Today, I’ve mostly been planting plants. The result is that the new bed between the wall and the drive is pretty well full. There is room for a few more things that I can buy when I see and want them, and I’m quite sure that things will be moved around in the autumn, but at least the ground will be fairly well covered and there will be some flowers. I know I haven’t got it right yet – how is it that nearly all the climbers have turned out to be yellow? – but at least there’s something there now. And about 100 plants put in during an afternoon was a bit of a marathon and I got rather bored, I have to admit. It wasn’t helped by the dark brown hen being so keen to be the first to find anything edible as I dug that she sat on my spade and I had to lift her as well as the sod. Which was a word I said more than once, truth to tell.
The day started quite well actually, when the Sage remembered to remind me that I needed to turn on the church heating for tomorrow as well as a couple of days in the week when the village school is using the building for their Easter Play. I went down, checked all timings, put in the right ones (there are a few of us who understand the timeclock but I was the only one about today) and came back home, made a cup of tea and some breakfast toast and then, sitting reading the morning emails, I remembered that the bloody clock changes in the small hours tonight. And I had not changed the church timer accordingly. So I had to go back and do it – and seriously, if there is not a firm decision made to abandon Greenwich Mean Time, fine institution as it was but is no longer except in Scotland where they are welcome to it, I shall mount a protest. Well, not literally, but I’ll moan like anything. The point is, I don’t want the clocks to change at all. Summer Time all year round, I say. It’s the obvious way forward.
Anyhoo, that having been done I made another cup – well, I made coffee this time and faffed around reading the paper and so on for a bit, until the sun moved round to warm where the bed is, and then I started planting, and it took a long time, because I had to set the plants out and then change my mind and then tweak a bit and then … oh darlings, you get the idea. Fortunately, Jamie had rearranged his time, most kindly, to come for a couple of hours this afternoon and he has put wire netting round the bed so the chickens don’t scratch them all up again first thing tomorrow. He noted that I was looking a bit glum as I neared the end of the job – and then said I’d cheered up to my usual self after I finished, so that made me feel better – that my usual self is perceived as the cheerful one, that is.
I bought several pots of sweet pea seedlings that I’ve split and put into larger pots and will plant tomorrow or the next day – 50p for around 15 seedlings – that is, about 12-20 in each pot – which seems extremely good value. I’ve also got a couple of dozen asparagus crowns and I’ve put them into some compost to keep moist until the bed is ready. I’ll probably plant them on Tuesday.
The slightly sad thing is that, a few years ago, I’d have been in a state of bliss all day and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Now, it’s a bit of a chore. I don’t quite know where my pleasure in gardening went, but it’s more an obligation now. I’m very sad about that and I really do try hard to renew that pleasure – I do love to raise plants from seed and care for young plants – but I think I have lost the ability to relax through work. I shall keep trying, though.
Something I said the other night made me wonder if I was just saying it or whether I have found out something more about myself that I never knew … I was at that school concert and (I can’t remember the context) the Head remarked that I’m a linguist, aren’t I? I hastily disclaimed, acknowledging that I took Latin and French A Levels but haven’t used them since and am pretty useless – and I took them the year after O Levels, which was way too steep a learning curve, especially for Latin. I was asked, by the other governor, how so? and explained that I’d flunked Latin twice, dropped it for a year, took it again, got a respectable grade so went for the A Level (and in French too) in a year. “If I failed, I raised the bar and tried again, harder,” I said in explanation. She suggested that I must have been quite an exacting mother – I said, not at all – and in fact, it’s self-command that I’m interested in, not imposing things on others … but the first bit, is it true, I wonder, or was it just something I said to give a plausible explanation? I’m not sure. I do know that I’ve a reputation for pushing myself hard, but that’s easy to gain. I don’t really, I just take too much on and then scurry around at the last to get a reasonable result. If I did less, I would be able to do it really well – but I can’t be arsed. I’d rather be just good enough at a lot of things. I don’t mind failing at something that’s beyond me, but I don’t like to be beaten for lack of effort, even though effort is a slightly dirty word in this part of the Zedary.
Anyway, the thing is, those plants are all in place and that’s one job jobbed.