At last, today for the first time in ages I have had a chance to sit down and write the blog that has been twiddling around in what passes for my brain.
A pal called up this morning unexpectedly and we decided to do something really adventurous...morning coffee out in the garden. Huh! I hear you say, what's so adventurous about that? Well, since we returned from Kerry in the merry month of July, idyllic treats such as afternoon tea in the garden, or morning coffee for that matter have been just that, idyllic...a dream. Several attempts have been aborted due to downpours that made the Ganges seem sluggish and tiny by comparison.
We sat back, relaxed in the warmth of the sunshine, cooled by the breeze that is constant here on this hilltop, and kept a weather eye on the vicious dark purple cloud that was lurking behind the hill, a benificent Deity decreed that the wind would blow the cloud away from us, and all was heaven. The birds have come out of moulting season, and are beginning to chirrup away, baby robins flitted around us picking up tasty morsels of biscuit crumbs, blue tits warbled from the sycamore tree, and overhead a sparrowhawk lazily cruised the thermals seeking fresh prey.
July has been a horrid month in many ways. I have been crippled with sciatica - as I thought - due to all the rain, and which now, it appears, is a problem with the 3rd and 5th vertebrae, so physiotherapy is the order of the day, and I am dedicatedly doing my exercises. I haven't driven my car since the June Bank Holiday, and am decidedly fractious about the curtailment of my independence!
We have lost our "country" lane up to the garden; the local council decided to tarmac it...everybody oohs! and aaaahs! about it and says isn't it wonderful, no more potholes, but I confess I loved my potholes, my grassy centre margin, the teazle and valerian that grew along the old wall, the Monbretia that was due to burst into flaming flower...I managed to save the teazle and valerian, and have plenty of Monbretia anyway, but we have this sterile black ribbon curving round the bend, and oh! hasn't it opened the door for a plethora of "daytrippers" as I call them.
Once we were flooded with walkers tripping up what they thought was a lane that would lead them to the hill beyond and not into someones garden, now we have SUV'S driving in, loaded with sulky looking children who, when they take their nose out of their wii's throw sweet papers and polystyrene cups out the window, right onto the lawn.
This week end past, being a bank holiday was irritating to say the least. I was on my way up from the shed, about to do a little bit of putting cuttings into a few pots, when a large navy blue SUV rolled in through what will be my restored gate when I get round to it, and Mother [Cath Kidston rose pattern blue skirt that may have been a tablecloth in another life], Father, potbellied, be-jeaned, an open neck grand-dad shirt, and - well I'll call them Tabitha, Maribelle and Jonas [which is near enough] disembarked.
Jonas clearly the more intelligent of the tribe pointed out my Private Property sign, hanging limply on the gate post victim of too much rain. Daddy told him not to be an ----wipe, to shut up because "we are going for a walk up this hill, 'cos your Mother says we are". I think I won unlooked for brownie points with Dad when I pointed out, like the wicked witch in the pantomime that Oh no you are not...actually I pointed out that they were in my front garden, and that it was private. Mother wanted to argue the toss, but lost, Jonas, Daddy and Tab were back inside the SUV before you could say "whatabout". There were six more intrusions before tea time!
I have been promising myself for weeks that, as soon as we got a semi-civilised afternoon I would take myself off to a quiet part of the garden, secluded from wind, trespassers, and low flying magpies, don my reading glasses, comfy old gardening clothes and read, and yesterday I fulfilled that promise to myself. OH had gone to the country to spend the day with his Mother and ED/YD were about their business. I spent six wonderful hours reading...mind you it was Patricia Cornwell's "Scarpetta" [a bit gory for a relaxed afternoon] but I loved it; this afternoon there is a large black swollen looking cloud, the size of a space ship from "V" hovering overhead; a chill wind and huge raindrops. Yesterday may have been the only day this month I get to relax and let the world go hang while outdoors, but if so, it was heavenly! Our resident hedgehog and the four foxes have no complaints about the rain, it brings out all those tasty slugs for them to nibble on.
Around four I brought out a tea tray - favourite china cups and accessories, old reliable rose patterned tea pot and some lovely gluten free brown bread that I had made, on Tuesday in a moment of culinary madness, topped with some rhubarb and ginger spread as I call it, made recently. I look forward to the day when I eventually get to build my dream kitchen, the current arrangement is "galley" sized and 'me and the mixer' get a bit too up-close and personal. Still it was all part of a perfect day...and I'm glad I spent it with me!