The plan for the day was garden work, and when I have something planned for the day I’m always awake early. I checked the weather forecast over a bit of brekky, and apparently rain was due for 9am. I looked out of the window - the weather looked OK, and there were a couple of hours until the forecast rain, so I thought I’d make a start whilst I could. I got all of the right hand side fencing fixed that I had intended to by 9am. And with no sign of the forecast rain I decided to crack on with the other fence too. By the time Luke arrived to help with the heavy lifting I had two gravel boards in place, and edged and membraned three quarters of what needed doing. We soon got the edging done and ran out of membrane, so shopping was required.
Since we needed to drive, we thought we’d take the excess soil I’d dug to the tip. Soil is heavy stuff. It was heavy enough as I was hoiking it into the compost bin, but when we came to lift the compost bin, we could barely budge it. We certainly turned red whilst carrying the thing through the house, and heaving it into the boot of the car took some doing. And when we got the compost bin to the tip… oh dear! We managed to get it out of thecar. With superhuman effort we dragged it as far as the garden waste skip, but the lip of the skip is about four feet high. We heaved and strained and struggled. It took up over ten minutes to lift the thing high enough to empty it. And when we had emptied it the smell was awful. Terrible. So bad that we chucked the compost bin itself into the tip.
To Bybrook Barn for more membrane, a replacement compost bin, some gravel and clippers for guinea pig claws. We weren’t sure how much gravel we’d need, so we carefully calculated our requirements. We then thought that what we’d worked out didn’t seem anywhere near enough so we kept piling bags of gravel into the trolley until the frame started to bend.
Home for hot cross buns and coffee before going back to the garden. After a quick dose of paint we got the last edging done and then we were ready for the gravel. Except that the gravel was still in the boot of the car. More heavy lifting, but this time with girls helping it seemed much easier. After twenty minutes’ effort we used every last bit of gravel. We had guessed and bought exactly the right amount – another triumph of pot luck over common sense. As we did the last job I had planned for today (moving a very heavy water feature), the heavens opened. We’d timed that exactly right, and the gravel needed a good dose of rain to wash it all off. I have lots more to do in the garden, but I’d reached a point of “enough”. By now it was 3pm. Where had the day gone? – I’d thought it was about 12.30pm.
A quick trip to Sainsbury’s for stout, porter and mabilu (!) and then into the shower to prepare for tonight. The clans had gathered for a surprise birthday party. Maria had excelled herself in the kitchen, and we chatted and drank to the wee small hours….