Today I did my tax return.  It is not particularly complicated and the on-line submission is relatively straightforward, especially if you are paying attention and not distracted by someone blithering on in the background.  The figures involved are rather petty, I am computer literate and love a good spreadsheet, but all the same it took me most of the day.   The result wasn’t to my liking, but then I doubt it seldom is.  Anyway it is done and well before time.  I could get used to the role of Head Swot.  Mind you I haven’t actually paid it yet, they will have to wait for that.  The money is much safer in my bank account, who knows what the government are planning on spending it on.  I’m guessing it won’t be “peace, love and understanding”. But less of such doldrums.

Now I feel frazzled.  I need some florific respite.

This callistemon, or bottlebrush, enjoyed the weather this week rather more than the gardener. As it comes from Australia, whose climate is considerably far removed from North Devon, it must have thought “about time, some decent temperatures!”.  Mind you, it didn’t do much in the blistering heat, except perhaps a bit of photosynthesising, oh yes, and producing these incredible flaming flowers.

GPAP – Summer Rain

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While we are on the subject of rain ……  This photo was taken in July.  I wonder why I haven’t used it before. Perhaps I have and can’t remember, highly possible.  If so I apologise, but I think it might deserve a repeat.  It is a callistemon, an Australian bottlebrush, and it lives in a pot on the patio. Patio sounds rather over-grand, I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea; it abides on the 3m x 2m paved yard outside the back door.  Here it shares the space with a couple of Acer palmatum, a sophora, a blueberry, a liquidambar, an oleander, a peach tree and a brugmansia.  Tardis technology.  Steep brick steps lead up from here to the rest of the bijou garden.  I fell down those steps once and now find them terrifying, but don’t tell anyone, especially not me as it might mean I do even less work up there.  This wonderful shrub was another of those, buy now, explain later purchases.  But it was greeted with approval and is now a permanent resident. The picture reminds me of one of the carnivorous sundews, with their sticky insect catching droplets. Callistemons however are strictly vegetarian and, luckily for me and its good health, prefer a moist environment.

This is the last week of my sabbatical and still the rain falls.  I am hoping that it gets all this nonsense out of its system before next week.