Spurred on by Mike and K’s noble example, I trotted out to prune the wisteria. The Sage came and watched me. “Hm, I think I need the pair of steps” I decided. The splendid fellow went and fetched them for me and put them up. “You won’t go up on the top step?” he asked. I assured him I was not planning a plummet any time soon. Reassured, he went off to do *whatever errands that take him out of the house for several hours a day*. I reflected that some blokes hold the ladder. Or ascend it.
It’s all right. I didn’t plummet and I used the secateurs and pruning saw to good effect. If we ever used the front door, we could do so without being forced off the path into the lavender.
I didn’t, of course, clear anything up. That’s not my job.
By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you – does anyone have an opinion whether or not it’s worth keeping capsicum (in this case, chilli) plants alive during the winter, rather than growing them from seed every spring? I could keep them in the porch, which is frost-free, but that’s the best I’d do. No heat. Apart from the jalapenos, which have lost a lot of their leaves, they are all still really healthy and covered with flowers, as well as having given loads of chillies but usually I just let them go as the weather gets colder.
I completely forgot about dinner and had to rootle in the larder and the vegetable garden. Butternut squash risotto and sautéed swiss chard was the result. I didn’t use the chard leaves, which will be cooked as spinach tomorrow. Ro came and grated the squash for me, which gave us a chance to chat – we’re all a taciturn lot who are quite comfortable being quiet most of the time.
He had been out to the pub last night with old school friends, for the first time for a while and, as I know quite a lot of them, he filled me in on their current doings. It’s a bit startling, to hear that one was (until a week ago, whoops) contemplating marriage and another buying a house. Another has finished his stint in the RAF, and he’s only 23. Ro approves of the smoke free pubs. And he said, with some satisfaction, that he hadn’t had a drink all evening – no alcohol, that is. Although, as he said, there is only so much lemonade you can drink. He does drink, but he hates being pushed to keep up and have a pint bought with every round. Easier to say no at the start. I know what he means, which is why I usually drink halves in pubs. My popularity depends, in part, on my reputation as a cheap date.