knitting yarn, although it’s a fairly heavily cabled pattern. I’m using Bergère de France Ecoton in a denim blue. Lovely. I’ll sew it up with West Yorkshire Spinners DK in the same colour though, as the Ecoton is a bit lumpy, which is nice for the texture of the fabric, not so great for sewing up. It’ll look better when it’s sewn up and blocked.

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May. Love it.

Possibly my favourite month of the year, apart from the autumn months. Finally managed to get somebody in to do the gardening. He does my friend’s garden and spent a morning doing mine. Excellent. Lovely guy, wonderful plantsman, knows his stuff, and did a brilliant job. Next day I did the rest, because he had made sure, unknowingly, that it was now something I could actually cope with. No repercussions except a bit achy in the legs and back.

Thank goodness the weather has improved. I don’t mind the rain at all because it greens everything up. It’s just a joy to me how every spring the green is so fresh. And so different for each plant.

Just had a cup of tea sitting in the garden, in my favourite corner. It’s not a very big garden, at all, just right for me in fact, but there is one small very peaceful corner. Lovely. Breezy, sunny, washing drying on the line. Hubby out playing golf.

The robins have been going bonkers in our garden, warning off potential predators like our cat (who couldn’t give a stuff about them) and more worryingly, magpies. I went out the other day and saw a parent robin sitting on the pavement at the very end of our drive, really close, giving it loads.  Then I spotted a small roundish bundle of twigs even nearer to me, actually on the drive. That turned out to be a fledgling. I approached really slowly and gently, making what I think are soothing, don’t-be-frightened noises, but as soon as my shadow fell on to it, it flew away, shitting as it went. So it could fly after all. But only when some enormous creature approached and frightened the shit out of it. Result, I guess. Next day, saw the cat pawing at something in the undergrowth. Yep, another fledgling. Smaller. So I shooed the cat away and into the house (another indication that she’s not that bothered), and eventually parent robin stopped squawking. But how worrying for the robins. Not a peep out of them now, so presumably the fledglings have got their act together. Hopefully. The alternative is too depressing to contemplate. The blackbirds have started now. I love birdsong, but find the warning “chooks” a bit fraught. Not, clearly, as fraught as the actual birds.

Been doing some knitting too. About to start on a hooded cabled jacket for 3 year old grandson.  Made a little toy owl last night for granddaughter, who loves owls. Will do another one I think for youngest grandson. A different colour. And made a triceratops for another grandson who lost his. And a little jacket for the granddaughter.

Haircut yesterday. Lunch with friend (former colleague). Lovely. Also braved Marks & Spencers, which was very busy and too much for me, so when I got home I ordered the stuff online. Spent some of my Hotel Chocolat voucher on delicious dairy-free chocolate. Yeah.

Ultrasound on my feet booked for next week. Eye test booked for Monday. So what with the hairdo and those two appointments, the maintenance and upkeep system seems to be working.

I’m feeling much more positive and better about things now the bulk of the gardening has been done. It’s a joy to just sit and look at it. Need some more herbs (mint and parsley) and possibly some nepeta (cat mint, she loves it). Also need to wash out all the emptied pots with Jeyes fluid (strong disinfectant to kill any latent nasties). Possibly will do that in batches, as it’s an awkward position to maintain, despite having a hose with a fancy head attachment thing.

This morning I’m just sitting about, pottering a little, and enjoying the quiet and the weather. Lovely.