Grey and wet
I established the grey wetness of this day by taking the recycling out to the bin before I was dressed - a necessary move, not only because tomorrow is bin day but also to check on what would be best to wear to church, which might as well be outside for all the impression the heating makes on a damp morning after a cold spell. (A warmish coat, since you ask - didn't really fill the bill.) Today's communion anthem (for want of a better description) was the French Hail Mary which the crowds sang in Paris as Notre Dame burned; I tracked it down on the interweb because I thought it was lovely. There was so much chat afterwards that we were the very last to go home, which to me is always a sign that things were good.
But what to do with the afternoon? As I fought my damp way down the back garden I resolved to do something about it as being less of an aimless exercise than walking about in the rain. So the picture above actually shows just where I spent the afternoon, among rampant rosa rugosa, trimming the sagging stems, tugging out encroaching London Pride, cutting back monbretia (that isn't called that these days) and - toughest of all - cutting off two branches of the weigela to the rear of the bushes. The pruning saw kept sticking and now I feel I've had a workout.
Probably because slash & burn gardening is such a mindless activity, I let mine wander. It wandered a long way - over 60 years, pretty much, to when I was an obnoxious (I suppose) teenager with a tendency to argue with my father - a strong-willed man - over dinner. On these occasions my mother would pick up her plate and take herself, and her dinner, off to the kitchen to eat in peace, leaving us sitting in sheepish silence. I reflected that she had the advantage of a permanently warm kitchen (we had a solid fuel stove on all the time) with a kitchen table in it - though I had the advantage, in my day, of having had boys. I feel I had it easy.
But back to the garden. There are now two full bags of cut branches in the shed out of the rain, waiting to go to the recycling centre; there are the two sawn-off bits of tree hiding behind the shed. The tools are all dried and returned to their shelf; my sodden gardening gloves are stuck, faintly comically, on the handles of two brushes (to dry); the hinge on the shed is threatening to disintegrate. This last is beyond my pay grade.
I feel reasonably virtuous and slightly knackered.