Gardening, stamina and Joshua’s chalk drawings

Our back garden in a state of order
Our back garden in a state of order

One of the delights of this past weekend — apart from almost seeing the blood moon eclipse last night (there was too much cloud cover at 03:47 when I peered out of my south-westwards facing study window) — was getting the back garden tidied up.

Of course, the front garden still looks like a jungle. (Sorry neighbours!) But the back garden looks splendid and neat. The secret to tidy-looking gardens, I believe, is simply in defining straight lines and borders. It’s a bit like web design. But without the benefits of flexbox.

What is frustrating, though, is that my stamina still hasn’t returned after last year’s headache.

It’s been over a year now since I was in hospital. When I got out my GP said that I shouldn’t expect to begin to get my energy back until January or February; it was more like April when I began to feel that I was making some improvement.

But then in July the headaches began again. I know I was pushing myself too hard: cycling every couple of days, staying up too late, and I need to get my eyes tested again (appointment booked for Monday).

Time to reel myself in a bit and be a bit more sensible and disciplined.

Still, in the meantime at least the shed is tidy. And who doesn’t love a tidy potting shed?

Look! You can now walk in through the door and not tread on something.
Look! You can now walk in through the door and not tread on something.

And I think I may have discovered that Joshua is the secret identity of Banksie.

I love this cheerful drawing of a man and... a thing.
I love this cheerful drawing of a man and… a thing.

Seemingly to the right of the cheerful man is his thought bubble. I need to ask Joshua again what he’s thinking. Because I seem to recall that it was something random. Like a pie.

The septennial clearance of weeds from the drive

A drive free from weeds
A weed-free drive

This year Jane and I managed something we’ve not done since moving into this house over seven years ago: we weeded the entire drive. A job that took about nine hours, over four days; two of them, however, in the company of Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

In the past I’ve managed to clear only a few square meters of driveway before either the rain swamped my handiwork, or babies needed to be attended to. This year, however, I had three willing little helpers who each contributed something significant to the purging of the weeds.

This is what the drive looked like when I started, a sorry sight of grass and muck between dirty paving stones:

Herringbone drive with lots of weeds and grass between the stones
Before

And roughly the same area after it had been weeded, scrubbed with a wire brush, and blasted with a power hose that a colleague of mine kindly loaned me:

A clean drive
After

The next trick is going to try to keep it this way for the next seven years.

Isaac

This afternoon, while I vacuumed the car, Isaac sat on the front lawn and watched everything that was going on.

A few photos of young Isaac, aged 7½ months, the day before his baptism.

Isaac

Above: Isaac wondering what Mummy is pointing in his direction.

Isaac looking inquisitive

Above: Isaac looking inquisitive.

Isaac saying something

Above: Isaac practices his baptism speech for tomorrow.

Reuben has Isaac in a head-lock

Above: Older brother Reuben still hasn’t learned the difference between ‘cuddle’ and ‘head-lock’.

Isaac looking thoughtful

Above: Another thoughtful look from Isaac.

Gareth’s Prediction #2

Here’s my prediction for 2008. This will be the next ‘big thing’ in daytime TV.

It will be a TV programme where two presenters will help a family find their dream home in the country. Meanwhile the entire family will be given complete make-overs and where necessary plastic surgery.

The team will also assist in the selling of the house from which they are moving, by suggesting interior decor tips to make the house more attractive to potential buyers. And sell the entire contents of their attic at an auction. Or car boot sale.

Once the new ‘dream home’ has been purchased a team will come in to completely gut and renovate the house and garden.

I predict that this programme will appeal most to those on witness protection schemes.