Thursday, 24 June 2010

Now is the Summer of my Discontent...


Hot, hot, hot and I am trapped in my house with the windows closed to stop brick dust blowing in and cats escaping out.  I can't sneak off to town and treat myself to an enormous piece of much needed cake because all the doors are open to allow the 'fencers' to stream in and out of the house with their buckets of dirt and rubble to fill the over-groaning skip.  There is a slightly unpleasant dry grittiness in my mouth which experience tells me will be hanging around for weeks.  There is no point cleaning until they have gone and I have finished the post holiday ironing mountain so I am just mooching around in a desultory sort of a manner.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon photoshopping scenes for a new Sockmovie only to press the quit key by mistake and loose it all.   I wasted a long while staring at the screen in gobsmacked disbelief but my lost work failed to materialize.  My masterpiece now floating somewhere in the ether...

The cats are furious at being kept in, I felt so sorry for them that I let them sleep in the bedroom.   Hebe spent half the night wriggling into the contours of my body refusing to move even when we totally overheated and I thought I was going to expire.  When I did manage to throw off the quilt and cool down Spook took a bite out of available bits of my anatomy.  Thrown out Spook spent the rest of the night making 'sad and lonely' noises outside my door but I kept my heart hard.  The Bedsock as usual has managed to find a conference to go to thus avoiding returning home to the chaos for a few nights.  Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft!

The one thing that I am finding quite pleasing at the moment is my tiny front gravel garden. (clic on pic to enlarge)


I was ahead of my time and designed and planted it before gravel and rocks became popular. It was the obvious solution to a small area (12 x  7 ft ish) which needed to be low maintenance and also grow in poor rubble and tree root filled soil.  Many of the tender plants are sunk into the ground in mesh pots so they can be easily lifted in winter - lifted into the unheated greenhouse where half of them froze to death anyway.  Nevertheless enough survived for it now to be burgeoning with grasses, eryngiums, aeoniums and cacti.  I wanted the grasses to be bright primary colours blue koeleria glauca grass, the dark red of Japanese blood grass, the bright yellow of Carex elata aurea, the  lucozade orange of  Libertia and black of aeoniums and ophiopogon.

Amongst the beauty of the blue eryngiums grows another enormous thistle.  I bought this at some expense at a garden centre, impressed with it's architectural looks and distinctive stripey, stabby leaves.  When it flowered last year it bore an uncanny resemblance to the extremely common thistles that grow all around the entrance to the local dump* so I think I got done.  It's turning into a monster and will have to be hoiked out at some point but at the moment it is making me laugh when so much else is failing to be funny.

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* Whenever I take the latest load of garden rubbish to the dump I have the William Tell Overture ringing around my head... To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump!!

I was never so keen on the William Tell Overture after my brother taught my seven year old self the version which goes "Oh away, oh away with William Tell, stick a pin up his arse and run like hell!"  The memory of my father clouting me around the ear after I innocently sang him a reedy rendition of it is so etched on my memory that I can still see the flowerbeds and cars around me outside the Swiss hotel we were staying in.

5 comments:

MarkD said...

You need to find a cake delivery company....or maybe you could start one. People are always building(or knocking down) something and logic sugegsts there must be a similar number of housebound, dustcoated occupants desirous of cake. So go on, put Britain's economy back on its feet

Rob Clack said...

Love the gravel garden, esp. the eryngiums. We had some which died, but now I'm inclined to try again.

Our pond project is getting on for a year old now. The (3rd) man promises to start next week. Honest. The pond has been empty since March when the first man promised to start....

Carrie said...

Try living around the corner from your new, almost finished house. Argghhhh, so frustrating, it's right there. I'm stuck up in my mother in law's loft conversion slowly dying of hayfever with the windows closed.
God, I need cake - any movement on that cake delivery company???

Arabella Sock said...

The problem with cake deliveries is that they deliver whole cakes rather than a slice or just one cupcake. Even I can't eat a whole cake - at least not at one sitting. You are right though an emergency 'cupcake' delivery service is called for.

Rob, its the same the whole world over. Friend in France has been waiting a year for the 'artisan' to turn up and finish the job.
This lot are being pretty good though and doing a lot to mimimise the stress. I just want to get out there and clean up, sort everything and prettify my garden again.

Carrie if your MILs loft is as hot as our attic then you must be having a very hard time of it - hopefully no seagulls bothering you up there.

the cycling gardener said...

My son has just started a door to door sales summer job down your way between university terms, unfortunately not selling cakes. If he should happen to call round he might be distracted by your socky appearance – albeit stylish 100 percent cashmere - but rest assured I’ve bought him up not to point or stare.