This is the view from my kitchen window - or, if you like, from the kitchen sink - on a misty, mild morning. Colourful again, with the roses coming out - even though from this distance you can't see that Josephine Bruce seems to have been afflicted with thrips (been crowdsourcing opinions this evening). Perhaps I can redeem the situation before that new red shoot is similarly blighted. And then there's the phlox, which I've never grown before but seems agreeably purple, and the yellow of whatever they are that always come up round the rose bush and which I just leave there ... In the distance you can see two different astilbe plants; the darker one was given to me by the first best pal I had in Dunoon when she divided her own plant. I think the hedgehog perhaps lives behind it, near the steps. And when I look at the path, at the profusion of growth that I've failed yet again to keep in check, I think it's no wonder ticks fall on my head as I try to go down it, and the grass gets worn as we avoid the path altogether to escape them.
And of course the reason it looks like this is the way I choose to run my life. So today we were off on the ferry to Largs, where we spent the whole afternoon rehearsing with our quartet, the St Maura Singers, for our 50th anniversary concert in August. We're singing many of the old Scottish pieces collected by Kenneth Elliott, favourites of ours since the days when we were all young and KE was a friend, and a couple of pieces by John McIntosh, alias Mr PB, one of which was composed for our #1 son's wedding and which I've not sung since that day, 19 years ago next week.
We very rarely get together as a quartet these days, and it was just great to work with musicians who have a professional approach to the music and who share with us a commitment to making the right sound. Sounds basic, but it's never a given.
And after such hard work, a G&T in our overgrown but scented garden seemed just the thing. I'll tidy it another day.