Just after I'd published my blog post on Monday evening Liz and Al came round and we were legally permitted to toast her birthday. They'd spent the day zip-wiring, Go Ape's very first customers of 2021 and they were treated like royalty.
Despite the early hour and the chill in the air, I could already tell that Tuesday was going to be the glorious day we'd been promised. I did a load of washing and pegged it on the line before my Wii Fit workout and, after our fruit & yoghurt, I dragged the summer suitcase out from under the bed, grabbed my bikini top and a wraparound skirt, plaited my hair and pulled on my boots ready for a day in the garden.
Jon's plan was to work on Gilbert so, leaving him scraping and applying filler, I brought all the seeds and seedlings from the house and put them outside in the sunshine, giving them a thorough misting in the process.
Spring is everywhere! My borders bring me joy.
The bed that we'd spent the latter part of last week clearing now contains our redcurrant and blackcurrant bushes and the gooseberry bush we'd bought from Wilko last year. Keeping with the fruity theme, I thought I'd try and dig up the rhubarb that lives in the patio border as it fares badly there, swamped by the cluttered planting. It took an absolute age to remove it and I hope it survives its new home although Liz thinks her father-in-law might have some going spare.
Next, mindful of the frogspawn, I skimmed the pond for debris before topping it up with rainwater.
Kev, a blog reader who lives nearby, stopped off on the way to visit a friend and gave us these groovy Mid-Century stainless steel ashtrays with one penny inserts.
After our lunchtime noodles, I sowed Summer Savory, Black Velvet nasturtiums, Evening Primrose, rocket candytuft and columbine seeds in any available receptacle I could find.
Just like sewing, when it comes to gardening I make it up as I go along, moving things I find growing elsewhere and transplanting them in the hope they'll flourish. After sowing my seeds I wandered around the garden emptying out pots and digging up stuff until I had enough to fill the bed I'd cleared on Sunday.
24°C heat and a day pottering around the garden with the sun on my back...I couldn't be any more content.
I was struggling with my Wear:Sleep: Repeat collages so I'm back to wearing anything I fancy - today it was a block-printed organic cotton wraparound skirt bought from my beloved Cottage Cotton in Goa five years ago, and a crochet bikini top (part of a set) from Missguided, reduced to £6 three years ago. When it arrived I was so impressed with the quality and fit that I ended up buying another couple of sets.
After I'd finished my gardening I threw one of my vintage block printed bedcovers on the lawn and got stuck into my latest book, wondering why it's taken me 54 years to read any Frederick Forsyth.
Tea was half a pizza with salad.
The overnight temperature wasn't going to drop so, for the first time this year, we left Jacob out all night and I pegged another load of washing out on the line. We watched more of Waking The Dead on the i-player and the second episode of The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime
Wednesday was another glorious day, I had a potter around the garden with the lads before mopping the kitchen floor and getting stuck into my Wii Fit. After breakfast, Jon suggested we walk down to Wilko as we needed a few bits and pieces so, after giving the seedlings a thorough watering, we made our way into town, picked up what we needed and walking back up the Hill of Doom.
This is Walsall's Guildhall, which formerly held the law courts, police station and cells. Two previous guildhalls stood here before the present building. The first was the timber-framed Medieval Guild of St John the Baptist. This building controlled local government and trade in Walsall. The guild itself was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1546, and a local corporation took over its functions although the building itself survived into the Eighteenth Century when it was extensively rebuilt. The only remaining part of the second Guildhall is the statue of justice pictured here, which has been dated to 1823. The current building was completed in 1867. It was derelict for many years before extensive regeneration in the early 1980s by local architect Sir Gordon Foster. During the 1980s it housed some cool indie shops and a coffee shop downstairs in the old cells, later it became an Italian restaurant and now, sadly, it lies empty.
No coat, no jacket! We're having the warmest couple of March days in over 50 years. The vintage handmade patchwork maxi skirt & leather belt were charity shop finds, the vintage Polaroid sunglasses came from a car boot sale, the 1960s Santos Fashions, London cheesecloth blouse is from eBay and the fringed raffia bag was from Topshop's sale last year.
On the way home, we saw antique dealer, Spencer, who lives on the next street. He's the same age as us and we've known since we were teenagers. He has been on Salvage Hunters a couple of times, Drew ended up going to his house and buying some of his personal collection. Kirstie Allsopp also visited him when she did one of her naff makeover shows and rumour has it that she still hasn't paid him for what she took from his shop. We chatted about gardening and he offered us an old galvanised potting bench for a fiver, I handed over my cash and he offered to deliver it later.
Of course, we didn't stick to the list when we were in Wilko, these bulbs accidentally found their way into our basket! After our noodles, we got changed into our working gear. Jon continued with his work on Gilbert whilst I set about planting 52 bulbs (I've left the hostas and the physalis for the weekend).
The bed I've been working on was supported by an old plank that had rotted down over the years. After a rummage through our stash I found out some Edwardian edging tiles which, after I'd dug out the old wood and positioned them, Jon hammered into place.
I was just finishing up when Spencer popped round with our bargain bench.
It's destined for the greenhouse, another job for the weekend.
Same, same but different! I'm wearing the black version of yesterday's bikini and another Cotton Cottage organic cotton skirt.
It's Bin Eve so after we'd tidied up and brought the seedlings, tortoise and washing inside (we've got unseasonably cold temperatures forecast from tomorrow) we wheeled the bins out and labelled our litter -picking sacks ready for collection at 7am.
Tea was a Morrison's The Best Layered Vegetable Tart (with butternut squash, spinach and chestnuts on beetroot chutney in puff pastry topped with nuts and pumpkin seeds) along with a glass of wine - it's our Never Had A Wedding Anniversary tomorrow and we're celebrating 29 years of unwedded bliss early. Rum and cola will follow shortly!
Stay safe and see you soon.