We have reached peak daisy here at Above the River Towers. The front gardens in our street are, as usual, a mix of solid concrete, plastic grass, a touch of rewilding and one or two beautiful patches of flowers grown for pollinators. The message doesn't really seem to be hitting home in most places.
Down the back lane, men with strimmers and trimmers and too much time on their hands are hacking back the undergrowth as if their mission in life is to eradicate anything wild. I am grinding my teeth and working out how to politely bring it up in conversation.
There has been a casualty in the garden. I found a dead blackbird and I'm concerned that it's one of the cats that was coming in through the hedgehog hole. I haven't seen any since and I am on high alert now, poised to gallop out there and be frightening. A couple of frogs have also passed on, but that is fairly normal for this time of year. Dead frog scooping is one of my very worst things though.
My neighbour's garden is delightfully overgrown in places and between us we have loads of birds. A new family of sparrows was out there yesterday, with the babies fussing round the parents, pestering them for food. They were utterly adorable.
Blue tits and great tits have been all around, picking juicy things off of the greenery. The snail damage as usual is vast. All of the beans that I grew from seed (from bean?) have gone and masses of dahlia has been eaten. The big dahlia reaches a point where it grows so fast that even the snail army can't keep up though, and all is well.
The two biggest urchins are in the middle of A-levels and GCSEs. I am surprisingly calm and collected. Other than exams, they have pretty much finished school for now though. They will have a very long summer break indeed, I fear it may be expensive.
The dog is rather skinny, having been ill and then been sentenced to a low-fat diet. I think I underestimated the amount of food that he was being given by way of snacks by Someone. So I am trying to fatten him up slightly, while not actually giving him fat. He has also had a (much-loathed) haircut, which has made him look extra thin. He hates and fears the dog groomer so much that I have to carry him almost all of the way there these days. She says that as soon as he is in the bath he's fine and good as gold. It's all in the anticipation.
I feel that I need to do Something for the jubilee, it's such an amazing occasion. In my mind's eye I can see an outside table and red, white and blue bunting and lots of cake and strawberries and cream and maybe a scone or two with jam and clotted cream. Perhaps a jar or two of flowers from the garden and something fizzy made from elderflowers or lemons. And a proper floaty summer dress and maybe even a hat. It all sounds wildly unrealistic, given how much work I have on and the fact that I don't actually own a floaty summer dress or a hat, but still, it looks pretty inside my head. I can definitely do the clotted cream bit. Any plans at your end?