The first autumn bonfire

First Autumn Bonfire 2015

The first autumn bonfire should be a big moment, the start of a new chapter in the gardening year-book. But I'm feeling less than enthusiastic. I don't particularly enjoy the concept of a bonfire, but in the country, with Eucalyptus and Cordyline debris, one has little choice.

Tuesday 31st March

But regardless of these and other misgivings I might have, my first bonfire has duly been photographed, and is presented here.

Oh dear. Tiddles the tabby is back at the vet. Her wound suddenly stopped behaving, so first thing this morning I took her in. She's now had her third operation to clean things up and stitch things back together. This time she's staying at the vet's for two nights to be monitored. I feel so sad again, but I know she's getting the best of care. Including from me myself, I know that too.

Anyway I've done my best, and it's been a good, functional, repetitive task to take my mind off the kitten. I've burnt the mess that my under-gardener and I cleared off the garden called Henworld, and I've nearly removed all the mess by the Pump House. I'd say - twelve barrow-loads? Now I'm taking the dogs to the dog park. They're having a wonderful day - we've already been for an hours forest walk. I hope that Winnie could smell her own tracks from yesterday.

 Dear cat!
Buster the Black Cat

Much Later...

I've done another hour and a half burning, and am ready to clean myself up, rest, and relax. I love my animals. Buster the black kitten has been watching the fire from high in the rose Pergola, draped nonchalantly over the Santana rose canes.I miss Tiddles the tabby, my brave little kitten who’s had so much bad luck. She's been so relaxed and cheerful about this whole sorry business.

Wednesday 1st April

OK. I'm burning until I either run out of stuff, or puff. I'm clearing all the dry rubbish from behind the pond. The dogs think this is so exciting, as they run round and round the pond. I am less excited. This is plodding work. I've only been going for an hour and a half, and am already annoyed.

I'm worry-thinking a lot about Tiddles the tabby, hoping that this time her post-operative recovery will be OK. And then in the cat-gloom appears the ghost of dear Little Mac, the only cat I've ever 'lost'. So I puzzle away, yet again, about what could have happened to her. And then the dogs zoom past. Thank you, Winnie and Rusty, for nudging me back to the present, which is full of really nice things. Except the bonfire...

 Near the bonfire!
Dahlia Flower

Much Later...

Success. A whole heap of rubbish has been burnt. And I've shovelled and dumped fifteen barrow loads of soil and home-made compost along the bottom boundary, where the Deodars are slowly growing. It's been a hard-working day, and I'm feeling pretty good.

Thursday 2nd April

The early morning temperature is coolish. So what should I do first in the garden? Burning? That would involve raking and clearing mess out of the Wattle Woods - both activities would warm me up nicely. Shovelling soil? That would be out in the open, and would equally warm me up.

There's an added complication, but a rather nice one - my under-gardener should arrive mid-morning to help me for an hour. Then she will wash her hands and transform magically into the 'primo' of our piano playing duet. Would she rather do pre-Brahms burning or pre-Mussorgsky shovelling? Choices, choices...

Start Where the Wheelbarrow Is...

When in doubt, do both, I reckon. And start where the wheelbarrow is. That means I shovel soil first. Easy. Where are my dogs?

 See how small it actually is!
Another View of the Same Bonfire

Later, Lunchtime...

I was digging like a champion when Buster the black cat turned up, and proceeded to wander down near the road. Too close! So the dogs and I shifted to the Wattle Woods. Buster nonchalantly turned up minutes later. I trundled ten barrow loads over to the bonfire which obliged by self-igniting.

 The prettiest lilac blue colour.
Autumn Asters

Too Windy...

Blast! My under-gardener couldn't come, and now the wind has got up a bit - not so sensible for the bonfire. So I'm inside for lunch, a coffee, and to continue TV couch-cycling the Tirreno Adriatica, am Italian cycle race. This is the only way I'll ever get to cycle through Italy. I am in Italy, right? Listening to the commentary I'm in the company of a batch of baroque composers, hee hee.

Small sentence. I pick Tiddles the kitten up from the vet later this afternoon. I miss her so much. I hope she is recovering well after this her third operation. Again, I will do my very best to give her the proper care needed. And huge thank yous to the vets who have cared for her too.