Sunday, 11 April 2010

Good days

Despite my recent period of introspection, the good days come along much more regularly now.
I won't say perfect days, because those don't happen any more, but cheerful, bustling, busy days when I get so absorbed in what I am doing that there is no time to be sad, and my end-of-day body is virtuously tired. When I can look back over a day in which things have been achieved, progress made and a little more chaos turned into order.

As I sat eating my breakfast this morning, the early Spring sunshine was pouring in through the kitchen window.
Or it would have poured in if it wasn't for the parlous state of the glass.
Window-cleaning was one of R's jobs. Not because it had been officially allocated to him, but because his love of light meant that he always cracked first when it became too dingy in the house for his liking. Another reason is that I really don't like heights and climbing ladders very much - the last time I did the job, the upstairs windows were left uncleaned and things were getting pretty dark up there.

So it was the perfect opportunity to deploy what was possibly my favourite Christmas present last year and the perfect tool for the widow with no head for heights. A 3 metre extensible pole! All the window-cleaning attachments fit it and I can now reach the upstairs windows without having to leave terra firma. (It will also allow me to paint ceilings without too much of a struggle).

With the house windows all clean and sparkling, I moved on to R's chilli house.
This was the little greenhouse he bought himself when we got my big one. Quite extraordinarily we managed to erect it without a single argument!
I'm not sure how it acquired the title of his greenhouse seeing as how all the plants were sown, potted on, planted out, harvested and cooked with by me. He may have watered them once or twice but - whatever - it was his chilli house!

And it is now clean and ready for the next crop.

After lunch the sun was amazingly still shining, so it was time for some sowing.
There are few things that make me happier than sowing seeds. I love the regular lines drawn in the freshly-raked earth with the sprinkling of potting compost on top to show where the seeds are. I love the lack of weeds in the recently-sown area. I love the promise of good things to come.
This cold frame is full of my second sowing of heirloom lettuce varieties - mostly the cut-and-come-again types. From May until practically the end of the year there will be salad on the table at least once a day. The least I can do is to grow pretty varieties.

The other cold frame is now full of brassicas - cima di rapa, cavolo nero, quick-heading broccoli and mustard greens. There is nothing fresh in the garden right now apart from a few parsnips, leeks and artichokes - the wait is driving me mad, and it will be at least another month before the first salads are ready. But in the meantime the constant round of sowing, potting on and planting out will take my mind off things.

Sadly it wasn't such a good day for this little fellow though. He must have flown headlong into the greenhouse and broken his neck.

He is now residing (very well wrapped, I hasten to add) in my freezer!
I mentioned it to a friend whose brother is a wildlife artist, and she told me that he could use it as a reference subject for his work. As most wild birds in the UK are protected by law, apparently painters and taxidermists are desperate to get hold of suitable subjects by legal means.
Being turned into art seems a fitting end for such a beautiful creature.

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