I spent most of yesterday with Hadrian and this morning with Augustus. Babies, once they are of an age to smile and give kisses, are the most adorable and heart-warming creatures. I feel a sensation as if the dry shell around my old heart swells and cracks with love for them - I don't suppose that's what's actually happening though - maybe one of you, more expert than I in anatomy, could advise. But I do love them and am enchanted to find that they love me. I stayed for lunch both days. Dilly is using a way of weaning Hay that seems to involve simply giving him pieces food to suck and taste, rather than spoon-feeding him purées. To start with, he didn't actually swallow much but now can manage various foodstuffs. The latest thing is spaghetti. Up to last week he was mostly mashing it about on his plate, but now he's using his four teeth to masticate it and then swallows. She says it's loads easier and he enjoys it and is getting a far wider range of foods to taste. She does spoon-feed him once in a while, particularly fromage frais, which he very much enjoys. An advantage of the method is that, from the start, he's eating pretty much what the family does, or as much of it as is suitable for him.
Out in the garden, we're finally making preparations to construct the potting shed. I'm abandoning the small soft fruit garden, which has become dreadfully overgrown. The paths will be removed and the paving reused for the base of the shed and around it, and we'll put the area down to grass. Jamie suggests planting bulbs so I can pick the flowers for the house but they cause no work, and maybe some small fruit trees in the future. I've got more kitchen garden than we need or than I can look after already. I do need to start work out there rather than just look at the neatly prepared beds, but I'm strangely disinclined at present. When I think what a keen vegetable gardener I used to be - maybe I've done it for too many years. I only really enjoy the early stages now, sowing seeds and raising seedlings. Weeds always grow faster than anything else, and I really hate weeding, which always seems like the garden equivalent of dusting, something unnoticed and unappreciated unless it isn't done, whereupon it's glaringly obvious that your work has been neglected. But I will get going soon, I didn't grow veggies last year because the spring was so dry and I really did miss them. Having to buy everything just wasn't the same. I have a childlike excitement at picking the first beans or courgettes of the year and love to plan a meal around home-grown vegetables.
There, you see. I've managed to kindle some enthusiasm. Blogging is very good for me.