So here we are in the month of May, April seems to have flown by so fast that I nearly missed it. I have been busy "collecting" builders; at last, two years down the line the "extension project" has moved up to getting prices. So far two have impressed me, one floored me with his"...it might be better if you knocked the old house down and rebuilt completely..." but I think the Euro signs floating about behind the pupils of his dimly lit eyes alerted me to "Builder In Crisis Needs Cash". He got a short visit, sweet smile and a "be in touch" NOT! I have a few more I want to investigate before I finally decide. One has really impressed me, he has a great reputation, is salvage/period of house/eco friendly and, providing his submission is reasonable may well win the day. Fingers crossed. Meanwhile ED and YD are enjoying life as parental tenants in the old marital home, rent free and utilities to be paid for only. I sense a restlessness in YD and I think she is now ready to move back in with the 'rents as soon as her bedroom is built. Happy days.
Speaking of YD, we had a great night last night. She came to stay for the week-end; so a bottle of Merlot, Chicken Balls, Fillet Beef with Mushroom and Prawn Crackers later we watched "It's Complicated" and then sat and chatted - between drifting out to examine what was on offer when the outside light went on. The Bracken Fox was seriously distressed last night. His behaviour was odd to say the least. He spent over half an hour walking around the cottoneaster bush, spraying, muzzling at it and walking around between two other bushes, marking territory. We later discovered that there was a gang of "gurriers", to use the old Dublinism, up on the hill drinking, shouting and roaring and generally acting in time dishonoured anti-social behaviour. Since the Local Council decided, in its total lack of wisdom, to put in nature trails through the gorse, we are beleagured with youths spending time on the hill with "nefarious intent".
We have cleared more scrub from the garden and this has provided the birdlife with a new supermarket. We have five robins, no less, hanging around this part of the garden and I have termed them The Round Robin Society (!) they are like brown puffballs of feathers with a red daub. Feeding is rich here in this garden with the newly reclaimed land. The lilac and the cherry trees are in full bloom, and the tulips, a disaster last spring, are a joy to behold. Bit by bit OH is putting his stamp on the garden while keeping Mum's area's well tended and I am putting my stamp on the house.
I decided last year that I would put in shelving and a press in each alcove beside the fireplace in the sitting room. OH persuaded me to use a "local man" from his home-place and, reluctantly, I did. Marital harmony and all that don't you know. Well, six months later and they are up, exactly what I designed, and painted brilliant white by OH. They add light to the room and everybody is taken with the Art Deco doors [a pattern I copied off a dvd of Lord Peter Wimsey tales] and I am struggling to come to terms with what Yer Man charged. Let us just say that I had had a generous budget in mind, very generous indeed, and let us just say that Yer Man was even more generous - still, they are bespoke and solely mine...but...€'s later and I still get a cold chill. It has made me very cautious and although one of the builders I am getting a quote from is the son of the man who built this extension - in which I am presently sitting - I will not be racing to throw my money away on sentiment.
I spent our cold and icy winter looking forward to spending lazy afternoons in the Maytime garden, afternoon teas with friends - you have the picture in your mind, and this cold weather is killing off all those lovely daydreams, it's tea in the dining room looking out at the sunshine, and a warm jacket on when gardening. We are delighted with our new veggie garden, all right, his vegetables - my herbs, and growth has been spectacular with the potatoes rocketing up. He has taken to planting potatoes in unexpected and newly cleared areas of the garden, so it will be an interesting summer.
Mme Pounce is coming for her holidays for the June Bank Holiday. I put a barring order in place on her coming here in case she attacked the bird life. With all the changes in the garden in the past two years we took some losses with avian tenants; I am keen to reestablish the numbers of birds and apart from Ginger Tom from over the cliff, they are thriving. He has a penchant for Fresh Blue Tit avec Feathers. Miserable Moggy. He is a great pal of Mme Pounce, and together they make an effective hunting team. I am not keen on giving hostages to felines.