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Outdoors again

July 2, 2017

Since Juneuary ended last week it’s been all go in the great outdoors. (Kept indoors by the cold and rain I did get some late spring cleaning done, including washing the tops of the cupboards, the wardrobe and, I do believe for the first time in two decades, the top side of the fan blades.)

01-07 stella bench 2

One sure sign that summer has properly arrived is that the bench now has its cushions on – and that Stella immediately reclaimed it.

01-07 strawberries

Another sure sign is the ripening of the absolutely bloody delicious strawberries. It’s looking as if it could also be a good summer for raspberries and blackberries.  (Blueberries, sadly, not so much.)

Things proceed apace in the garden, although I have my doubts about the Tumbler tomatoes, the leaves of which are looking more than a bit brown. The courgettes are producing lots of flowers, so I foresee another summer of courgette and Gorgonzola soup. Yum. Peas coming along nicely, as are the greens.  Dinner salads made with my own lettuce and rocket. How smug am I? (So impressed am I by the success of the lettuce and the rocket that I’ve seeded another row.)

Progress on the “landscaping” is slow, but steady. One of the things this project has revealed (or at least reminded me of) is the number of really quite large branches stacked up around the property.

Looking at one of these piles a couple of weeks ago I realised I could add a fair supplement to my fire wood, if only I had some way of cutting them into woodstove-sized pieces. Sent an email to my mates Dave and Charlie, asking them if either had a chainsaw. Dave emailed back to say he had one, but it wouldn’t start. He did, however have another saw he thought would do the job. Charlie replied with a photo, asking if this was what I wanted.

chainsaw

Erm, no.

Decided to take Dave up on his offer. He brought the saw over with his work table. Now all I needed was to get the wood to the saw. Contacted Charlie again, telling him he could leave Freddie Krueger at home, as Dave had loaned me a table saw, but I would appreciate some help shifting the wood. “A table saw?” asked Charlie, his tone incredulous. Hmm, I thought, maybe not a table saw. “I don’t know,” I said. “It’s a saw and it sits on a table.” Charlie came over, identified it as a chop saw. Okey, dokey. We shifted the wood. He left. I sawed the wood.

woodstock

A tidy little pile, which I need to pile more tidily.

Contact Dave to let him know the job is done, then immediately notice that there is a sizeable amount of sizeable windfall in the woods which I should also saw into stove-sized pieces. Cart some of this down to the saw, but there are couple of huge and heavy logs which are actually fallen down trees. I cannot manage these on my own, which means I need to get Charlie back.

Bless both of them. They really do help me out, but I do miss Mr Fixit.

Yes, sadly for all their friends on the island, Cec and Joyce moved to the Sunshine Coast a few months ago. The first time I asked Cec for some help in the garden (shifting a huge rock), he ended up coming back the next day to build me a second raised bed. When I thanked him profusely, he told me he was happy to help out anytime. I laughed and told him he might come to regret the offer, but he assured me he wouldn’t ever. He really liked helping friends out. And he did. Not just the raised bed and the berry frames, but helping by chopping up a cherry tree that fell over a couple of winters ago and changing the light fixtures downstairs. He insisted last year that this summer he was going to replace the rotting wood of the downstairs porch.  Now I will have to figure out how to do the job myself.

That’s the sad (for all their friends) news. Here’s the infuriating and rather creepy news.

At some point recently some fucking tea leaf nicked one of my pink flamingos.

Years and years ago Mike and I had a pink flamingo in the garden out front. During one of our absences, someone stole it. Annoying, but what are you going to do?

Well, one of the things you can do, as I did when I decided to purchase a pair of pink flamingos, is not put them in the garden, where they could be seen by anyone walking down the road.

flamingo

Yes, that’s right. The flamingos were placed at the back of the house. Which means the wanker in question was actually sneaking around the back of the house when he (or she) decided to steal the one on the right.

Of course there is the possibility that some kitsch loving deer (or eagle) made off with him. I did consider this for about a nanosecond, thinking good luck to him (or her) if that was the case. But seriously, what are the odds?

As I said, bloody infuriating and fucking creepy in pretty much in equal measure.

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