Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A time of adjustment

My last post was written just 3 days before we set off on our journey to Normandy and since then a lot has happened. After spending a couple of days with my dear mother-in-law, we visited DS and his family for the weekend and finally arrived here just before midnight a couple of weeks ago.

As soon as we arrived we made the unwelcome discovery that, for the first time in 12 years of ownership, we had been visited by mice over the winter. Spiders and their webs are always here to greet us, but mice have been conspicuous by their absence until now. Thankfully they appear to have departed, having obviously decided that our settee cushions aren’t to their taste, after having sampled all but one of them.

The next discovery was that it now takes us longer than in previous years to recover from the preparations and the journey. No longer do we spring from our beds the morning after our arrival, ready to do battle with the cobwebs and unpack the van in less time than it takes to tell. We were very tired and knew it, so the cleaning and unpacking stretched over a couple of days or more before the last box and bag were emptied and the contents put away.

After that it was the turn of the garden. The third discovery was that the tree surgeon had done a wonderful job of cutting down and clearing away the three big poplars and our beloved cherry tree, leaving us only a pile of cherry logs and yet more ruts in the grass where his heavy equipment had unavoidably compressed the winter-wet ground. Cutting the grass in some parts of the garden now feels like pushing a mower over corrugated iron and DH has just invested in a mattock to help level the worst of the ruts.

On the positive side, we’ve discovered that even without our magnificent cherry tree the garden still looks attractive and my little flower border is flourishing as never before.  The garden table and chairs sit well in the lesser shade of the cherry tree on our boundary and we are discussing with the tree surgeon the purchase and planting of not one but two trees to replace the coeur de pigeon – a black cherry and an eating apple.

Another positive is the weather, which has been warm and sunny almost all the time since we arrived and indeed last week became very hot for a few days, though nothing like as sweltering as further south in France. It has been lazy weather, conducive to sitting in the shade with a book, rather than racing around the garden with a mower, and my mental processes almost went onto standby for a while, hence the lack of posts.

Today is cool and rainy, freshening up the vegetation and making me feel awake enough to string more than a couple of thoughts together. I’m starting to plan ahead again and look forward to our normal pleasant summer pattern of meeting up with friends, knitting and chatting happily at the weekly craft afternoon, and getting lots of healthy exercise in the garden. We’re even getting regular visits from last year’s kittens, now lithe and wary young cats who recognise a couple of mugs when they see them. Oh, and the jam apricots are now in the shops again…