Yeay for my Froggy Suit!

My Froggy Suit Close Up

My Great Water Race Winter Clean-Up continues. I'm wearing my new fisherperson's waders (AKA froggy suit). The hours just float by (like the cold water) while I am snug and warm inside the suit. I'm getting the garden ready for real indoorsy winter, and the Tour de France.

Hee hee. Le Tour is my major couch-cycling exercise. I don't move my legs, or anything - I just sit on the TV couch and watch as much of the scenery (live stages, of course) as I can. But this cannot take up valuable gardening time, so I need some pretty bad weather - like cold, driving rain (no snow, please). I can't believe I just asked for that!

Friday 1st July

Eek! July! The collies and I (sorry, Escher) have been for a walk/run in the local forest. I've zoomed home to leap yet again into my froggy suit (I looooove my froggy suit) and into the water. This is becoming a habit. Could surprise Non-Gardening Partner by wearing it when he gets home tonight. Oops. Alarming concept. Maybe better not!

Late Afternoon...

I've had a great session. Two cutty grass clumps are out, and I decided to leave the third in - for now. I trimmed more ferns, Phormiums, and carexes. Then I hung up the suit for the day, put on normal gardening clothes, and cleaned up all the mess. Nine barrowfuls! Amazing, and little to show for it in photographs.

It's been such a good gardening day that I'm allowed to stop early and then watch some TV. Or I might just write on and on about how much I love my froggy suit... Stop!

 So helpful!

Saturday 2nd July

Today I returned to that difficult Phormium by Middle Bridge, with the axe and my kitchen steak knife. Then I worked my way downstream. I spent ages in my waders, in one of the deepest sections of the water race - knee high, no less! That Phormium has gone (thanks to the axe), excess ferns and carexes ditto. I've got a good rule - ferns that have squashed themselves rudely up against a flax are definitely being dug out. Others can negotiate.

Lovable nuisance...

Winnie, dear dog, you lovable nuisance! I do not throw pieces of fern etc. out from the water for you to catch and run madly around with. With you scattering muddy greenery all over the back lawn, then me remembering a madrigals rehearsal, nothing has been cleaned up.

Oops. I hope Non-Gardening Partner doesn't need the axe. And where exactly is the axe, anyway?

Le Tour :
My favourite winter TV exercise. I've cycled with Lance Armstrong, Jan Ulrich, Marco Pantani, Bradley Wiggins...

As for le Tour... Oh My Goodness. There will be so much TV couch-cycling to do over the next weeks. Tomorrow morning - Stage One, recorded in its entirety. I will have breakfast on the couch with a pot of tea, and peep at Mont St Michel where the great race starts. Such an amazing looking place, oozing with spirituality (and tourists, probably). I will do my very best to keep up with the blokes. Luckily, TV couch-cycling doesn't require anything performance enhancing...

Sunday 3rd July

I had visitors this morning, so (sob, sob) I couldn't get into my waders. As a hostess I would have looked too silly. Nor could I be caught watching the cycling (some folk just don't understand this obsession). Anyway, I needed to clean up the house. But my visitors were interested in the suit (that's what they said), so I eventually put it on, hee hee.

 And that water is cold, cold, cold!
Fern by the Water

Then I had another great session in the water. The plantings that are now left along the water near Middle Bridge look so much better. I am very pleased with myself. And, casting my eye along the whole race, I reckon I've cleared two thirds of it.

Japanese iris :
So beautiful when in flower.

I must remember to plant the pots of Japanese irises. A sunny spot, I think, but definitely water-side. Perhaps down on the edge of the Hen House Garden with the others. Now there's a sensible thought!

Monday 4th July

A day off! We've been hiking on the Peninsula - a rather gentle womble to see the Rod Donald Hut, a new shelter on the larger crater rim walk. It's been a nice taster for a more serious trip when the days are a little longer. I've been so looking forward to my knees, hips, etc. experiencing the new, lighter me. Surprise, surprise - the new me goes faster and doesn't get so puffed uphill!

Loose Shorts!

Hee hee. Getting ready, my faithful old hiking shorts (which have fitted me for years) fell completely down. Abandoned the safety pin and changed them for a sleeker pair. The trail was pretty easy, along a flat, windy ridge, and past the strangest stunted grove of leaning totara trees. The hut is well positioned, giving snug, safe shelter - and lots of ideas for future trips. Sleep-overs, even!

Came home, sorted out the evening meal, and then did some fast forward TV couch cycling in Normandy. So far, so good. I am managing to keep up. From my helicopter, the beaches and estuaries go on for ever. And on our hike, earlier, we has equally expansive views of Pegasus Bay, right up to the Kaikoura mountains. Superb scenery, deep thoughts enhanced by the fresh wind on our faces.

Keep up the good work!

Well, July, so far you've been extremely pleasant. Keep up the good work!