This is the weekend that smashed records. Saturday was the third warmest day of the year in the UK and the weekend was the best at Spring Cottage since 2009. It felt weird – summer temperatures with completely the wrong flora. Leaves to rake up and almost flowerless beds, along with clear blues skies and temperatures in the 80s. While I’m grateful for such warm times after our miserable summer, there is a sense that these are strange days.
The weekend was rather busy with lots of chores along with reading and riding. The gutters needed clearing to avert winter floods, as the farmers’ hedge topping had lodged a ton of finger-sized splinters along their length. The size of their cutter-thing must be huge. My side of the field boundary had to be trimmed as well, as there was about a foot of cobnut that they couldn’t reach or didn’t want to touch, perhaps. As always, it didn’t look like much but produced a massive pile of cuttings which need to be swept up. I’m halfway there as I write this; taking a break from the work to rest my back before I get tired and bad tempered. I never have grown up in that respect.
There are still some blossoms here and there, like this sweet rose which rambles its way through the hedge and appears across its crown.
The holly tree is fully of berries, which I’m going to capture now because they’ll all have gone to the birds by the time their more ‘seasonal’ time comes along and I want to make a wreath.
Then I tackled some DIY. The door of the woodshed has been sticking since the winter, so I got out my late father-in-law’s Bailey and planed down the offending section. I always feel very pleased with myself when I achieve something that I’ve been putting off for months. Although, I do wonder why I procrastinate so much about relatively easy things and let them get on top of me.
I enjoyed doing this, if for no other reason than that a Bailey is such a wonderful tool; one of the first that I can remember seeing as child. It is such a clever thing, with its mechanism for minutely adjusting the blade and its inherent strength and clear, practical design. This one has wooden handles and has been lovingly looked after. It has been inherited by my son and I hope that, one day, he will make himself useful with it. Most of my tools were my parents’, which gives an extra dimension to how I feel about using them.
I also rubbed down and primed the front windowsills and part of the gateposts, which hadn’t lasted very well since they were painted just over a year ago. So, I feel a bit better about the upkeep of the house, which I’ve been neglecting since it has become less of a project and more a part of my life. It is rather a lot to keep on top of.
But it is, of course, October and the evenings are shortening. So it wasn’t long until the house cast its long shadow over the field; at which point, I was delighted to see some deer sitting on the far side. This is the closest I’ve ever seen them, although I have found some suspect poo in the garden front time to time. Not that I want to encourage them in, but it is nice to see them. Oh! How I wanted a longer lens, but this does enlarge so you can see their faces a bit better.
I took myself off to the Travellers’ Rest for supper, where I made an entrance by throwing myself down the steps of the bar area. They must have thought I’d been on the booze all afternoon. I think I was just rather tired – I can get quite spacey when I’m physically exhuasted. I do so love that I can just sit there peacefully, reading the news on my phone, listening to the others talking about their holidays, the price of grain and their new silos.
Walking home in the almost pitch black tunnel of the lane (the picture below was taken much earlier), I felt comfortably hidden in the folds of the country night until the light of the cottage’s windows welcomed me home.