….I like the mountains, I like the rolling hills – as anyone who has ever done a drama warm up will chorus merrily back at you!
I’m feeling absolutely full of delight at the prospect of Spring. Yes. The sky is blue, the sun is out, and I’m frantically counting off the days on my sunrise/sunset calender, till we get to a point where it’s actually light at 6.p.m. Today, I even dug out my much loved floral Bayliss & Knight sailor dress! (Last seen circa August 2010.) Yes, and yes again. I have a spring in my step (badoom tsssch).
We’ve started to fill our house with flowers, and whenever I take a bath the room is filled with that heavy, enveloping scent of beautiful white jasmine. The kitchen is permeated with the faint but insistent smell of hyacinths, and I’ve started to dance around the house, filled with new hope, new ideas, and an uncontainable joy that I only ever get when the Winter finally starts to loosen its icy grip.
I had been struggling to think of a third challenge. My mind will grope around aimlessly, trying desperately to think of something, anything good, and then, the second I sink into bed, exhausted after a day at work, PING. There it is. That’s what happened last night, just as I’d disappeared into my nightly ritual of lying in bed with BBC7’s Comedy Zone floating out of my pink DAB radio, sinking into a stupor. But there it was – plant flowers! Nooooo, my tired brain argued – sssh, go to sleep! I’ve had enough of you and your “brilliant ideas”. But the little energetic voice was insistent, and wearily but excitedly, I reached for the well thumbed notepad by my bed, and managed to jot down ‘flowers’.
Come the morning, I’d just about managed to decipher this mysterious message from Tired Brain to Happy/Excited/Annoying brain. I have four things in my armoury. Peony tubers, a packet of seeds for growing peas, a sachet for growing violas indoors, and one for mustard and cress. Maybe not enough to create a Capability Brown style garden (Culpability Brown, maybe, when it all goes hugely wrong), but it’ll do for now. Peonies are my obsession. I can’t help finding beauty in something so blowsy, so stagey, attention-grabbing, and so elusive that they only appear for the briefest window each year. If I was going to garden, I thought, then it had to start with peonies.
My promise to myself was to try something new. And, really, the last time I planted anything was when I was in year 5 at school, and we were given our own tubs in the playground. I shared mine with my best friend at the time – a girl who, to this day, has absolutely faultless aesthetic taste – and we put little figures in that we’d collected (I’d imagine from Kinder eggs…) I don’t remember doing much actual planting, but I certainly do remember the following dialogue from a fellow classmate:
Know-it-all Year 5: Have you ever touched a worm?
Me: YUCK! No!
KIAY5: Yes you have. If you’ve been touching the soil in the tubs, you’ve touched a worm.
(Sound of my jaw dropping to the floor, then me running off to wash hands)
So, after than inauspicious start, I am ready to try again, weather permitting, this weekend. I’ll post results by next week, including a worm-report.
Thanks for reading. Wear your sunglasses tomorrow. Whatever the weather xxx