Scenes from the garden. It's so dry out there, although by some miracle next-door's grass is a deep green and growing beautifully. I am compiling a list of environmental crimes. Complete destruction of the back lane habitat. Mouse poisoning. Unreasonable grass. He is rather opposed to anything wild or living I fear. It is very much an empty shoebox garden with just grass, not a single other plant. I am working up to having a polite conversation about it all.
Around the neighbourhood we are losing at least a dozen big ash trees to ash die back. The felling notices say that although there will be replanting, it will be done somewhere else. Disappointing, because some of the trees are in big open green spaces, which will then be big empty green spaces.
I don't mean to be all doom and gloom though. On this side of the garden fence there are all sorts of bees and butterflies and birds and in the other next door garden it is delightfully wild.
I have had the back door open a lot. I was eating my breakfast the other day while reading and something wandered into the room, strolled around and disappeared off again. I saw it out of the corner of my eye while I was engrossed and it took a good thirty seconds for me to realise that it wasn't the dog (he was out on a walk). By the time I'd leapt up and gone to investigate, it had disappeared. I finally spotted it - a cat, sashaying back up the garden path, cool as you please. Very good job the dog wasn't at home.
Today has felt expensive. Food, petrol, locksmith (dodgy garage door), clothes for urchins and a head torch for the eldest who is going away and says that he thinks he will have to be active after dark. One of those days when outgoings far exceed incomings. Plus, someone is making very free with my organic cacao, which to my mind is a little luxury, to be had sparingly.
I sent the middle boy out to pick the cherries, like in the olden days when time off of school was so that urchins could help with the harvest. I asked him if he felt a huge amount of homesteader satisfaction in putting provisions by for the winter. I think he was struggling to feel it to be honest. Supermarkets have ruined that sort of thing I fear.
I have been decluttering a little. I took an old hand puppet toy called Mr Beaky (think Emu, only with a shorter neck) to the recycling centre shop when the littlest boy wasn't around - most of this sort of toy removal has to be conducted stealthily or it will all be 'rescued' back again.
At the recycling centre they have a portacabin where they hang out and all around it they have decorated with garden ornaments such as gnomes and pigs and things. Just as you drive up the slope to arrive, there is a big pole. When I went with the biggest boy, the first thing we saw was Mr Beaky perched right on top of the pole. I really must remember no to go there with the littlest boy for the foreseeable future or I shall be in all manner of trouble. I shall probably have to buy him back as well. Sigh. I had been so surreptitious in sneaking him out.
Hope everyone is cool and calm and collected out there. CJ xx