On Sunday (day 72) Jon was up first. He made tea and brought it back to bed, where we read until 8.45, how very decadent! We had toast for breakfast, I put a load of washing in the machine, pegged it out and then shortened and hemmed a pair of shorts Jon had bought from a charity shop a couple of years ago.
Jon went round to Tony's with some groceries he'd managed to get him from his foray into Farmfoods the previous day. After a mammoth blog catch-up, I watered the patio plants, Jacob's enclosure and the veg plot.
Watering the garden is rapidly becoming my favourite task of the day. It's hard work and it takes ages but every morning I discover something new has burst into life overnight.
Including the clump of sweet peas scrambling up a long-dead apple tree, how on earth did they get there?
Remember me showing you this tiny chest of drawers somebody had knocked up in his garden shed from an old cigar box? They sit on my dressing table and house my pendants and the earrings that I can't hang up. They're cute but a bit brown and the wood's not the greatest quality, its time to breathe some new life into them.
I sanded it down, wiped it over and gave it a couple of coats of paint then, while it was drying, cleaned out the pond. A job we've put off since last Autumn.
It's a bit of stinky task, dredging up all the muck festering at the bottom & being up to the armpits in brackish water but, by the time I'd finished and disposed of the last of the slimy leaves, Jon arrived back in time to help me with my drawer makeover, cutting the Indian wrapping paper down to size & glueing it in place - he's much more steady-handed than I am.
A coat of fast-drying varnish later and it was ready to go back in the dressing table. The trouble is that, when you improve something, everything else starts looking shabby. The to-do list is never-ending.
After our noodles, I assumed my regular position on the lawn with The Alienist, happily interrupted by a visit from neighbour Ray, delivering us a home-made sourdough loaf which he'd kindly sliced and put in a freezer bag just in case we already had plans for tea so we could eat it later in the week.
While the lads decamped to the undergrowth.
Jon potted up our heritage pink tomatoes and then joined us for a lazy afternoon in the sunshine.
Although the sun doesn't set till after 9pm, with twenty-six trees in our garden, it's all but vanished by 5pm so I slipped on this block printed organic cotton kaftan I'd bought from Tuk Tuk, a tiny boutique in South Goa, back in February. The owner worked for a world-famous designer in New York for many years but, disillusioned with the terrible working conditions of the workers in the Asian factories she used to inspect & the endless hamster wheel of fashion, decided to create her own range of sustainable, non-trend-led, beautifully made, artisan-produced clothing. It's the first time I'd worn it and was excited to discover that it had secret pockets.
After another session with the hosepipe, I caught up with blog comments whilst Jon cracked on with making tea, a delicious cauliflower & broccoli (from the freezer) and paneer curry.
Later we watched the second part of the harrowing two-part documentary about The Jonestown Massacre (co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio) on the BBC i-player. It had happened in 1978 when we were both 12 so, although we were both aware of it we didn't know the full story. It's riveting but awful. To lighten the mood we watched the penultimate episode of Killing Eve, with yet more violence & murder. Considering what a cheerful soul I am, what with my choice of reading & viewing, I do seem to have an insatiable appetite for the macabre!
Monday (day 72) was Frank's birthday. We're not sure how old he is, the vet reckons somewhere between five and seven years old. When I got up this morning I sung Happy Birthday to him, then did my Wii Fit session. When Jon got up we had our fruit and yoghurt and sat in the sunshine drinking coffee. The birthday boy was definitely back to his usual self after the trauma of the dental surgery, vocalising his displeasure at the choice of cat food available.
Ever the cat slave, Jon drove to Pets At Home to stock up on cat food, nipping into Poundland next door for bird food and some car-related bits and then swung by the Co-op for tomatoes and cucumbers and, despite having Ray's loaf in the freezer, couldn't resist a sourdough loaf with Kalamata olives, strategically placed next to the entrance.
After my daily watering session, as always helped by cats wanting to play, I planted the catmint in the border (Frank doesn't like this variety as much as the old one so it's safe for now). I dragged the Victorian cast iron bench ends from their previous position under the lounge window then threaded the climber that I thought was dead through the slats. Look at spiky bastard, isn't he pretty with his fluffy blossoms? Shame he's such a vicious swine.
Next, I went upstairs & retrieved the chests of drawers I use to store my make-up and bangle collection.
Both once stood on my Mum's dressing table, housing all manner of bits and pieces. Marcus and I loved to have a rummage through them when left to our own devices as children. One day we discovered some baby teeth in an envelope and came to the conclusion that the Tooth Fairy didn't exist (but kept it a secret between ourselves for a few more years.)
Under Mum's ownership, the drawers were sprayed bronze and papered with William Morris wallpaper, when I inherited them ten years ago I decoupaged them with vintage Bollywood posters I'd photocopied from one of my film books. I still love how they look but they were starting to get tatty so it was time for a change.
I set about stripping off the paper and applying the first coat of paint whilst Jon got on with planting out the French beans, creating his own wigwams with sticks from the woodpile. The copper hoops were rescued from an outbuilding in the parental home, they really do seem to keep the slimy slugs at bay.
On the subject of vegetables, do you think we've got enough tomatoes?
The weather was so deliciously hot that my paint was dry within half-an-hour. I applied another coat and then took a break for noodles. After we'd eaten Jon papered the drawer fronts while I varnished the carcasses.
We heard the familiar crunch of gravel and looked out to see our friend Mark with a tray of marigolds and a couple of mystery plants. He'd brought round the van he'd just converted into a campervan and we admired that and chatted for a while.
After he'd driven off I potted up the new additions and gave them a thorough watering.
By now my varnish was dry and the drawers were ready to be refilled with make-up and bangles and returned to the bedroom where they're now making the dressing table look very drab..
We lounged in the sunshine on the bedcover for a couple of hours and watched Jacob as he bumbled around his enclosure.
Once the sun had vanished behind the trees I covered up my bikini with this dress.
Tea was Kalamata olive bread, cheese, pickles and salad with some homemade potato salad sprinkled with chives from the garden. After I've given the garden the final watering of the day we'll be watching Grayson Perry's Art Club and we might be naughty and watch the final episode of Killing Eve on the I-player rather than wait for next Sunday.
See you soon! Stay safe, stay sane & stay in touch.