Artfully Grouped

Purple crocus peeking through grass

5/2/22 Saturday
A leisurely start. Hold my hands around the ceramic glaze of a favourite mug, breathe in coffee steam, hear the birds caw and chitter, see the soft sky all still, all pale blue and foam. 
Run a shower, let the water run warm then cold. Awake!
Bags packed but not for work. 
Mr has hosed the car clean, it sparkles like an iceberg. 
First stop on this weekend’s adventures is to drop Dog to her stopover (with Youngest Son and Daughter-in-law, to be revered and pandered to whether she maintains continence or not). Dog does not even pretend to be sad as we leave.
Next stop: Newton Abbot Leisure Centre, for black belt training (achieving a black belt is one thing, maintaining it is another).
Last stop: Bristol, home of my brother, my sister-in-law, my bonkers niece. We have brought them the god-food of our homeland: Cornish Pasties, raw and oven-ready; they have the oven heated and ready.

6/2/22 Sunday
Coffee, no leisurely time; clothes on, bags in car, drive to venue: Hutton Moor Leisure Centre. If the word Leisure is capitalised, it means Work for us. Today Mr and I wear matching yellow shirts as we are Welfare Officers which sounds severe but is in fact the (mostly) cute job of looking after children or anyone in need of support to keep the 2022 South West Tae Kwon-Do Championships running happily.

7/2/22 Monday
Yesterday Old Dog attempted to jump out of a car, landing on her face and causing herself minor injuries. Being frail, the pain and shock were amplified, so she lay deep in self-pity all day and all night. Today she is recovering, which is a relief. Mr is staying home so she can rest. 
I arrived at work to find my care client also poorly and housebound.
Took a lunchtime walk, just me and the weather; monochrome sky, intermittent rain-fuzz. 
Wrestled velcro to get the feeding chair covers back in place after washing. I won, though it was close. 

8/2/22 Tuesday
Sat in bed with coffee, reading my new book on composting.
After that I was busy with stuff, we ate good food, we went to Okehampton to teach, all of which was splendid but could not top the luxury of this day’s start.

9/2/22 Wednesday
Awake at 4:50am by request of Dog, who got herself upstairs, tail wagging, patting us with her paw. Let her out into the night garden. Discovered poop on her blanket, cleaned it up, changed the blanket.
Checked the garden: hear the clip clip of her claws as she's sneaking into the lane. Pull my rigger boots on to go retrieve her. She has that apologetic but sneaky look she sports when she knows she shouldn’t have- we can assume she was snacking on something humans wouldn’t. Birds chitter like they are complaining about Dog waking them up.
She leaps up onto her fresh blanket. I return to bed, and later am woken by the arrival of coffee. 
A bright day, soothing to the tired. I dress and attend to the polytunnel. Every year I fix up the shelving where the seedling trays will go, each year a little more make do and mend is required. I spruce up the chandeliers, brush off and tidy the potting table, pull up some grass to make room for tasty weeds, pick out any mouldy leaves, water the pots (pomegranate, lime, lemongrass, lemons, olive), and clear rubbish into a bag. 
First crocus bloom appears, down by the lower firepit. Rich bold purple with a yellow centre, much admired.  
This afternoon I sit to write. Mr goes to tidy the hedge cuttings. I can hear the petrol mulcher whir and whir; see the sky thicken into grey fleece. 

10/2/22 Thursday
Another at-home day.
I am cooking up curry, hard-boiled eggs, pineapple tea. (Not in the same dish.)
Last night’s rain sogs the ground, today’s breeze pushes the cloud away, drying and cooling. Mr attends to paperwork, Dog snoozes. 
I watch the lacework edges of the tall pine swishing till I feel sleepy. 
When we get home from teaching I heat our curry up, and then there’s that satisfying lull of conversation while good food gets all the attention. 
11/2/22 Friday
6am: Dog arrives in our bedroom, excited. Our house has a tiny landing area at the top of spiralled stairs. This area is scattered with pebble-sized poops. 
Well, we say, we are not fans of the medium, but the grouping is artful. 
Mr gets the cleaning kit, I make coffee. 
Overnight a frost has settled. Birds are warbling, whistling, chittering, cooing, cackling, cawing. Drink coffee, listen. 
Well, we say, it’s lucky Dog woke us, we can get to the land early.
We get to the land- one daffodil and one crocus are open, there are lines of leaves and buds; the air is cold-fresh, the river Deer is burbling, there’s detectable warmth in the sunshine. 
Mr tidies the hedge at the lower parking bay, a simple whiz of the chainsaw, though he is impeded by the many tangled heaps of cut thorns; haw, sloe, bramble; that we need to tidy up. We decide to lay the cuttings as a dead hedge. This is so easy to say, but the reality is like wrestling barbed wire. My boots get punctured, by day’s end we both look like pin cushions, albeit happy ones. 
It was easier than trying to force whipping thorns through the chipper, however, and it was immediately appreciated as a habitat. 
We hadn’t finished making it when a wren took up residence and, to our grand surprise, fought off the resident robin. He retreated to his usual oak tree while we drank soup from our flasks and wondered What Next for the lower hedge.
Fruit trees
Runner beans. Artfully grouped.

Hedge cuttings in a messy heap

Hedge cuttings laid nearly neatly in a line, held in palce by wooden stakes


I do love to read diaries/journals. And yours is no exception. Thank you.
Steve Cromwell said…
Glad to see dog recovered from his injury, and loved this: "If the word Leisure is capitalised, it means Work for us." And definitely a great place for a wren if there's that many thorns!
Lisa Southard said…
I love writing daily life- it's the most important subject- I suspect you know this :-)
Lisa Southard said…
Our dog has always been clumsy, she has much recovery experience! We will be looking out for our brave wren- especially as being small and fierce myself I now identify with it :-)
Oh, that opening photo is a stunner!
Lisa Southard said…
I agree! We get impatient but the blooms are always worth the wait.

Popular posts from this blog

Contact Pants Conundrum

E, That Was Funny

Spring Is Ticking