10 MAY 2020
Today the weather has changed dramatically, as predicted. I started the day in shorts and t-shirt, then as the day progressed I added a jumper, then tracksuit bottoms, and then as the wind increased a jacket! Well that’s English weather for you.
The first job to be attended to this morning was the levelling up of the legs of the pool in order to start filling it with water. Patrick was not very enthusiastic about this job, as he has taken a bit of a dislike to the pool… Patrick cannot swim and isn’t keen on water, and finds our enthusiasm for all things aquatic rather a mystery. I try to rally him round pointing out that it would have been a shame never to use the pool, and the strange circumstances we now find ourselves in means that potentially we will use the pool more this year than at any other time, as we are all at home, all of the time. I also mention that removing it from the basement has freed up some valuable space – that did seem to cheer him up – a bit.
Once the legs were adjusted, a small amount of water was put into the pool to check the levels. Then someone had to get in the pool to push out any creases – any job requiring entering cold water always seems to be my job! – but it is soon decided that I need an assistant, so Meave climbs in, and we crawl around trying to smooth creases out with our hands, whilst the others gently pull the liner from the outside. The water is then switched on again, James is tempted to spray me with the hose pipe so I lob a small drowned slug at him! We leave the pool to fill up – this will take a long time.
Patrick carries on with the paving and the area starts to look very neat and tidy. I then return to garden duties and I start by spending ages tying in various climbing plants to our many decorative arches, probably a good thing as the wind is picking up. However, standing on a rather wobbly chair, tying in bits of climber onto a shaky arch in the wind, probably less of a good thing! As always this takes longer than expected, and then I decide to tie all the broad beans to their sticks, higher up, because they are getting quite tall, the broad beans are doing really well and so are not showing any sign of blackfly. I then start weeding the lettuce beds… I generally plant some lettuce into two small decorative raised beds in the vegetable garden every year (I don’t worry about rotation in these two little beds) and I combine them with one of my most loved cosmos varieties– the enormous Dazzler. These two little beds are one of my favourite spots in the vegetable garden, and the cosmos is stunning – I have used the same pack of seeds for several years, which is enormously good value considering it was originally a free gift with a gardening magazine!
At the end of the day we bring out the table tennis table which is quite badly bent (a rather drunken young chap sat on it at one of the girls’ birthday parties!) and we consider how it can be mended. James and Aideen disappear into the basement to see if they can help tidy it up now two large things have moved out (the pool and the table tennis table). Eventually we will completely empty the basement and fit it out properly for fruit and veg storage, but at the moment it is still home to various building materials, organ pipes (we haven’t managed to reuse them all yet) and a massive old harp travel case which you could practically live in!