The beautiful weather continues and I had high hopes for gardening progress today. I had a lovely time watering before I got dad up. I love this part of the day because you walk around seeing all the beautiful colourful flowers and I’m full of optimistic plans for the day. I got dad up and Meave, Aideen and I enjoyed breakfast (pancakes) in the sun, bliss! I then decided to tidy up the beds around the back of the house and weed the path. I then returned to the fruit tree border, settling down to (hopefully) finishing it today. Radio 4 is on, just coming up to ‘Any Answers’ all is well with the world…and then a voice… “Mum, are you going to help with the slabs?”.
The main job for this weekend is clearing the area outside the garage of any obstructions to facilitate moving the Mayflower into the garden next weekend. This is the sort of work I try to keep out of, after all, I’ve got enough to do. However, Diane and James are not here and the main obstruction are 80, 600mmx900mm York stone slabs that are about 60mm thick. We acquired these slabs during lockdown when they were being removed from a garden and we were able to buy them 2nd hand. This was brilliant but they are horrendously heavy, even the men in the family cannot lift them on their own. To move them, each slab needs to be lifted onto a barrow by two people and moved one at a time to the new storage spot. Even with two people they are very hard to lift. Well Patrick, Meave and Aideen are three people so a fourth member of the team was required.
I know that ‘load bearing’ exercise and plenty of vitamin D (sunlight) is good for osteoporosis but there is a limit, surely! I trudged off miserably to find more suitable footwear than my customised crocs (I borrowed some of Patricks toe-techs) and then started four hours of backbreaking misery! None of us is in best shape for a job like this…obviously Patrick cannot walk properly because of his ankle injury and also breathing is an issue, Aideen is not very big and should be looking after her hands and she has asthma too, Meave is strong but has always had weird joints. Aideen and Diane are both hyper-mobile (double jointed) and then there is me, 57 a woman of ‘traditional build’, with bone density issues! What a motley crew…well we did it, Bella walked backwards and forwards with us to offer moral support and by 5pm the slabs were moved! We then had a very late lunch – no meal is at the right time here – I then gratefully returned to my border, and Patrick did a bit more grass cutting. It is a familiar story at Church Gardens, where we have to spend lots of time moving things, pallets of bricks, slabs, wood, sheets of ply, piles of earth, whatever it is that is being stored is rarely in the right place. It might start in the best place but inevitably it ends up in the way and sometimes has to be moved more than once! Diane and James then returned home thank goodness they can help tomorrow and I can go back to gardening.
Last night’s dinner was a great success but my creation did collapse when it was served on the plate, so Meave and Aideen suggested it should be called ‘potato splodge’! Well, I think Jamie Oliver and co. are safe, if my family give my new recipes names like that. No cooking tonight, we’ll probably order a takeaway as we are in no fit state to stand up and cook!
Preparing the way for Mayflower
We are still enjoying the beautiful weather and despite my exploits yesterday I seem to have quite a lot of energy. I stayed up very late and got up very early in order to progress on with writing the talk for the Horticultural societies. A third group has now expressed an interest and Aideen has explained to me that I will need to write about 6700 words for a 45 minute talk, so I thought I had better get on with it! It was actually really enjoyable looking back through old photos and I got quite absorbed looking at pictures of us all, the night we moved in. finally sitting down at the kitchen table at 4am, holding these tiny, four week old babies! It was a real trip down memory lane, I had certainly forgotten how huge I was when I was pregnant with the twins!...no wonder my stomach muscles still complain about heavy lifting!
Today, everyone is here so I do not intend to be dragged away from my garden. Patrick, James and the girls continue clearing the area outside the garage. There is more stone to move but luckily this is the Indian sandstone offcuts, and is much lighter than the York stone. The sandstone is waiting to be laid in this area so just required moving to one side.
A gaggle of old lawn mowers are moved into the back garden and Patrick sets about removing all the nails from a pile of old decking that we salvaged from behind a friends garage when she moved house. This wood is then moved out of the way into an old out building. When they finish, the whole area looks much clearer and they then set about making sure the Mayflowers eventual destination is clear of overhanging branches. I carry on working on the fruit tree border and I’m relieved to say I did eventually finish it, including any final pruning of the fruit trees.