Saturday 11 August 2007

Z has a particularly eventful day

Ooh, I was busy today. I was out in the garden, still chopping and beavering, by 8.30 and our good chum came to help at 9. Not long afterwards, the Sage, who had already been to get the day's strawberries, joined us and we worked mightily for the next three hours. First we dug up a laburnum tree. This has been in the way, as it originally self-seeded into a path, for 60 years. In the past couple of years, I'd noticed it wasn't flowering so well, some of the bark was dying back and some lichen was growing on it - all a sign that it was not healthy. When, having dug it up (and pushed and pulled it over), it was cut up, we discovered it was hollow with rot.

Then we tackled the lilac next to it. Now, I felt guilty there. It was healthy, but it had suckered and enlarged until it was several feet in diameter and thoroughly in the way. It isn't now though. I sawed off the branches and C. dug out the roots, with me tugging until they broke through. After that, I went to make tea and lay tiredly on the lawn for ten minutes, but the indefatigable men didn't and carried on working. When I'd drunk my tea I joined them, putting plasters on my hand first to stave off the threatening bllisters.

All in all, the big pine is not down yet, but it will be and a large area has been cleared.

After that, I picked a basket of runner beans to take to the shop, and went to work there for the next five hours.

Al got back and I was giving him a couple of messages, when I saw grinning faces through the window. It was our great friends Pam and Peter.

This is a friendship of four generations, so far. Peter's grandfather and mine were friends, and my father was best man at his father's wedding. We are friends and our children are with theirs, having gone to school with them and kept in touch.

First, I said they should come back for tea. Then I asked if they could stay for dinner? They could! Fortunately, I had bought a leg of lamb at the butcher's - but a bowl of spaghetti would have been fine if not. I took the last of the beans, some strawberries and cream, some potatoes and broccoli and went over the road for lemonade - for whisky and lemonade is Pam's tipple.

We had an entertaining evening, at which the Sage displayed (because it was relevant) part of my birthday present - which is a doozer and fantastically brilliant of him to find. I looked at the relevant bit and resisted glancing at the rest, rushing out of the room when he started to tell them about it.

Oh, do you notice, he said 'part' of my present. I wonder what the rest is? I feel all keen and happy in anticipation. Ro has already (for we are extremely prosaic on the whole, and discuss prezzies in advance) suggested buying the new Okkervil River album for me, which pleases me mightily. He has flattered me also by asking to borrow the ones I already have.

Pam and Peter are off to their house on Corfu at the end of the month, and they suggested I go and visit. I checked my diary and I only have a chink of a few days, Thursday to Monday. I am a bit torn here, but might just check out flights...


heybartender said...

Ooooh- when is your birthday? I'll have to be sure to get you the mix CD be then.
Sounds like you have been very busy. I only wish I had the ability (or perhaps the inclination) to get things in shape in our yard. The average temperature has been about 100 degrees here this week, and it's all I can do to pick the tomatoes!
I'm very curious about your present- I presume you'll tell us when you get all of it?

Z said...

It's pretty hot here at the moment, but by English standards and not by yours. I neglect my garden awfully most of the time and use the excuse of encouraging wildlife, but once in a while one needs a good sort-out.

The present ... it's quirky. As with my Christmas pruning saw, one will either 'get' it or not. And my birthday is 10th September!

martin said...

You have been a busy bee. But what a nice feeling the next morning walking out when it is quite and seeing all that you did the day before in a fresh light.
Could the humble people of blogland see a picture of the new space ?.

Z said...

Humble, ho ho. I am taking photos, but the job is not finished yet.

It looks very strange to see a big gap where we've cleared. there's an old fence to go yet, as well as more brambles and shrubs and the pine tree. It'll let the morning sun in to the lawn.

Imperatrix said...

Busy day!

I love it when a last-minute shared meal comes together. That's one of friendship's little pleasures.

I say, if you've been invited, then go, go, go! (a mini-vacation is *another* of friendship's little pleasures.)

--Gosh, I sound like philosphy on the inside of a bar of chocolate. I better shut up. ;-)

Dave said...

Oh, and my birthday's five days after Z's, while people are thinking about buying presents.

Z said...

Yes, one can always throw a meal together and it's fun. We don't see each other very often, but when we do we just pick up where we last left off and have fun. I always try to keep lemonade in the cupboard, but it seems to get drunk.

I'd love to go, but it's a matter of whether there is a flight on the day I'd need to. They're only there for a fortnight and I've got a few things on. Can't do it from Norwich or Stansted and I haven't checked Luton yet - I'm not even looking at Gatwick, too far.

Dave, huzzah for birthdays! And Presents!

luckyzmom said...

Wow. What a lot of work. Your lawn will be happier for it all.

Z said...

In the winter it gets very mossy. Opening the area up will do it good.

badgerdaddy said...

I love that you have to go out for lemonade, not for the whisky bit...

Z said...

Oh bum.. You've got me bang to rights there, BD

Z said...

No, hang on. The lemonade had all been drunk, unlike the whisky.

Phew, got out of that one