Friday is often a morning on which I am scandalously slothful, but despite not being in bed till well after 1am (the bread - remember?) I was up again, clothed and in my right mind (ie with my face on) in time for our gardener's arrival at 8.30. (I'd even had the first bit of breakfast). I decided at the end of the summer that it would perhaps be better if we didn't end up in our extreme old age hidden behind the massive jungle threatening to develop in the garden, so today the Tricuspidaria was restored to the dimensions it last occupied in the early 1980s. (I know this because someone once took a photo of me standing beside it examining its leaves, which had all turned brown in the frosty winter and I was wondering if it would survive. It did. I can't find the photo or I'd post it here.) Despite the assurance on the RHS website that this is a medium-sized shrub, this one had grown aggressively tall and fat and was shutting out light, let alone the view, from our front room and hall. The collage shows the moment at which I had to decide whether or not I wanted a little tree, or go the full bhuna and go for the shrub-shape, as well as the resulting plant and the view afforded by its demise - including the moon over the river. I was quite prepared to hate it when it was finished, but it's actually lovely to be able to see the hills and the sea again - though I'm no longer standing on the doorstep anxiously looking for the CEO of NoTosh Ltd coming home from school ...
Graham the gardener then relocated to the back garden, where he did some preparation for the later creation of a patio area (removing the ferocious berberis) as well as cutting back the hedge and the rhododendron that had engulfed our compost bin. He also mended the shed ... It's rather wonderful just to admit that we're past all that heavy stuff and just let him get on with it. And he has a leaf-blower, and buzzy electric things, and a trailer...
In the afternoon we walked in Glen Massan. If you noticed on the BBC weather map last night that there were very pale blue blobs drifting around over the west of Scotland, I have to tell you one of them got stuck in Glen Massan. It was ... damp. Like walking on a mountain ridge. But lovely smells and silence made all well.
Today's beef? That the BBC rabbited on this morning about Adèle cancelling her show in Las Vegas (at Caesar's Palace - I've been there) while saying nothing about the immense queues at Dover of lorries trying to export goods to Europe. Is there some civil servant tasked with finding distracting stories to keep us from fretting about the ruin all around us?
Panem et circenses was what the Roman Emperors went for - nothing changes.
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