Day 252b – Julia

At 5pm, today’s earnest rainstorm briefly let up and I went outside to find that not only was it still light (at 5pm!), but spring has tiptoed in over the weekend despite our neighbour’s rampage of the spring border. (A few months ago he trampled/dug everything and put a fence up, having suddenly gotten paranoid that we would claim the land we’ve been politely tending for him for 20 years).   Luckily, the unnecessary fence is a foot short of the back wall, so the espaliered quince is just sneaking into bright red flower around it and some of the spring border plants have survived.  No lily of the valley yet, but there are fat little rhubarb leaves just starting to unfurl, and we should have a sea of pale yellow primroses under the apple trees next week if we peep under the fence.  But enough about that – I’ll wax all prosaic about hope and survival and new beginnings shortly if I’m not careful, so I think I’ll go apply my new perspective to my still-too-long discussion pages.

Day 220 – Julia

Finally had the magic combination of a few dry hours and a willing helper, so was able to get the plywood for the second bin store cut this morning. Also had cash and transport to go buy more battening, so can give the mother-in-law an ongoing Christmas present that consists of a) finishing a project that was taking up shed space and b)providing another recycling storage base for an ever-expanding recycling system. Her other presents mostly consisted of nice plants for the pot by the front door and birdseed for the back door.  We no longer have a dead chrysanthemum. Now we have a nice display of escallonia and skimmia and bulbs galore and, I’m afraid, some pachysandra. (I know, but it was £1.50 and it’s really green at this time of year. And it’s going into a pot so it won’t take over any landscapes. And it makes us all happy, so don’t judge!).   Also, with all the birdseed, we should grow some nice birds shortly.  (A’s joke. Sorry.) 

In addition to reaching such giddy gardening heights (Pachysandra!), we went out for lunch with a big group of A’s school friends, played 2 games of Scrabble, and watched silly DVDs. All in all, a pretty good day.

Day 214 – Julia

1. Made pfeffernussen. Chrimbliciousness!

2. Played with new foster nephew, who is super-cute and obsessed with vibration. Amazing, what you can do with some sound waves and a cardboard wrapping paper tube.

3. Have filled in another 9 pieces of paperwork I didn’t know about, stopped a lengthy postal process by pointing out that we could all do everything electronically (gosh!), caught a major funding error in my funding application before 5pm, and HOPEFULLY gotten everything back to the relevant parties in time for the ball to roll a teeny tiny bit before January. If anyone had explained to me 5 days ago that there would be another 9 forms to fill in, each ok’ing the filling-in of the previous forms, I would have just driven to Hereford and just sat there with a pen. Oh well.  I did as many as I could as fast as I could, and if it hasn’t been sent off today there’s not too much I can do about it.

4. Have managed to stay calm and optimistic about a process that remains vague, uncertain, and distressing. Huzzah! Have also voiced concerns clearly in writing, so that if January bites anyone on the bum, it hopefully won’t be me.

5. Replanted the pot outside the front door, with bargain plants that included some lush-looking tulip bulbs and a 4′ Escallonia for £2.

6. Can now start finishing all the things in my life that *don’t* involve form-filling. Happy days!

106 – Julia

Realized I’m a day behind. Luckily, I have more things to be grateful for. Last night I finally remembered to buy the right nails to fix the cladding on the bin store I built in July. All fixed! Even finally started building the second store. Have lost my plans and forgotten how I braced the first one, but I’ll work it out. And I can’t play with power tools today anyway, so I’ll forgive myself. (Ooh! I put the plans where they should live, in my garden – structural and building plans” folder! No wonder I couldn’t find them.)

103b – Julia

Was cranky. Decapitated multiple slugs and snails. Feel much much better.

(Do not like killing them, but they have killed All of the Everything in the veg patch this year.  In places they genuinely outnumber the remaining leaves on my dying plants.  So I’m secretly glad I was angry enough to feel no guilt or remorse – only fleeting victory!)