Summer pick'n'mix...

The lovely summer pick'n'mix of my garden and my life - pretty flowers, beautiful sunny days, leafy shade, weeds, good friends, new resolutions. And good news - Fluff-Fluff the dieting cat has lost 0.5kg, and I've discovered a 'new' composer whose piano music I really like - Turina.

 A glowing deep pink.
Summer Phlox Flowers

Tuesday 21st January

Good on you, Mister Fluff-Fluff. I'm not sure if cats are the same as people (I mean diet-wise) but I am happy to help you in your quest to trim down. 'What quest?' asks big Fluff-Fluff, puzzled. 'Cats don't do quests...' Your days of finishing off other cats' meals are over. Histeria and Percy, two of my super-sleek cat-models, enjoy grazing throughout the day, and I can still sneaky-feed them on the sly. 'Blast. prepare for real hunger!' thinks big Fluff-Fluff.

 In the ram paddock. And, technically, only two intact rams.
Merino rams

+25Some thoughts regarding my Most Valuable Cat Competition, the MVP. It seems rather unfair that the sheep, a raggle-taggle collection of meandering merinos, score more highly than Histeria the tabby, the brightest and least complicated of my house cats. She doesn't need to be on a diet, and she never really causes a fuss. And so, like a good-natured plant in the garden, she gets ignored, and rarely photographed. The prima donna felines, naturally, get all the press!

Productive Indoors

Right. There's been steady rain all night (plus the big whooshy irrigation to help water the borders). While it's still raining outside I will be productive inside. I do not mean housework. I'm sewing blankets for the cottage teddy bears (oops), practising the piano (Turina's 'El Poema de Una Sanluquena' for piano and violin), and reading my rather sentimental book-group book.

Wednesday 22nd January

Wow. I've had a wonderful day, out walking in the hills with my friend for four hours. There's nothing like a bit of an uphill slog for rebooting one's mental state. In the hot sun trudging up to Kaituna Saddle I've made three rather serious personal resolutions. Sorry about this, but here goes :

Little Mac :
Little Mac my black and white cat went missing last February.

1. I've ceremonially 'retired' Little Mac's food bowl, placing it underneath her memorial tree. It's time to resolve the unresolvable and stop wallowing in self-induced sadness. Heck, she's been gone nearly a year. It's still OK to miss her, though. But with a smile, please.

Rusty :
I love my dog Rusty.

2. I promise to be a better walking companion for Rusty the dog. I'm going to talk to him properly about dog-interesting things. Sad topics are banned, unless they have some direct relevance to my search for the meaning of life. Or his. Though I doubt that dogs do much searching...

My Piano :
With ginger Percy sitting on the piano stool.

3. I'm going to play my piano even more each day. But never, ever again in anger, only in love. Anger has totally spoilt Brahms's Rhapsody in D Minor, so much so that I don't like to play it any more. This is terrible. Brahms did not deserve to be abused by my furious self-indulgent thumping.

My friend and I are going to do a day-walk every fortnight. Scottish Bill is not allowed to hike with us at the moment, so we have renamed ourselves the Diplodicus Tramping Club (just two plodding dinosaurs, hee hee). I am going back to the mountains and hills that I love so much. If my knees stop bending properly and I have to go slower, then so be it. I needn't lose confidence - my friend will wait for me, and the mountains won't even notice.

Thursday 23rd January

Right. I'm back from swimming and sushi-ing with my friends, and my walking legs feel fine. I'm going to do some gardening in the shade over the water race. It is going to be a 'doing' day for me. I always feel good after one such.


Great garden progress has been made. I've cleared the two paths in Middle Garden, and weeded out some of the thousands of gorse and broom seedlings (the larger, visible ones). Hypericum and Spiraea shrubs have been pruned, so the path is now passable. I've discouraged the Holden Hop from strangling the rhododendrons, and cleared Middle Bridge of ferns and Phormium leaves. No excuse for any tripping up, now. I've kept on disturbing ground-scuttling birds in the undergrowth (fat thrushes, mainly). Better me than a stalking cat!

 Or orange hot pokers?
White Shasta Daisies and Red Hot Pokers

Just before it rained I took my dog Rusty for a walk down the road. I communicated properly with him. And now, to peep at this afternoon's garden pictures. Oooh goodie! They were all taken when the cloud-cover arrived, so the white Shasta daisies shouldn't have caused too much of a photographic problem. I've taken some proud pictures of Middle Garden in its new, cleared-up state. Hope at least I can tell the difference!

 Visible again! Yippee!
Path into Middle Garden

And as far as my summer garden goes, I promise to spend more time looking up and around it, thanking the trees that surround the borders and lawns for their shade. A garden walk is not a weed reconnaissance mission, rather an affirmation of delight and love. So there.