On Saturday morning, despite the forecast for a gloriously sunny day, we woke to grey skies and drizzle. Jon was up first and made tea which he brought back to bed where we lay and read till gone 8am. While he started on breakfast I stripped and changed the bed and filled the bathtub with houseplants.
After our sausage sandwiches, although it was still grey and miserable the drizzle had abated and I was able to peg my washing out on the line. Once dressed I set to work on the area outside the gates which we'd weeded and seeded last Saturday. Sadly, the torrential rain of the past week seemed to have washed the grass seed away and the ground elder had taken root so I spent four hours on my hands and knees with a trowel ridding the area of the bastard stuff once again. Meanwhile, Jon spent the morning in the greenhouse tending to the veg plants, sowing more seeds and potting up.
I found buried treasure, the remains of a Victorian Minton tile.
Over a cup of tea, we searched Facebook and found a nearby farm that grew and cut turf to order so Jon called them and arranged delivery for Tuesday morning. The cost was half the price of the local DIY superstore. Hopefully, we can get it down before the evil weeds take root again.
By mid-afternoon, the sunshine had finally broken out from behind the clouds and after feeding all the plants with an organic liquid seaweed feed (21 trips with the watering can before I lost count) I stripped down to the bikini I'd optimistically put on earlier in the day and spent the rest of the day on the lawn.
After tea (pizza!) we cracked open the rum and watched three hours of The Killing. I love the characters but I'm beginning to wish they'd get a move on and crack this case.
On Sunday morning Stephen had me up at the crack of dawn. Again it was grey and overcast and my teeth were chattering as I wandered down the garden at 5.30am to peg out the tea towels I'd left on a 90°C wash before I'd gone to bed the previous evening. I put the kitchen plants in the utility room sink to soak & mopped the floor before taking mugs of tea back to bed and reading until 8am.
By the time we'd had breakfast and watched Andrew Marr the sun had broken through the clouds and I decided to give the skirt I'd bought from the clearance charity shop last October its first outing.
The only Finewear garment I've found online is a 1950s nightie. I love that it's a model, a sample taken to boutiques and possibly the only one in existence if the garment didn't get approval for a large production run. The cotton is crisp, the print insanely fabulous (cacti, flamingoes, antelopes and tigers, what's not to love?) It's even got pockets.
With the exception of my vintage 1960s Dior sunglasses (an eBay treat from Jon), Rajasthani silver snake bracelet and my orange nubuck Lotta from Stockholm clogs, everything I'm wearing is from the charity clearance shop - the off-the-shoulder top, the hammered silver bangle, the pom-pom trimmed basket and the copal beads. The top is going back to the chazza next week, I'd forgotten how annoyingly voluminous it is to wear.
As usual, the charity shop had its usual banging soundtrack and, beneath my mask, I was singing at the top of my voice, which if you've ever heard me sing, is truly terrifying. I hadn't heard D.I.S.C.O by Ottawan since school!
Charity shop karma, it never fails! We donated a box of ceramics and a bag full of surplus camping gear and were rewarded by the chazza shop gods. We came back with a 1980s beaded jacket by Directions; Vintage Indian cotton midi dress; Wooden-framed clutch bag; 1970s tooled leather souvenir pouch; a Paul Smith denim blazer ; a pair of framed tapestries (only bought for the frames, the contents will be donated back next week)
Vintage English-made mustard tweed jacket with leather patches and trim; handmade 1970s cotton dress; 1970s Leygil of London knife-pleated midi dress; set of 1920s pamphlets and advertisements; John Rocha wool waistcoat and a cotton knit Polo Ralph Lauren jumper that I forgot to photograph.
These mohair 1980s handknits must have come from the same home. I love them and I think the hip festival goers will do, too.
After nipping into Wilko for a few essentials we got home just in time for our lunchtime noodles. We spent the afternoon in the garden, pottering, planting, pruning and basking in the heat of the afternoon sunshine.
As it was a Bank Holiday weekend (like we need an excuse) we had a beer with our halloumi and roasted vegetable tea and moved on to the rum when we watched more of The Killing later.
On Monday morning I had a wander around the garden and pegged out the washing I'd left in the machine overnight and was thrilled to discover that three of the Oriental Poppies had finally flowered, almost a fortnight later than usual! I forewent the Wii Fit for tea and an hour and a half in bed with my book.
After breakfast, I dragged out the suitcase from under the bed and swapped a handful of heavier maxis for some strappy sundresses and happened up this Anokhi kaftan I'd bought at the end of last year and promptly forgotten about.
I often admired these lightweight cotton kaftans when I'm in Anokhi but never got around to buying one as there are always other gorgeous garments to distract me. They pop up on eBay regularly at around £70 so I was amazed to see one listed as a Buy-it-Now for £7. When life returns to normal I'll be wearing this when I walk to a Greek beach, in the meantime meandering around the garden in Walsall will have to do.
I sat in the sunshine winding garden wire around some of my pots of nasturtiums so I could suspend them from the gazebo.
Jon built a composting area using the remains of the old shed he'd demolished last month and spent the rest of the morning clearing an area at the bottom of the garden to accommodate the shed that will replace the three rotten ones. I emptied out the compost bin, wheeled it up to the new store, then washed out the old plastic bin and dragged it outside the gates with a "FREE" sign. The lovely Singh family from round the corner were delighted to take it off our hands.
After noodles, I moved the terracotta pots to where the compost bin was used to bed, swept up the mess, and retreated to the lawn for the rest of the afternoon while Jon levelled off the ground ready to lay the turf tomorrow.
Tea was a nan bread pizza with salad accompanied by a glass of wine.
At 25°C it's been the warmest day of the year and the lads have spent most of the day sleeping inside, Jon's taken them for a walk around the garden now the heat's died down and I expect we'll have trouble getting them in later.
With all this boozing, lazing about in the sun and being totally decadent blogging's fallen by the wayside. I shall get up early tomorrow and endeavour to have a gargantuan catch-up before the turf arrives.
See you soon!