Working, way too much, just about sums up the month of September. Appreciating daffodils and tulips, magnolia trees and fruit tree blossom wherever I find it. Loving Spring!
But as of last Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock, it is school holidays. Two weeks! And I am going to spend all of it in the garden:) But hang on, no I can't - the house is a bomb. I have just hung on by my finger nails with the housekeeping over the last few weeks - vacuuming, laundry, food, dishes, bathroom, tidying. That's all I could manage, and it is starting to show. The house needs some love, the garden needs... editing. It's Spring, and every weed known to man is rejoicing.
I could spend two weeks in the hammock reading all the books, but instead I plan to rush about like a whirling dervish and make the house and garden happy. And this will make me happy too. I may, of course, schedule some hammock time as well.
So yesterday I set about rescuing the house from its slightly slummy state. At 9am I was still sitting up in bed, drinking tea and reading my book (a history of domestic service in England. Fascinating), but by 9.15 I was dressed and had put the first load of laundry on. I threw all of the girls' school uniform on to soak, and by 10am had mowed the back lawn.
Meanwhile, the girls were celebrating spring break as well - by 8.30am Posy was in the hammock reading her book, and by 9.30am they were both playing cards, dissolute children that they are. At 10.05am I had laid down the law - if any of the girls' possessions remained in the living area after five minutes, I was going to throw them outside. As I grimly stalked down the hallway with an armful of Posy's belongings at 10.11am they realised I meant business, and scurried about, tidying.
By 10.30 I had vacuumed all the living areas, and by 11am I had emptied the bins, hung out a load of washing, and watered all the pot plants. By 11.30 the dishes were done, benches, stove top and table wiped down, and there were fresh Spring flowers on the table.
Then my friend Cindy dropped in, timing her visit well:) Don't you love it when visitors arrive after you have cleaned up! Not that Cindy would care, of course, but still, it's always nice to show your best face. And she brought lunch! Frankly quite welcome, because in my enthusiasm I had forgotten breakfast. By 12.30pm Rosy had walked, bathed and de-flead the dog, and The Girl got up and made muffins for afternoon tea.
By 1.30pm the dishes were done again, tables and benches wiped again, laundry that had been sitting in the basket for days was folded and put away, and I tidied my bedroom, which had been looking decidedly worse for wear.
Finally, I could escape into the garden for a bit of R&R. Again, as with the house, I feel that garden rescue should start with the most public areas, so started with the garden bed right by the front of the house, and also weeded the gravel path. Word to the wise. Don't put in a gravel path, unless you want to start a plant nursery. Plants self-seed in a gravel path like it is the most expensive seed mix. Honestly, if you want to propagate a difficult plant, just shake the seeds over any old gravel path, and you will have instant success.
At 2.30pm the grannies arrived for afternoon tea. Yes, my parents bought a house, lived with us for a month, and moved in last week! It is a house with the most adorable little garden, with dozens of rose bushes, and hundreds of daffodils, and yes, that may have had a tiny bit of bearing on my wholehearted recommendation of the property.. now I have two gardens to play in:)
After the grannies left, I walked the dog, finished weeding the path, and then realised my clockwork had run down for the day. Served left-overs for dinner, did the dishes again, washed my hair, and was in bed by 8.30pm with my book.
I am loving the holidays! Hard work of a different kind, on my own schedule, out in the sunshine, and at the end of it I forsee a sparkling house and a happy garden.
Posy attempting to avoid chores by pretending to be asleep in the hammock with the dog..