More accomplished today than yesterday. After my usual Sunday morning efforts I spent most of the afternoon outside and in the greenhouse. Nearly all the seedlings that are ready are potted up now and I am slightly running out of space - it's all right so far, but the next lot of seed-sowing is about to take place. French and runner beans, later broad beans, more peas (you'd think I could put them all outside, but our light soil and dry climate makes it safer to start almost everything off indoors), courgettes, pumpkin and squashes, cucumber, more herbs, sweetcorn, will all be sown in the next week or so. Most of these will appreciate a little warmth for germination, although the french beans are very temperamental. In the right conditions, they are easy, but too much or too little warmth and they rot.
It'll be fine. I'll talk to them lovingly.
The Sage and Al were busy too. They are making a climbing frame for Squiffany. It will be very splendid, but we realised quite early on that putting it on their lawn would both take up most of the lawn and be a nuisance to mow round. So we've taken an area that wasn't used much, put down that permeable black membrane that allows water through but not weeds to grow, and covered it with a thick layer of bark chippings so that the children will have a soft landing when they plummet, and it will be sited there. The slide will come out sideways on to the lawn, but that won't make much extra work.
It's been a melancholy few days, in some respects. A friend of mine, who is waiting to go into hospital for an operation (routine, he's all right) has now been given a date in April, which should be good news - but his brother is very ill and is likely to die at about that time, and my friend wants to support his sister-in-law. The hospital staff are being very kind and say that the operation can be postponed for a short time if necessary.
And yesterday, friends - not close friends, but they have bought from our sales for a good few years - rang, to tell the Sage that he has been given three months, at the most. He wants to sort out his affairs and get things straight so that his wife won't have to face all that alone, as well as the rest that he can't help. So the Sage will visit them next week to evaluate their collection and discuss its eventual sale.
Think, please, of Tim and Linda, of Peter and Maureen, and their families.
On the other hand, a friend emailed me happily to say that his son and wife have just had their first baby - some anxiety early on, so a relief as well as a joy. So spare a thought for Constantine and his family too.