I am thoroughly enjoying my holiday, I must admit. I have taken a month off, partly annual leave that was left over from two years ago and had to be squared away, and two weeks of this years leave. The joy of being able to watch Downton Abbey on a Sunday night and not have to retire shortly after is intoxicating. Usually I am in bed by ten thirty on a Sunday night, early Monday start, and this goes against my grain. I'm an night owl and life is good at two a.m.
This morning, after a v-e-r-y late night, we got up at ten a.m., and after a full Irish breakfast, OH and I headed out for the veggie patch. This was started earlier this year, and we have feasted on our own lettuce, onions, beetroot, Kerr's Pink potatoes, Orla's, Cultra's and Roosters. The peas were plentiful and the strawberries few but superb. We will not mention the carrotts. Shush! not a word. Suffice it to say that those teeny weensy orange balls were not, and I repeat not actually berries, they were, allegedly supposed to be full grown carrotts. If I was a rabbit, I would have gone blind.
My little herb plot, on the other hand, was bountiful...that is apart from the lemon thyme that got murdered, well, o.k., smothered by drooping potato leaves [OH and planning not mutually conducive] and I have lavender for the airing press, night scented stock which eventually struggled past all OH's obstacles, thyme, sage [variegated] rosemary and chives. We came to an amicable arrangement today. He will line up his drills the other way this year, we will not have orange pebbles with feathery tops, we will have more rhubarb and I will have a bigger plot for The Herbs! I have also coaxed two extra feet of soil from him, all the better to put in a path to get at the other side of the herb bed. Honestly, I know he thinks I am wonderful, but I have not mastered the art of hovering over the herb bed...yet!
In between all the weeding and pruning and snipping away I trailed in and out hanging out clothes on the line. With the roofers on site lately, they had taken over the socket into which I plug Gertrude, so a backlog soon cropped up.
Gertrude I hear you ask. Well, yes...Gerty is a decrepit washing machine and she belonged to my Mum. Gerty's speed wash is a mere two and a half hours long. Her woolen wash ensures that all wools are throughly boiled, and the lock on the door opens twenty minutes after a wash has finished...if Gerty feels like it. Needless to remark, cometh the new kitchen, cometh the new super speed washing machine.
Lunch was heating up a tin of Baxter's gluten free Cockaleekie, brown bread and huge mugs of Bewleys tea to wash it down. Carmel, an old friend from my youth, called by to leave in some seeds of a flower, the name of which she wishes she could remember; we have decided to term it "Senior Moment" until either [a] she remembers what it is or [b] they grow and we see the evidence for ourselves. "Good Lord, she remarked, "look at your builders having their lunch...my aren't they eating healthy. When Roy and I got our extension done twenty years ago it was 'someone nip down to the chippers' and cans of Fanta, this lot are positively glowing with nutritious good health". I had to laugh, I remember that extension being built, and it was Carmel herself who nipped down to the chipper for the lads at lunchtime. She put up two stone on that build.
All the while birds sang, robins hopped around grabbing juicy worms and leatherjackets, beaks barely big enought to cope with such largess. Sadly the Greenfinches are not with us, wiped out this year by a virus. Overhead the Sparrow Hawk fancied his chances with some racing pigeons and a tortoiseshell butterfly flew into the new build, fluttered around all the rooms and gracefully headed off out the new side door. The sun, a mellow gold sitting lower in the sky, shone on us, the breeze was balmy and all was good.
YD came up from the old house for a visit and to inspect what will be her new bedroom. This is her first time up since the build began; she is enchanted with the shell of what will be her room, and I could see her plotting beds, wardrobes and flooring - the last I saw of her before I had to nip out grocery shopping she was discussing the benefits of wood flooring over carpeting with Peter.
The Latest was collecting her at quarter to seven, so we sat in the garden with cups of tea and chatted until he arrived. It is his first time here and seven text directions finally got him safely to his destination.
The old house is on the market, viewing is slow, it is a buyers market but we are not in any great rush. If it doesn't sell before the new year we shall let it, but I notice an impatience in the girls to have it gone and to get to move up here full time. This pleases me, it tells me that they have enjoyed living without the 'rents, but as ED said to me the other day "I look forward to coming in from work of a winters evening and having a Mum cooked meal". Y-e-r-s-h! Well, that will happen, of course, but Mum has gained her independence too, and a life, so don't forget your cook books my darlings. Here's the number of the local Chinese takeaway, girls, 01-23456789 - just in case.