I always feel the smirk move across my face when I open the new and shiny diary, and put in the day by day schedule for work and personal life for the next three months. Everything looks so neat and ordered as I make my plans. But God has His own plans, looks down on us, and smiles too.
I know with confidence, that in a fortnight, as always, the diary plans will have changed again and again, and the once neat book will be full of crossings out, and covered in dirty fingerprints. There is no doubt that time and time again there will be frustrations, some small, some big, that will come at us both this year, they always do, but once again I will try and keep them all in perspective. Is that God smiling again?
After the rain that we've been getting, it was a relief to hear that this last weeks weather report was more favourable, and so the diary was filled a little more, and work was started with eagerness and anticipation.
Everywhere we visit is covered in small tree debris from the storms. But the day went well, and we returned home with thoughts of the things to get done during the coming week.
But they were our plans, and the man upstairs had his, and unfortunately they didn't match. I think He is trying to teach me to be more patient, and not to get too 'head fried', as these are a couple of areas that I struggle with. And so it was that the van wouldn't start. I thought it may be something simple like the fuel filter, but she is now still in the garage, and it's not the filter, the fuel pump, or indeed anything simple. It may be the timing, and that is next for the mechanics to tick off the checklist, but this involves taking all sorts of stuff off the engine first, so that they can access the area first (why are vehicles so much more complicated nowadays?) I remember the days of simply undoing two bolts, removing a cover, and then checking the timing with a strobe, but no more sadly.
It's now Saturday morning, and I am writing this post, and the van is still in the garage, so I hope to hear something today, possibly, maybe, hopefully. For now though, the rest of the week.
We had to share the use of Celias car, and so spent much of our time at home, catching up on some tidying up and gardening of our own for a change. We hadn't been out in our own jungle for several months, and things were in need of some serious sorting out.
Everywhere was damp and mossy from all of the rain. Weeds had enjoyed a free time, and there was pruning to be done. The banana, the red/yellow thing on the left of the picture below, appears to have survived so far, which will be a first for us, but it's early days, and we may get a cold snap yet.
Amanda started by taking down some of the Fuschia and Spiraeas.
While I set about dismantling and removing the tomato planter under the kitchen window. It's been there for a few years, but has now reached it's sell by date. The plan is to rplace it with clusters of terracotta pots for tomatoes instead.
Once any clearing and pruning was done, I set about weeding, as Amanda followed behind with the hoe. It's at this point that we can really see what is still growing, and what we have lost.
One of our Christmas presents was this, something for bees and insects to make a home in. It's hung nice and safely in one of the Acacia trees, and the hope is that we will encourage more bugs into the garden.
The Acer 'Sangu Kaku' only needs the dead wood taking out, and is at it's best at this time of year. The dark pink bark almost glows against the blue sky.
We have a Sambucus racemosa 'Plumosa Aurea' that we have trained pruned to become a small canopied tree. They are very vigorous, and this one gets a couple of 'reducing' prunes through the year. For now though, I'm taking eighteen inches off, and removing any thin or dead growth.
And of course Hobie felt the need to socialise. There is nothing nicer to him than a warm day and some company.
It was a long day, and there is still a mountain of stuff to burn, but things are a little more ordered now.
I have just had a phone call from the garage, and it is the timing. The timing chain was knackered, and a new chain 'kit' is needed. Once everything is fitted, we will know if there was any valve damage, but for now the bill is up to £850.00......Happy days :(
God has His plans. It's just as well I am off to church tomorrow, I need some support!