Friday, 21 June 2013

Time for a change of colour...




Darker covers my receding hairline, must fix those bushy eyebrows...

We have been home a week from our trip. Normally I would have a low period after a trip, life not so interesting and the knowledge that it will be an age before another chance to roam…

Shocking how quickly you can fall out of love. It does not take much to taint paradise?

Had we not been in the south for a family event I would have voted for leaving almost as soon as I returned from my cycle trip with friends, a week or so somewhere else on the way home would have been so much more pleasant and I may not have ended up with such a negative memory of a place I have loved for decades. 

I felt really bad having to tell an American painter friend that we would not be back next year, he now has Parkinsons and I helped out a lot getting him settled into his home in the next village, climbing ladders to open shutters twenty feet up from the street was not a job for him now! He was away shopping when we first went to visit and his garden was a jungle of weeds after the cool wet spring, Julie sat in a shady spot to read and I set to clearing the waist high weeds and bundled them up in a plastic tarpaulin which I used to wrap my folding bike when it was in the van, by the time he returned he was delighted that the week’s work he thought he had ahead of him had been reduced to a little tidying at the edges. Soon we had his marble topped table out in the courtyard and were chatting whilst eating the freshly cooked artichokes we had brought along for lunch. Ken had just given us a framed drawing as a farewell gift, it may well have been a final farewell between us…

This year I was glad to be back and set to almost immediately on the repairs which two wet summers have made almost impossible to do. Much of this first week has been taken up with replacing the television aerial snapped off by the winds whilst we were away, julie was getting cold turkey not getting her news and sport fix, I would have been happy to not bother for a while after six weeks without news screaming out of the machine I was happy. At least it forced me to find all the components for our access tower which I would have had to do sooner or later to repair the cast iron guttering which has started to leak in many places and it is time for a few new coats of masonry paint over the whole house, this needs weeks of good weather… At least it is up and a start has been made.

I had hoped to come home to a vegetable garden under control since I had let my neighbour share part of it so that he could water or weed while we were not there. I should have known better than to have trusted a guy! It has taken me four days to get it all under control and whilst I was feeling disappointed and near to angry at first it has allowed me to decide that this year chemical warfare is allowed! All the tall weeds have been removed or cut back, even a few small trees which might have been saved and a huge patch of Jerusalem artichokes have been pulled to give access for the wall repairs, who needs to have so much digestive wind anyway? I had been told to be this ruthless to totally remove perennial weeds like bindweed and nettles which get amongst the plants you wish to keep. The neighbour will not be keen to continue now that chemicals are in use, serves him right…

Bit of culture tomorrow with an exhibition opening in Edinburgh and a day off next week too for a rare chance of a meeting of my recovery team who helped me in my journey home just seventeen months ago. How life has changed with that small change few people will ever see, who could have foretold just how much more comfortable and contented it could make you feel. As I skipped along to the post office today, long skirt blowing in the breeze, sun shining and getting happy smiling greetings from a few people who know me it s as if this is the way it has always been and what I remember as my past was just a dreadful dream, then again I hardly ever think about that past now except when in touch with others on the same path...

Life goes on...

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