Monday, 16 February 2009
Half term so far.
Thank goodness for half term holidays. What could be better than lazing in bed with a delicious pot of coffee to hand, pile of gardening books at the ready, chatting away about what the day may bring? Spring is in the air today and the early morning sunlight has that wonderful hazy quality which hopefully promises a chance to be outside. Dave has been heading up to the allotment early each morning to dig over beds ready for the copious amounts of manure collected from friends with horses. He takes our hen Discovery with him so that she can spend some time in the ark he made to sit over the beds, foraging for slugs and snails, and hopefully scoffing the eggs which suggest an onslaught later in the year. It is so funny to watch them set off down the path each morning towards the car. Still, things are moving forward and the garlic is already growing away, shoots beginning to appear on the blackcurrants.
Here the garden is festooned with little drifts of yellow crocuses, their starry flowers taking centre stage until the daffodils are ready to shake out their skirts. In the meantime a jug of bought ones cheers the room bringing sun even when none is present. Delicate sprays of pale blossom dress the winter flowering cherry, a small tree as yet bought for five pounds a few years ago from the scrap pile at a local garden centre. It has served us well so far, bending its graceful branches over the duck pond in an attempt to pretty this sometimes less than beautiful area and it makes me laugh when I think of how I once viewed this pond as a thing of beauty, its banks graced by swathes of flag iris, bullrushes and a tangle of other water-loving plants. These plants now border the little wildlife pond I hastily built once I realised the naive error of my ways, racing to dig out clumps of water hyacinths, forget-me-nots and marsh marigolds before the ducks had devoured them completely. Sometimes I do wonder at my blind optimism!
Other good things about the first days of the holiday? Well, bizarrely I would list work here, but as I like being busy perhaps that's not so surprising. I love what I do and so the idea of working in the holiday is not a problem for me and is a necessity anyway as orders don't stop just because children are home. Sketching has taken over where previously I have struggled to pick up my pencil for some reason completely unknown to me. Suddenly the banks are broken and I find myself scribbling into my sketchbook like one possessed, anything and everything becoming a still life to my eye, the shades and shadows, the play of light on surface, all of the possibilities and how to translate them have begun to occupy my mind and it feels so good to be back in the flow again. Tulips particularly appear on the page ... no idea why, but there they are. A break from business work came int he form of this cushion made for Lucy's friend's birthday. It is a lot cheerier than the dull light allows it to look and has a mix of applique and hand embroidery which doesn't really show here. Most fun to do.
So, two days in and card games have been played...
walks on the beach undertaken...
sock knitting with lovely friend Diana as we chatted the time away (and Diana, I messed up the toe decrease BIG time!).
and a lovely valentine's meal of mussels picked by my dear Dave after a long day at work. It is not alwyas easy to find time for each other with a family this large, but we do try to make the effort where we can. With the prospect of only having a toddler who is always tucked into her bed by 7 o'clock and no other children around for a change we decided Friday would be Valentine's night. Without me knowing, Dave drove to my favourite beach on the north coast, a drive which takes 40 minutes from his work place, and clambered over rocks dressed rather innappropriately in a suit as waves crashed all around (wild coast this). By the time he arrived home - a drive of one and a half hours - I had almost given up on him, thinking he had had to work late yet again. Not only was I given this lovely gift, but he also gave me three smooth stones collected from the same beach on the advice of a gypsy who had tried to sell him some flowers in the beach car park. His reply to her offer of flowers was a shake of the head. Apparently he told her he wanted to give me the gift of three wishes, to which she replied that he was a romantic and would need to collect three pebbles that called out to him. When I am ready to make my wish, I choose the one which feels right, say the words she gave him and throw the stone back into the sea as I make the wish. How perfect is that? I do love that Dave makes so many special moments for me. And no, I will not be wishing for ridiculous things as that is not how Romany magic works!
Well, having shared that little story with you and no doubt mortifying Dave in the process, I will now take me off to sort the greenhouse which currently has no walls.
Have a good week xx