30 September 2015
It’s been a funny old week with no office to walk to and time I’m not used to having on my hands. Of course I’ve been job hunting and I’ve got things done in the house. The fridge has been cleaned to within an inch of its life and lots of things have been tidied that would otherwise have stayed messy. The weather has been unseasonably nice, the Indian Summer I’d hoped for when July and August were so wet and miserable. Of course this made me feel guilty for being indoors. Guilt is my default mode.
For a long time I’d been sitting with one eye on the screen of the Mac scrolling through jobs I didn’t want to do looking for gems I did, the other on the sun and blue sky outside. “Enough,” I told myself, closing the laptop and picking up the car keys. It was too late for a walk but there was still time to go out. CJ looked up from his own computer as I passed him in the gym. “How d’you fancy an ice cream on the shore?” I asked. I didn’t have to ask twice. He was up and had his shoes on in a flash.
The ‘drive right in parking space’ was taken up when we got there but I managed to find a space a little further along and got into it with no trouble. While CJ took photos of the gulls and crows I’d snapped a few days before I queued for our ice creams. It was a pretty short queue and soon we were sitting on the shingle with our backs against the weathered wood of the fence eating. The gulls watched us, waiting to see if we’d drop anything.
It was peaceful sitting there in the sun with the sound of waves breaking on shingle.
“We used to come down here a lot when we lived in Woolston,” I said, half to myself, running my hands over the shingle not quite able to resist the urge to look for pretty shells. “I’d collect bags of seaweed for the compost heap and your brothers would run around like mad things or gather pocketfuls of stones, shells and glass worn smooth by the waves. Of course you were just a baby in a pushchair. You won’t remember it.”
“Not really,” he agreed, picking up a piece of smooth green glass and examining it. “I remember the razor shells, sometimes they’d have creatures still in them and I’d throw them back in the sea, but that was later I think.”
When the ice creams were finished and my pocket was filled with tiny, mother of pearl turban top shells, we got up and strolled down to the sea. CJ skimmed a few stones and I watched a little dog frolicking in the surf.
“Do you want me to show you the boundary stone?” I asked, “it’s only a little way along the path.”
So we made our way to the path by the benches and followed my footsteps from a few days before. For once I took no photos but CJ took enough for both of us.
On the way home CJ pronounced this “your best drive yet Mum.” While I’d like to think this was a compliment on my driving abilities, I’m pretty sure he was thinking of the ice cream. Still, I’ll take any praise I can get at this stage and we’ll gloss over the length of time it took me to park outside my house when we got in. In my opinion the blame for this lies squarely on the bin men who were sitting on my front wall watching. At least they stopped short of a round of applause when I finally got the blasted car straight and at a reasonable distance from the kerb.
When I checked my emails one of my job applications had borne fruit and I have an invite to an interview on Friday. The job sounds interesting, administration for a charity, although the office seems a pain to get to and the only parking very expensive. These were bridges I will cross if and when I come to them though. Commando was in the garden catching a few rays so I went out to tell him the news and to distract myself with a wander round to see what was still flowering. Turns out it was more than I thought.
The sedum was making a bright splash of colour in the corner by the wall and there were still a few dancing ladies left on the fuschia. Along the edge of the gravel path the purple sun ray flowers on the osteospermum I bought from the nursery in Mayfield Park make me smile every time I pass. It cost hardly anything but it’s been such value for money. Hopefully it will set seed and come back next year. There are red berries too on the cotoneaster and the holly, a good crop again this year.
The nasturtiums in the tubs in the back garden have been disappointing this year. Last year they were a mass of flowers for months but they’ve been all leaf this time round. Right then there was one solitary yellow flower, which is one more than there has been most of the summer. The second osteospermum I got form the Mayfield Park nursery is plainer than the first but just as prolific, although I think it’s slowing down now. Nearby the hydrangea is looking washed out and ragged but I’m hoping for better things in its second year.
In the spring I sprinkled a few evening primrose seeds around at the back of the border to bridge the gap I hope the fig tree will eventually fill. They’ve gone completely bonkers and almost hidden the poor fig tree. Although each one doesn’t last very long they just keep coming and their brilliant yellow flowers have cheered up the garden. Half hidden behind them there are figs galore. Whether they will ever ripen is another matter.
The honeysuckle seems to be having a bit of a revival. With the weather we’ve had this last week it may well think it’s spring all over again. The smell at the end of the garden is wonderfully spicy. Then there’s the apple tree we moved from Commando Senior’s garden. It was originally planted in memory of Commando’s mum, April, and we were terrified that moving it would kill it. As the house was being sold we had no choice though and, thankfully it has survived. It even flowered in spring and a few little apples appeared. Most have since fallen but two still cling on and seem to be getting bigger, which is good news.
The final surprise was one last little Welsh poppy which has pushed its way up between the slats of the benches. What a funny old autumn this is turning out to be.