I woke up coughing at 4 o'clock this morning. I suppose it's because I'd had a chest infection a few weeks ago that hay fever is making me cough rather than sneeze this year; that is, it's affecting the weakest area. The Sage is far more patient with me than I would be with him and sympathises rather than sighs. I lay waiting to go back to sleep and then remembered the bacon and rolls I'd forgotten to take out of the freezer last night. Tilly was quite surprised when I padded downstairs, out to the porch and then back into the kitchen with a box of food. She waited at her bowl for breakfast but I pointed out the time and she went back to her armchair. And then I forgot to take them with me when I went to fetch the papers and go to church. The Sage kindly brought them down the drive so that I didn't have to come home again.
We went for a drive to the depths of Suffolk later to fetch a painting we were buying. The old lady who is moving house is charming and so is her daughter, who is a farmer and breeds Suffolk Punches (which are heavy horses). One of the mares foaled yesterday and is not too impressed with her baby. It was necessary to get up four times in the night to make sure she fed the foal.
It's very pleasant, driving through the Suffolk countryside. It seems more substantial and prosperous than Norfolk. Now, with the trees in full leaf but with wild flowers still blooming and grass fresh and green, it seems comfortable and well cared for. As we drove past a stretch of verge that had recently been mowed, we noticed a clump of blooming poppies. The mower had deliberately left them to flower, which we thought was a nice touch. The may (hawthorn) blossom going over but the horse chestnuts are in flower. It's so enjoyable, the countryside in spring and early summer. Later in the year one forgets to remark the subtlety of the different colours, but in March and April one looks for each change as the leaves unfurl and first the blackthorn and then the hawthorn come into flower, and the different flowers bloom in the meadows and verges.
Al's bees are now calm and happier. After his queen swarmed, they were anxious and bad-tempered until a new queen hatched - two, in fact, as he split the colony again. He's keeping his fingers crossed for their successful maiden flights so that eggs will be laid and numbers will build up again.
Bricklaying again tomorrow. Dave says the weather forecast is more doubtful for Tuesday. I'm enjoying the hot weather and in no hurry for it to rain, but I've had to start watering the garden.
A friend asked how many years we'd been married. I told her - "you're a year behind us then" she said. She and her husband were both born the same year as I was, but are several months older so, although they married at 19, it was in the year previous to my wedding. Nowadays, maybe young love often doesn't last because it's not expected to? I know many parents who don't mind at all when their sons and daughters live with a partner, but would be horrified if the young couple said they were getting married. I'm not saying that the couple themselves don't take their relationship seriously and wholeheartedly, but that if their friends and families don't expect it to last, maybe they're more easily discouraged when, inevitably, some troubles creep in and they can be less likely to persevere and work through them. I'm glad I married young, and gladder still that we are still together.