Today Lord and Lady Mantle were called away on top secret business, possibly something to do with road testing custard slices, but I can’t be certain. I was left to my own devices. Dangerous you might think. And I wouldn’t blame you.
By nature I am a flitter, jumping from one task to another and back again. This doesn’t work well when you are working with other more methodical folk. Being home alone meant I could dance around to my heart’s delight. Two days of dry weather gave perfect seed collecting weather, if you discount the gale force wind. I trimmed back the black elder and tree peony, allowing plenty of space for the soon to be on site Men with Machines who are going to trim/butcher the leylandii. Pots of pelargoniums and dahlias were moved to the greenhouse, I dug up the black zantedeschia and chocolate cosmos to keep them company. Weeds were ousted and prize winning compost incorporated.
They returned just in time for His Lordship to make me a quail toastie and pour me a pint of claret for lunch. No one mentioned custard slices. Mum’s the word.
Although there is still much colour in the garden, gazanias, alonsoa and osteospermums, I loved the muted, stone-washed tones of this lace-cap hydrangea.
Then the sun came out and it was quite a different story.
Social media tells me it is World Kindness day. Sounds like a good thing. Although I doubt the people who should be taking note are paying attention. Still we must do what we can.
Today we had a day trip to the big city, well a city anyway. We wore our best smocks held neatly in place with baler twine and caught the horse and trap into town. After a wander around the shops, buying a few essentials, pitch forks and the like, we went to Zizzi’s for lunch. We always go to Zizzis. It is great. If anyone from Zizzi’s is reading this and would like to reward my testimonial with an unlimited life time of pizzas, I would not refuse. I am sure I could do better than “it is great” if I put my mind to it.
Although we were early, the restaurant was busy and our charming Italian waitress was a little flustered. The meal was delicious and as we were about to leave she apologised for her tardy service. She then explained that she was quite new to the job and hadn’t known it so frantic before. I tried to reassure her. I told her it had been fine, we hadn’t had to wait long, we could see it was busy. Most importantly she was nice and most things can be forgiven if you are nice. “You think I am nice?!” she beamed. “Yes, I do, very nice”. “Thank you, you have made me feel so much better, you have made my day”.
And her reaction made my day.
It is worth it, a kind word.
To unashamedly quote The Bard, who was actually talking about something else at the time “It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”
Still it is true. It is good to be kind. And once you get going it is very easy.
It was a struggle to get an even vaguely in-focus photo today. This was partly to do with the gale force winds that were assaulting plants and gardener alike, and partly to do with the fact I had so many clothes on it was hard to extricate my camera and take a shot.
In order to keep warm, this vinca was doing the dance moves to YMCA. For sake of the photo, we are lucky that Y is quite a long note.
This morning I started a new job. I think it is going to be a good one.
They have compost bins and a greenhouse. They said the words “environmentally friendly”. The soil is free draining. It is a windy site but has sun. It is flat. It is only 20 minutes from home. I haven’t seen any mind your own business. They say please and thank you. Coffee is good. And this little chap lives there.
Hail storms notwithstanding, it was good a start. I think it is going to be a good one.
Tropaeolum tuberosum at Westwell Hall. The first flower of the season. Better late than never.
“Quick, quick, come and see this!” Lady Mantle called out frantically.
His Lordship and myself dropped our croquet mallets and ran at full pelt towards her plaintive calls.
“Is it a newt?” I asked
What other exotic creature could be lurking in the flower bed? A boomslang, an axolotl, a New Zealand flatworm?
Panting after our exertion, having run a full 10m without a pit stop, we demanded:
“What have you found that is so exciting we had to drop everything and rush to your side?”
“A really big worm”
Lord Mantle looked at me. I looked at him. We sighed in unison and walked away muttering “a worm” and “not even a very big one”.
As we retreated we could hear Her Ladyship exclaiming:
“Look! It’s as big as a snake, enormous, come back!”
Attention seeking again. When will we learn?
There is no photo of the “enormous” worm. I hope you aren’t disappointed. Instead you have a picture of a canna seedpod, just ready to drop its contents to the ground.