Monday 19 February 2007


I looked at the bedside clock last night, shortly before falling asleep. It read 00:45. When I next opened my eyes, some time after waking up, it said 02.10. The last thing I heard before falling asleep again was the milkman arriving, just after 6.

Unsurprisingly, I slept late this morning and found it hard to get up at all. Then the electricity went off. Too late, I remembered the letter received from the electricity maintenance company to say that the power would be switched off today whilst trees close to cables were cut back.

My day was entirely topsy-turvy, a perfectly acceptable state of affairs. I put on a dressing-gown (I never do this) and trotted downstairs to read the papers, then back up for a bath - the shower is electric. It was nearly 10 o'clock by the time I emerged, smooth and scented, recovered from sleeplessness.

It's been a useful day, overall. Several panes of glass in the greenhouse had been broken in the gales and we have replaced them and put back others that had slipped. I finished cutting back the tall laurel hedge and once again resolved that it must never grow so tall again - how many times must I cut the beastly thing back to stumps before it takes the hint and just dies? I started cutting Al and Dilly's privet hedge, which is about 8 feet tall, to waist height.

There's a line between informal and neglected and we had crossed it. All I can say is that in the last three years we have had two family weddings (parties held here) and two babies, our gardener has finally become too old to work and I've concentrated on vegetable growing. But there are no more excuses and I must start to pull it all back together again. Unfortunately, it's too much for us and it's hard to know what to do about it. The sort of work we need done isn't suitable for a jobbing gardener, what he'd do is what I can do myself.

Never mind. It's after 6 o'clock and time for a drink before cooking dinner.


Anonymous said...

i hate that part of waking up, when u feel like you have never really slept at all. its like being cheated of your right for a quality, uninterrupted light hibernation.

but, i sort of like your daily routine, z. :)

Z said...

If I wake up after that first deep refreshing sleep, sometimes that's it for the night.

Yeah, it'd be nice to do that every morning. Normally, I'm always dressed when I come down as hanging around in a dressing-gown is a sure way to have visitors queueing to get in the door.

Anonymous said...

hahahaha. tell me about it. it happens to me all the time.

Pat said...

I have gardening worries also and now the weather is getting more spring like I wonder if I can cope with it. We get the hedges and trees lopped, MTL does the lawn and the rest is down to me, so why am I sitting here chewing the fat?

Z said...

You have to pace yourself, Pi darling. No good if you work so hard that you ache all over for a week.

Yes, it is a worry isn't it. My garden is as undemanding as possible, but there's a lot of it. And what I really like to do is grow things - hence the vegetables. They get eaten and don't linger getting bigger for years!

The Boy said...

It is the time of year for gardening worries. We are extremely lucky in that our gardener (who's 70, been with us for years, and does our garden as a hobby for his beer and golf money) enjoys doing the project stuff even more than the routine.

LL just pointed him at a bit under a big old copper beach that she wants weed killed, turned over and planted with cyclamins. He rubbed his hands together with glee and has got stuck in.

If he was 40 I'd really worry as he and LL enjoy each other's company in the garden far too much...

Alan said...

We're going to have to start with our new garden all too soon. Fortunately the people who are moving out have been very concentious so we won't have vast amounts to do straight away, more take the wait and see approach as to what is there!

Z said...

Yes, Boy, our Kenny was like that. He started his working life as the 'boy' at a local Big House (pulled down, alas, fifty years ago) and always had a soft spot for a country estate - not that we've got that, a couple of fields round an acre of grounds. He came to work for my ma-in-law when he retired and kept going for 22 years.

70? A splendid age for a man, never be complacent (though good-humoured and trusting, of course).

Alan, moving house in the spring is a time when it's only too easy to be busy in the house for a while and when you turn round, the weeds are knee high. I agree with you about seeing what comes up before doing anything radical though.