Getting on with business...

Good garden news - after a week doing mainly dog-things (outside) and playing the piano (inside), the gardener in me is back, trimming edges, raking leaves, getting on with business. You name it - I've done it. Except crank up the bonfire. I am not speaking to my bonfire at the moment. We are estranged. The magic spark has gone out of our relationship, hee hee.

Saturday 13th June

Today I've been tidying the Driveway Garden and the edge of the rougher garden border in the Hump. My plan has been to have a jolly decent edge, so lawn looks like lawn and garden looks like garden. I've released and planted a Hebe, spread top-soil around, collected old firewood logs, cut down branches of trees with my new whizzy fold-out saw blade, and of course I've weeded. Just a metre strip around the edges of the borders, so it looks good, hee hee...

 Good morning Kaya!
Kaya the Black Cat

Cat News

I have good and bad cat news. The bad news first, I think. Lilli-Puss (the grey tabby who lives in my hay barn) has now been missing for six days. She's not been returning to eat her food. Lilli goes AWOL maybe twice a year, but never for this long. Six days missing is too long. I've checked the hedges and wandered everywhere on the property calling her. No luck.

Good news - Lady Kaya (the elegant black cat) is back living with us, thought she is designated an 'Apartment Cat' and will stay safely upstairs. She is happy, purry, smoochy, and totally settled. It's just for three months, so there's no point in integrating her into the larger family. Last time she lived here ginger Percy took great delight in chasing her off into the bushes. Yet he's never laid a paw on any of the others.

Sunday 14th June

I've had a nicely modular day. First, I moved a small load of bricks to build up the garden wall by the Herb Spiral (though I might cheat this time and not mortar them in place). Then we collected big brown dog Escher's kennel, and a load of river stones to replace the wood logs around the edge of the Driveway Garden. I tidied up the Hellebores (they're lime green flowery ones) and cleared the path. But I resisted that jolly bonfire. Burn me! Burn me! it murmured. I wasn't tempted. I dumped all the leaves, mess, etc. on the boundary instead.

 Winter lovelies.
Yellow and Orange Calendulas

Walking around the garden I am so thankful for the Calendulas. They're flowering madly, and seem to shake off the small overnight frosts we're sometimes having. Their colours are amazing, and they self-seed, too, in the nicest of places. Calendulas have a very good sense of location. I think they're my number one flowering annual.

Monday 15th June

Cold rain splattering the roof and another overnight win in the cricket (New Zealand is playing England) made for a cosy if noisy night in the cottage. But the chill daytime temperature has brought out the lazybones in me. I've taken the dogs to the dog-park, and we've wandered down to the hay barn a number of times to look (unsuccessfully) for Lilli-Puss. That's OK. The dogs love this walk, and we often surprise one of the resident pheasants. Run, silly bird, run!

Tiger :
Tiger the tortoiseshell is my senior cat. An old-lady cat. Does this excuse her?

Back in the house, Kaya the upstairs cat is very friendly, and appreciative of my visits with tasty treats. But Tiger the tortoiseshell downstairs is in disgrace for pee-ing on my best apres-gardening shirt. It's my one and only favourite shirt of the moment, and I'd put it on before noticing the smell. Eek!

Obviously it came off immediately, but playing lunchtime piano duets with my friend (squashed together on the piano stool) was slightly alarming. Vague lingering wafts of Tiger arose whenever I had lots of quaver passages. Oops. As soon as I got back home I had a shower and threw absolutely everything into the wash. Tiger!

 Off to the hay barn we go.
Winnie on a Winter Walk

The dogs and I have just done another search for Lilli-Puss. This time we went right down the back to the far fence. So many objects which sit naturally on a paddock (lumps of wood, piles of pine cones, and so on) are grey and cat-sized. But there was no sign of Lilli the real cat. I think she's gone for good.

Dear Lilli-Puss...

Dear Lilli-Puss, I did my very best to look after you for nine years. You've always been well-fed, healthy, and you seemed really happy in your hay barn. If you've moved in with someone else, then that's nice. I just don't feel that I'll see you again. I'll miss you, my furry grey friend.

 She is so smoochy!
Lilli-Puss My Grey Cat