Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Why didn't we ...?

I've spent most of today gardening. Blipper Sally would be proud of me. When I look down on my front garden from my upper window, I think there's little difference, but I know that two boot-loads, each load containing two bags and a tarpaulin, have been carted off to the recycling centre. Virtue glows from every pore ...

Except that I don't know why we didn't do this sort of thing during these beastly lockdowns of the last two Springs. Before our first, looking at the incarcerated Chinese, I said that at least we could get out into the garden, tidy everything up, keep it under control. Instead we went for pointless walks, several - in the early days of virtue-signalling and snooping - around Dunoon itself. What was that about? I suspect it was us trying to prove that we could still lead a normal sort of life - because hours in the garden tend not to be our normal thing.

You'd think it should be. Today I set about the huge hydrangea bushes in the front garden, a bit of garden I only tackle in the morning when the sun is shining (it goes behind the house later and makes me feel bleak). I've been fighting to control their leggy sprawl for the past 45 years. I can remember doing it entirely alone, including the tidying-up, when my second son was a baby and the older one had begun school. There have always been random brambles lurking to jag and tear. But I got the bit between my teeth and the long-handled loppers going and off I went.

Meanwhile - and you couldn't make it up - people came and went. First the fish man, the owner of the wonderful Aray Fish with our weekly order. We stopped for a chat, his van totally obstructing the road outside. He'd not long gone when - Himself having gone to bring the car round to the front for the first load of debris - the Gas Man came to call. (All right - we'd asked him.) When he left shortly afterwards, we had no gas fire in the sitting room. It had reached the end of its life and we were right to be concerned at that strange red flame, the slightly sooty smell ...

Eventually the rubbish went to the tip and we sat down for some very belated lunch - and a joiner arrived to measure up for a replacement cupboard I need. (Another household item bites the dust). We ate lunch at 3pm, then I finished bagging the garden rubbish and doing some more obsessive cutting back. Himself made another trip to the dump. We changed out of the disreputable clothes we'd been in all day and headed down the road to buy an old-fashioned, small, emergency radiant fire such as my parents used to have. Most of the shops had shut, but we found just what we needed in the hardware store. Cheap and relatively cheerful till we decide what to do ...

Now Himself is cooking curry. We've had showers. The sun is still shining deceptively as if the midday hail showers were a mirage. My Apple watch tells me it's 7º outside. And you can tell it's not bedtime yet because I'm being more than usually garrulous. 

Blipping one of the neighbours going out for a spin - a chilling sight as I retrieved my secateurs from the porch. The extra is my task for the day - the biggest hydrangea, not far into its haircut. 

My knee hurts, and so does my hip. But hey  - I've had no time to worry all day!

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