I sowed the seeds ...
No - I've not got on to the gardening bit yet, though there are seeds that I need to deploy; I'm waiting for a warmer day. I'll explain later: this need to find a new header every day is quite a thing ...
I don't feel I achieved much today. In the morning I poached pears with honey - my sister's suggestion rescued the four hard green things I picked up in last week's shop and turned them into the basis for a positively yummy pudding. Apart from that, however, I managed to do four Italian lessons and not much else. Himself, still working on rationalising the loft, produced a document he'd found among his papers from work days. I'd not set eyes on it before, but it turned out to contain a report I'd written on raising boys' attainment levels in English. Two things struck me as I read it: I was dead right, my department was dead right; we did a cracking job and what I said then still seems important. The second thing was that in the not-too-distant past (oh, all right - twenty years ago) I could get through so much work in a day ...
Himself had an MOT at the doctor's after lunch - conducted, as is often the case in this town, by a former pupil - but his return scraped me out of the chair I was sunk in and we went out into what had become a reasonable sort of afternoon. It's almost the weekend, when we avoid public places, so we took the chance to see the last of some of the rhododendrons in Benmore Gardens - that's a hugely tall red one in the photo, along with glimpses of others, in a crazy profusion along past Benmore House.
A deeply silly story to finish: Part of the MOT had to do with heart health and the usual criteria by which to judge the exercise you take. We were puffing up the steep hill path just behind where this photo was taken, and I challenged him to sing, words and all, to see if he could still manage while climbing. (This is, of course, one of the tests - you shouldn't be able to if you're really working.) Thing is, Mr PB's a singer, with excellent breath control, so when I said, randomly, that he should try singing "I sowed the seeds of love" - he could; and he did; and we emerged thus onto the bigger, gentler path up the hillside.
And came upon a film crew. Just a little one - cameraman, two cameras (why?); man talking to camera, his back to the view, quite a drop just behind him; another couple of men and at least two women, one of whom was smiling and appeared to be sort of in charge. They all turned and watched our approach, just as Mr PB let out a brief expletive that ended in an explosive "t". Had they heard? Had they heard the song?
We still don't know. The smiling woman made some remark about "the things you find ..." and we went on our way. They were probably cursing us, and it reminded us of the time we were in Trafalgar Square and J dropped to his knee to re-tie a shoelace - right at the feet of Michael Portillo who was talking to camera as he walked and had to stop and go back and do it again.
We've just finished watching a truly dire film on Amazon Prime: Scottish Mussel. Its claim on our attention was that it was filmed largely in Glen Massan and Benmore Gardens, and we'd been stopped short on a walk one wet afternoon because they were filming at the bridge which was our usual turning point. We also sat on the top of the hill in Benmore Gardens on another day as they filmed far below us and we had to prevent our then 8 year old granddaughter from adding her own sound effects. You can tell we enjoy a disruptive sort of life.
But don't, whatever you do, watch the film.
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