A distinctly autumnal feel
This is the bottom garden at about 6 this evening. I have sorted out the red house for sister-in-law and one niece, which didn't take long and is a very good way to switch gears from one lot of visitors to the next. Then I spent an hour dead-heading and so on, in an attempt to remove the overwhelming feeling of autumn, which is not acceptable... yet! The bushes have been ravaged and all withered debris removed, the dead stuff is now able to give way to new growth - and there is some of that!
There was drama this morning as Alex went out for a run before leaving, aiming to do 10 kilometres. We had talked about the loop and where to go, but he was unsure and returned to ask his parents, checked on his phone, etc. And didn't come back... after an hour he sent a short message that he was a bit lost-ish, and then his phone died the death! So Dad set out to look for Son and returned empty handed, whilst Mum worried in my kitchen and I started some scones as soul food is always good in a crisis. (plus I need them for tonight's guests who arrive just before midnight but will want a little something I should think) It was, of course, raining all the time...
Keith went out with Dad and drove the 10 kilometre loop, then down to the main road, and then out to this and that place that Son might have run to... they finally found him almost back here in the village. "All the damn hills look the same!" He'd done 25 kilometres and been out for two and a half hours. He ate a fair few scones with jam! As did the parents! Talk about wound up people. I was sure he'd be found as there aren't that many places to go if you stick to dirt roads a car can drive on, which was the plan. Their car was really filthy after driving on every single one!!
When I worked with military language courses we used to talk through "Lessons learned" at the end of activities, regardless of the outcome, just a way to reflect and "suck the goodness out of the toffee" as they sort of say in Sweden. I suggested we do that now, Alex said he'd learned nothing (slightly resistant). So I gave him a few nudges - check your phone battery, plan your strategy, run out then turn and run back, have a map, don't listen to people who say a circular route is more fun! Being unrelated to the lad I can get away with this sort of thing, I hope!!! But lessons learned is deadly serious, and a very good way to pick over the bones of an experience and not get into the same sort of pickle again - there will always be nice new pickles lying in wait whatever we do to prepare. (Can you tell I did many years as senior health and safety officer at the uni? I know, it really does show. I was playing to my strengths the whole time.)
They left a whole lot later than planned, after chilled Alex had showered and eaten breakfast (!) - 25 K on one banana, he is thin as a rake as so many 16 year olds are. (They will call in on the way up and down in a couple of weeks when the Son is delivered to his new school) We set to, bed making, washing, shopping, dead-heading and such like. We've not eaten anything but a scone or two today, it sort of didn't happen... So now it's scrambled eggs and baked beans and sausages for the meat eater, and a little rest before collecting Caroline and Grace from the train.