Monday, 20 September 2010

The next step

I set up this blog full of verve and enthusiasm.  It horrifies me to realise that was over eleven months ago.  Before I could make my second post things happened and blogging ground to a halt.

First there was swine flu.  It knocked each of us in turn for six.  Maureen's bout was worse than mine.  We recovered in time for our long awaited trip to spend Christmas with our son and his family in America.

We returned, after an eventful journey, into the coldest spell that the country had experienced for many years.  Having the car stuck in the snow and being pushed out by two burly, young farmers we arrived home to crunch the car against a pile of rocks at the entrance to our drive.  Next morning our surrounding roads were blocked and we were cut off from the outside world for the next ten days.

Winter turned to Spring, and Summer saw a great deal of work in the garden.  The blog remained on hold.  Now is the time for its revival.

It is ironic that, just as I am ready to resume/commence blogging, my days as The Pick Man could be coming to an end.  Maureen (Maureen to me, Mo to many of our friends and Titch to her family) has two main loves in her life, painting and gardening.  I share an interest in both.  Often, when she isn't doing either of those things she is either cooking or on the telephone to one of her many relatives.

When we moved to west Wales, six years ago, we left behind a perfect little garden.  "We've done the gardening bit," we said, "let's go live by the sea, paint and grow old gracefully."  We ended up in a delightful cottage in an ideal location, with great views, set in three-quarters of an acre of untamed hillside.  Our thought was that we could live here, enjoy the situation and tidy up as much, or as little, as we chose.  But, the gardening bug took over!

Novenber 2004

We cleared a small area nearest the cottage and planted a few flowers.  Then the little bit next to it - and then the next - and then . . .  You get the picture.  Six years later, having worked at it, we have most, if not all, under control and have created a garden.  My role is establishing the grassy areas and keeping them neat.  It is also using the pickaxe, sometimes vigorously sometime delicately, to make manageable shapes and create beds.  Maureen uses her knowledge and love of plants to fill the beds.  We think of it as me sculpting the garden with a pickaxe and her painting it with flowers.  It is an exhausting but really rewarding activity that seemed to give us both a new lease of life.

August 2010

Then, a short time ago, I took a tumble and fell heavily on my shoulder making it difficult to use my left arm.  My doctor suggests that a small operation may be necessary.  So, at present, The Pick Man isn't picking.  It looks as though it might be a long layoff . . . but there’s plenty else to blog about.