After managing to photograph one of the biggest flying creatures in the world yesterday, today I was back in the garden with the mini-beasts. Not that there were many mini-beasts around. By 10am a cold but cheerful dawn had given way to a threatening morning, with a ferociously gusting wind, and only the plumpies and a couple of especially determined bumblebees were risking flying. But as you know, I do love a hairy-footed flower bee, so there's that. And though I've posted plumpies on pulmonaria many times before, this view is brighter and more cheerful than my other potential offering, which was R's favourite, of a plumpie sitting on a stick. And a bee in flight surely trumps a bee on a stick... so here we are.
After nailing my bee in flight and my bee on a stick, and capturing an unusual image of a female plumpie on mahonia (sadly relegated to the category of record shot, because the bee wouldn't let me in close enough to get a decent number of pixels on her), I put down the camera and went to Twyford with R to buy garden supplies. Having timed our arrival perfectly to coincide with that of the storm, we were forced to spend the next half hour in a coffee shop eating cake while we waited for the weather to calm down, but eventually we made it into the garden centre, which looked as though a small tornado had just passed through. As R's level of tolerance for garden shopping is pretty low even on a good day, I made like a small tornado myself, and rapidly whisked a small tree and some ground cover plants into the trolley, along with a couple of large bags of wild bird seed. Luckily the sound of the cashier telling me how much we owed was almost drowned out by the noise of a fresh downpour hammering on the roof, so I think I just about got away with it.
Back at the car, with the rain swirling around us and getting into every crevice, we discovered a small flaw in our administration of this excursion: we'd forgotten to remove the Boy Wonder's car seat and push chair before setting out, and there was nowhere near enough room in the car for these, the purchases, and ourselves. At this point, it's fair to say, things became a little tense. R went so far as to ask frostily if he'd known in advance that we were intending to buy a tree, which definitely counts as leading with your chin, but luckily for him I was busy playing Car Tetris in my head at the time, and couldn't spare any bandwidth for arguing while I was multiplying the height of the tree by the weight of the bird seed, and dividing the product by the volume of water dripping down the back of my neck.
In the end it was perfectly simple. "Take that out," I said, "and put that over there. Thread this through here - no, not that way. No. The other way round. Yes. Then I'll put those there - don't worry about that, I'll just sit on them. And then this will go back there, and that will go here, and we'll use this to stop that hurting itself, and there we are. Sorted." As we drove away (damply) with all our belongings, me nestled in a bower of ground cover and R protruding from the top of a weeping cherry tree, my life partner professed himself amazed at my superior packing skills, and domestic harmony was restored.
I've always been good in a crisis - it's normal everyday life I can't handle.