Today was a pretty perfect day. Having been away last weekend I was very much looking forward to a day of doing very little. Of pottering. I am a great potterer when the mood takes me, the hours just fly by. I started early, before 6am, by birding the patch. In all honesty it was pretty dire, nary a single migrant and very quiet indeed. The boys and I naturally started talking about drinking almost immediately - I worry about the liver function of many of our local patch workers. I also sense that a gin & tonic evening is probably in the offing, as we all seem very keen indeed on this most wonderful of drinks. The avian highlight was a particularly lovely male Stonechat in the Ditch of Despair - despite my camouflage hat I couldn't get anywhere near it so the below is about as good as it gets.
Returning home having drawn the proverbial blank I enjoyed coffee and some semi-stale crusts of toast . This is the problem with children, they eat you out of house and home yet don't bother telling you when something has run out (ie, been scoffed). They simply move on to something else. Oh, no bread? Right, cereal then. No cereal? Fruit. They just expect replacement whatever it is, in this instance bread, to magically reappear the next time they look. I open the bread bin about once a week and it is always sodding empty. So it was today, barring the ends of a couple of loaves. The trick is to splash a bit of water on them and then sling them in the toaster.
With this meagre sustenance I set to work. I was delighted to discover that my lawn mower still worked after all this time, and half an hour later the garden looked sensational. It does not matter how crappy your garden is, once you mow the grass ('lawn' would be pushing it at Chateau L) it makes everything look fabulous for some reason. I pruned a few things and did a few edges, you might almost think a gardener had come. Did Mrs L notice when she returned home? No.
Next up was repopulating the terrace with ferocious Mexican plants that have spent the winter under glass. I have a sack barrow specifically for this annual task and so made short work of getting all of them out and back up the garden. The local cats are once again in mortal danger, just the way I like it. And then with so much room freed up in the greenhouse I was able to take stuff from indoors and put it down there, which means we can now move a little more easily in the house. Some watering, some pruning, a but of weeding, and after all this I was amazed to see that my pedometer suggested that I had covered three miles simply walking up and down the garden - talk about industrious!
So now came the time to relax. It was precisely raptor o'clock. I plonked one of the garden chairs on the freshly mown grass and lowered myself gently down, binoculars at the ready. Five minutes later the first Buzzard cruised over, and an hour later the second. The intervening period passed very quickly, it is possible that I dozed off.
And then it was time for gin.