Although not always sunny, it's been a dry week. Having just blown more leaves than I could ever imagine, into a heap down by the conifer hedge in this garden, I went back to the van to get some bags to bag it all up, and couldn't help but think 'Wow, what a view on a cold winters day'. Sometimes the workload can make you forget to just stand there and take stock. Working in such an environment is such a blessing.
Youngest daughter was a big help during the week, using one of her only days off to come out and help her dear old dad get through the weeks work. It's never usually too much of a problem, but with Christmas looming, and trees shedding their leaves so, so quickly this year, each day is very tight schedule wise. She helped me on a day when I had one of the big places to do, and as well as the leaf clearing, it was to get it's final grass cut of the year, and all of the borders hoed and freshened.
I have mentioned it before I think, that both daughters hold down full time work in areas totally unrelated to horticulture now, but when they were younger, indeed from about seven years old, they came out with us gardening whenever they weren't at school. The demands of starting and running a new business meant that sadly, not a minute of daylight was spared for 'messing about' during holidays and after school stuff. Most weekends were free at least,so it wasn't all work. They not only gained a very strong work ethic, but have since been able to turn their hands to most things to do with gardening, and as you can see, neatly and effortlessly stripe any size lawn.
It was a good day, although very cold, and we caught up with what's going on in each others lives at quiet intervals. I took her home afterwards, as she had made a batch of mince pies, and we were to have some with a cup of tea before I made my own way home.
They are the first she has ever made, and I must say they were very delicious. Her partner Matt was home when we got there, and he introduced me to the new member of the family. Isn't she gorgeous? Meet 'Lotus', the leopard ghecko. She was shy in her new surroundings at first, but now walks about and explores.
It's now the weekend, and for once in our lives we are getting ourselves prepared a little earlier for Christmas. Most of the presents are bought and wrapped, and yesterday we went and got our tree! Just a quick word to Claire and Rebecca...........'HaHa, beat you to it this year!'
This was followed of course by the obligatory trip into Westbourne, as it was the nationwide 'Small Business Saturday'. The whole thing was quite wonderful, with all of the shops feeling festive. There were street performers all over the place, and even a farmers market (although predictably the Tesco that nobody wanted in the first place had apparently tried to get it closed because of the competition). We grabbed a few treats of cheese, bread, Christmas cards etc, and then popped into The Porterhouse for a quick one before returning home.
The morning is going to bring with it my need to make that annual trip into the loft space to bring down the decorations, and this year I insisted on buying some cherry lights for outside............Yey!