Showing posts from February, 2008

One of those weeks

Sometimes things trip along nicely and everything is tickety boo. Without any great effort on your part life bowls along like a horse drawn carriage on a smooth road. Meals are delicious, trains are on time, long awaited bulbs burst into flower, adult children ring and tell you they are getting married or promoted or just having a great time, the slightly too tight skirt fits again, people come to you at work and tell you that you have done a marvellous job. There isn't any reason for any of this: life is just going through one its phases. And sometimes everything is out of sorts. Your back hurts. Your cat has excema again. The wind blows cold and the garden is in suspended animation. You know you would feel better if you could bring yourself to do something but you can't even remember what there is to do while you are at home, wandering aimlessly from room to room. Yet as you sit on the train which is taking you away, you become aware of a hundred undone things and f

So what excites you?

I've been thinking today about what really excites me (no innuendo please). This was brought on by a combination of two different things to do: a tax related issue for a friend of my sister in law, which I am very happy to help with, and a conversation with Zoe about an area of our field which I would like to turn into a walk. Zoe has very kindly offered to help me with planning a big piece of planting that is way outside the scale of anything I have done in the past. At the moment there are four native trees, very young and very stick like, facing four conifers along the bottom boundary of our field. I would like to make this area a path through more densely planted trees, shrubs and early flowering bulbs and perennials - a little bit of woodland that feels as though it belongs here on the hill. I suspect this is the equivalent of no make up make up - actually more difficult and more time consuming than an obvious full face of slap. I have been thinking about this and re

On being a crock

I have done something to my back. I have never had back trouble and Ian often has. I hope I have been sympathetic and supportive when he has struggled with putting on socks and has had a spine curved like a banana but I suspect I might have combined sympathy with too sharp a sense of how funny it looks. Well I have my comeuppance now. This morning I rolled about on my back like a stranded beetle trying to work out how to get up. I finally achieved an inelegant slide over the side and began the slow hobble to the bathroom. As I approached the full length mirror I saw a bent over crone, an older version of my mother. Now my mother is a good looking and interesting woman and turning into her holds no fears but she is seventy four and this woman looked about eighty. I've straightened up now after four hours or so but it was a bit of shock. I find this quite a lot since I turned fifty. I can still turn out quite well with a decent haircut and some makeup and heels so on a good da

recycling things

I have been tagged by the fabulous irisheyes to talk about what I have recycled. She is the queen so if you want to know what can be done you know where to go. I am not sure I have anything to say that is anything like as unusual or interesting as the things she does. We do however recycle madly at home: we have three bins: one for paper and things to burn (is that green? I don't know. We have fires so we get rid of stuff), one for glass, newspaper, plastic and tins and one for the small amount of rubbish which really does have to go to landfill. Then there is the bucket which takes all the stuff which goes to the compost heap: peelings and teabags, apple cores and onion skins, egg shells and coffee grounds. The recycling is not collected up here on the hill. It is piled in the ramshackle outside utility room, boxes full of glass and paper, bags and bags of burnable rubbish waiting to go to the fire. The compost goes into one of the five compost bays which should be a compost fact

A book meme

Zoe has tagged me for a meme founded on a book. Sadly I think mine is going to be crashingly boring for anyone who isn't a gardening addict. Here are the rules: 1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages). 2. Open the book to page 123. 3. Find the fifth sentence. 4. Post the next three sentences. 5. Tag five people. The book which is closest to hand is Christopher LLoyd's "The Well-tempered Garden". It is one I read and reread, dipping in and out, sometimes just reading a chapter and putting it away again. He is, or I should say was, as he died last year in his late eighties, one of the world's great gardeners. it is astonishing to me that I somehow have not yet made it to Great Dixter, the garden he created, latterly with Fergus Garrett in Sussex. Still it is good to have ambitions. I want to go when it is not full of visitors so that means at one end of the season or the other. He is famed for keeping the borders flowering m

An update on New Year's Resolutions

Well it is February now and time for a check on how the resolutions are going. This year I decided no more resolving to drink less, eat less, exercise more - what's the point? If I haven't done it so far, I am not going to do it as a result of yet another resolution. So I tried to resolve some do-able things (and an impossible one). And how am I doing? 1. I will stop buying new magazines and start rereading the ones I have got. Quite well with this one. I don't know why I am such a sucker for magazines. The glossily consumerist view of life they sell is utter anathema to me. The adverts full of beautiful youth with perfect unlined skin and tanned glowing thighs are never going to make a grown woman feel good about herself. The same articles come round and round again, promising to help you declutter and lose weight in ten days and revitalilse your marriage - all total crap and yet still for years I have read them. I think it started at a time in my life when I was