Too busy for summer

Thursday June 29, 2006

I clambered back towards normal energy levels today and got the first installment of redecoration done, washing down four of the six walls of the L-shaped kitchen. I shall finish that job tomorrow, and go on to start on the study.

I feel good that the redecoration project has started at last but I confess it’s hard not to feel disappointed with the slowness of my progress. I’d have liked to have finished the kitchen in a single day.

The kitchen is the most recently painted of all the rooms in the house and, had it not been for the unsettling dead salmon pink colour of the walls, I’d have been tempted to leave it be against some future in-depth redecoration project. It was surprising then to find the amount of grime that washed off the walls and into the bucket, and the noticeably cleaner and fresher the room became as I worked round it. Surprising, and encouraging too. If such a difference can be achieved by simply washing the walls down then a repainting job in a more suitable colour will be even more effective than we’d thought.

So, the work is more than just worthwhile. I just wish I could do more of it in a day.

I’m content enough, though. Progress is progress, no matter how small each stage may be.

On the way to Bridgwater, in the hedgerow opposite the Yeo Valley dairy farm, there is a stunning display of field poppies mixed with a pretty light purple flower the name of which simply will not come to the front of my mind. I miss my reference books! Sadly, that stretch of road has no pedestrian pathway, is narrow, and dangerous, so there’s no way to stop and enjoy the show properly, far less photograph it. The field beyond is pasture, cultivated the old-fashioned way, so it’s a visual feast of wild flowers and mixed grasses. There are a couple of gates that provide glimpses as you drive past. Tantalizing. There are so few of these lovely old fields. Next year I shall see if I can’t find a back road that gives access on foot. Too busy this year.

Sitting in the bar this morning, doing my daily upload, I noted a squirrel darting along the path, closely followed by a crowd of angry sparrows who were mobbing him mercilessly. Graham was interested in much the same way as I was but his staff were most alarmed for the squirrel. I explained that no harm had come to him and that the sparrows were doubtless chasing him off from a nest-robbing attempt. Made no difference, their sympathy was entirely with the squirrel.

In the hedge outside the caravan there’s been a dead beech leaf hanging from a bit of spider thread, spinning slowly and looking for all the world like a mouse, captured and bound by some much larger spider than we have in the British Isles. It’s been catching the corner of my eye in a disturbing way for some days and this evening I popped out finally, to detach it and remove it from my vision. The illusion of dead mouse was maintained right up to the point where I reached out to grab it and I almost expected to feel fur rather than crisp dry leaf. It was a leaf, though, and it now rests in the litter under the hedge, waiting on time and rainfall to mulch it down.

Everywhere about me there are signs and sights of nature, even in the little patch of grass that’s to become a back garden in the new house. It’s high summer now, with long, sunny days. I’m enjoying it as much as I can, and wish I could sit quietly and enjoy it fully. There’s too much other stuff needs doing, however. Too busy this year properly to sink into summer.



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