The Wound of Words (draft 2.2) has now been despatched to the lovely people who volunteered to be beta readers, and I… what am I going to do?
I’ll be carrying on with the Grand Productivity Experiment, but doing less writing work and a lot more house and garden work. Especially garden work.
There’s the redcurrant to prune (at last!), the mighty Balrog to hack back again (the shed porch disintegrated and collapsed under its weight this year), and the dozens of poles shooting out the top of the apple tree like some sort of living candelabra to slice off.
And once I’ve done all that (no doubt with the assistance of the Caped Gooseberry’s superior musculature), it’s on to the potting, the planting out and the weeding.
Inside, for those inevitable days of Much Water, there’s pruning of another sort to be done (aka decluttering), and a truly remarkable quantity of mending to work my way through.
At some point, of course, whether sooner or later, it will have to be decided: what writing project do I work on next?
I can’t believe people actually plant this stuff, deliberately! OK, it’s low-maintenance and mildly decorative, but so is convolvulus, and you all know how I feel about that. Another point of similarity with convolvulus: it spreads, and where it grows, nothing else survives.
Last week, I was having one of those days where all you seem to do is uselessly spin your wheels in the mud. You know the ones? I got frustrated. I got angry. I got a spade and a large garden fork and I took out my anger and frustration on the largest patch of agapanthus.
It’s been 27 degrees C (80.6F) every day this year. This may not seem hot to you (particularly if you live with air conditioning) but it’s all a matter of what you’re used to, and this climate has conditioned me to mostly dwell in the teens.
Unfortunately, my to do list for summer projects includes things like “clear out woodshed” and “stack cord of firewood” (that’s 3.6 cubic metres/130 cubic feet, by hand), and “dig drainage ditch”.
Due to our proximity to the longest day, the sun pours down for about fifteen hours at a stretch. Fifteen hours and three minutes, if you want to get precise about today. This means that it gets cool enough to go outside and get to work on the garden about ten minutes before it gets dark enough that you can no longer see the garden – about half an hour before bedtime.