Back to work on Monday week after two weeks feeling dire; the only consolation was a bright round orb in the sky that, I was told, was - The Sun. Neighbours stood at garden gates looking at it, wondering if it might stay around for long, would it heat up the country and - could we get more than four days of it and have to deem that Our Summer????
Having been on the 'sick list' for the previous two weeks, the house was in dire need of a good shake out, and nothing loathe, I set to on Tuesday morning, determined to hit every nook and cranny. I forgot two things, one being dust and allergies, and just recovering from a chest and sinus infection, and t'other was the fact that this house has more nooks and crannies than the Wicklow house. Add to that chaffeuring OH around because his car, which went in for a routine check up discovered that liked being 'hospitalised' and spent another day in the garage getting a new gear box. At least damage to the gear box cannot now be laid at my door, I have my own jalopy and she's singing like a bird.
The reason for the big clean up? Mother-in-law and Sister in law visit in sight. Mother in law might be in her nineties, early dementia approaching [so we are led to believe] but I do not particularly relish a walking stick being waved at a ceiling corner and a stentorian voice demanding "how long do you intend to keep that spider in permanent housing?" or words to that effect.
I spent Wednesday coughing and spluttering like a mad thing, but had the place spick and span by Wednesday night. OH was threatened with having dire things done to him [i.e., his prize cabbages infested with slugs] if he so much as even looked into the study and I confined him to the sitting room and the World Cup. Rather he than me, I lost interest after Thierry handed Ireland out of the running. As a nation we are not bitter over that, much, but hark, is that the sound of glee I hear coming up the hill from the green fields and lean streets of Ireland now that France's WC chances have died a death. Let us give them a big Thierry...'er I mean a hand up off the pitch.
Friday night saw E.D. and I head off to the Gaiety Theatre in King Street in Dublin, "The Importance of Being Ernest" [Wilde] was on. A wonderful performance that gripped the audience from beginning to end; we got to meet Stockard Channing in the Green Room afterwards. A wonderful performance from this diminutive but powerful actress. E.D will probably come back to earth sometime in the near future, the programme with Ms Channing's autograph has already been put safely in a plastic cover. She brought it up to show her Dad on Sunday, and as sister in law flicked through the pages of the programme I feared for her life [well, her hands] in case she tore a page, or The Page, by accident. No mother ever watched a child as protectively as E.D watched her programme.
We have been basking in sunshine and warm weather since Thursday, it is always a bit colder up here than down in the plains; on Sunday I was delighted to be able to serve the inlaws Sunday lunch out under the Blue Cedar. A gentle breeze kept us cool, the flies away and we had a very relaxed afternoon. Mother in law is, however, concerned that there is an above average number of woodpigeons about the place and they might damage her sons cabbages.
OH and I haven't had an indoors meal since last Thursday, we dine on the patio and life is made easier not to have to traipse the length of the house to the dining room from the kitchen, by next year hopefully a different tale will be told. I have found my builder and as soon as he comes back off his honeymoon we will sit down and discuss "the doings". The three year plan is beginning to come together. At last.
Tonight, after the WC Match was over, OH and I took a gentle ramble around the hill. The lanes are redolent of the smell of woodbine, clover both red and white, purple loosestrife, purple tufted vetch, campion, ladies fingers, and the humming of bees. We stood at a break in the hedge to look out over the golf course and admire the rabbits grazing in the evening sunshine. These are the days when the day will last a bit longer until it starts to slip back bit by bit. We stopped along the way home to chat to neighbours. The weather, as always, the main source of gossip.
As I grew up with a lot of the people we chatted to this evening, and played on the hill on long summer nights with them, our thoughts turned to evenings spent making daisy chains, playing chaineys, hopscotch, rounders over on the commons, and collecting wild flowers for our Mothers, a good way to get out of a scold for being in later than the deadline. To-day is the feast of St Winifrid. Happy feast day to all Winifrids [or Winnefreds or Winnifreds or Winifreds as my elderly cousing used to spell her name].
Yesterday, being the longest day, I sat out in the garden until well past midnight. It was wonderfully tranquil after a very busy day solo in the office. I have re-vamped the back patio, the frost and snow had damaged Mum's plants, we managed to save a pelargonium and I am nursing another one that climbs all over the place. In place of the lost plants I have started filling all available pots with bizzie lizzies, and I came across some beautiful double flowered ones that enhance the whole place by looking like miniature roses.
As I sat there, Check, the latest youthful fox incumbent of the garden [ancestry traceable to her grandmother the Silver] trotted around the side of the house and into the patio. I don't know who was the most surprised. I sat still, spoke quietly to her and she backed off up towards the veg garden. She sat there watching me for twenty minutes, sniffing the air delicately, looking around her. She was quite unfazed by my presence. After a bit I think she realised I wasn't going anywhere so she trotted off around the flower bed down by the patio wall, past the kitchen window to pick up the bread we throw out for the birds in the evening. The poor adult birds have had a busy time of it with the fledglings, so they need a bit of a helping hand. Check and her family are not unwilling to clean up the leavings.
Long may the fine weather reign.