Saturday, April 14, 2007

I'm exhausted. My brain won't auto-compose lists; my arms ache and with any luck the tightness across my stomach is evidence that gardening really will keep tummies flat. My back never aches from digging, only from hoicking bloody great barrow loads of manure about the place. I awoke on Friday morning with a broken big toe on my left foot, hobbling about the kitchen as I made a flask, but after lacing up my work boots and getting out into the garden this appallingly painful fracture seemed to have sorted itself out. Ok, it was a stiff toe, not a fracture. Either way it was sore. To a virgo. And as we know all virgos are hypochondriacs because we haven't the time to be really ill, so we experience illness vicariously.
Over this last week I've worked like a slave, but on so many different bits and pieces I feel as if I have achieved little. All my broad beans are now sown outside; the pea stick wigwams and A-frames are in place awaiting the planting out of the bean plants sown over the last couple of months; the drainpipes of early peas started off in the glass house have hardened off over the last week and are ready for planting out on Monday; the fruit canes are all cut out and tied in; the vines NOT pruned (they'd literally bleed to death); stakes removed from two fruit trees at last; hundreds of plug brassicas hardened off too, ready for planting out; trays and trays of annuals sown including another set of sweet peas; March sowings of annuals pricked out (my least favourite task); lawns and grass paths mowed; old borders dug over and heavily manured; a dozen trays of assorted winter squash sown; a bed of winter sown, winter sown, oh what is it called, the long thinnish leaves, green, always served as a salad with a bit of balsamic dressing at pubs, arugula, oh what is it called, anyway a row of that picked and eaten with, yes a balsamic dressing with a bit of fish; and at this point I lost the remaining dregs of my list-making abilities.
Physical exhaustion usually needs nothing more than a good old lie-in and a few early nights. The sunny weather since Friday and over today warms my bones and makes me sit outside on the terrace for every meal. I'm taking pictures in my garden, bringing cook books to the table to read at leisure, and absolutely refusing to cook two bone-idle teenagers a speck of food. Ok so I lied with that last point. Lolling about on the sofas last night with merci beacoup enfant deux I watched telly for two hours. Oh utter joy. Thank you God for helping the schedulers at BBC2 to make my Friday nights so joyful lately.
We began at 7pm with BBC4 on BBC2: Wainwright's Walks. Just sit back and be soothed watching someone else burn calories walking about in the "demanding Blencathra mountain."
At 7.30pm we moved on to Bill Oddie Goes Wild; bird watching in north Norfolk.
At 8pm we moved on to Christine's Garden, with (last) summer causing problems for the horticulturalist. I like the gentleness of this woman's series. I like her relationship with her neighbour Reg. I like Reg. I like everything about this series. I like the way it eases me into Friday night and the end of my working week and the start of the weekend.
At 8.30pm, the music Morning Light fills my house and signals the start of Gardener's World. All's right with the world.

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