A sniffing maiden...

Nice news - my Weeping Maiden Camellia is flowering now, her blooms not frost damaged. She must appreciate her winter location. Not so nice - alas, I am a sniffing maiden. I have a head cold. I always get a head cold sometime during winter. Perhaps I hug too many other people with colds? Whatever.

 A very early bloomer.
Weeping Maiden Camellia

There is still too much hedge trimming mess to clean up, and I am so over bonfiring. Today I had a grand excuse not to do any - I went to chamber music. I love playing chamber music. Musical conversations are a lot more satisfying and meaningful than human ones, I reckon! And they have so much more substance that conversations with dogs. My dogs just find me boring. And they don't listen.

 Smooching the camera!
Smoochy Minimus

All about me...

Cats may be complicated thinkers, but their conversations are pretty one-sided. It's all about me, when you're a cat. 'Look at my mouse, mother!' says Minimus. 'I caught it, me, all my myself. Me!' It's the middle of the night, and mother (asleep) hasn't been listening properly. She opens the cottage door and treads on small squishy thing. 'Aargh!'

Red Fred cry-talks very loudly when he gets left behind on a garden walk. 'Me! Me! Wait for meeeeeeeee!' If he stopped crying out and ran, he'd catch us up in a jiffy.

Saturday 22nd June

Today I tried to ignore my sniffy nose and burnt the bonfire. It was a horrible stinker - I did my best to layer dry gum leaves etc. with the hedge trimmings, but couldn't get things hot enough. And so my bonfire smoked away, horrible thing. I'm over this.

 On the orchard side of the big shelter hedge.
Cleaning up the Trimmings

My plan is now to collect the mess, stash it somewhere sensible, then burn it in spring when it's dried out. The old double handling trick, OK, but better than dodging nasty smoke all afternoon. Smoke! Aargh!

 First this way, then that way...
Bonfire Smoke

And now - yes! Give that ghastly bonfire one more poke, then light the wood burner, de-smoke my hair and body, find some lovely apres-gardening lounging clothes to wear, pour a glass of House Merlot, and play my piano. Yes. And hopefully we'll hear no more of bonfires, for now.

The winter solstice...

Oops. Almost forgot. The winter solstice. Hello. Goodbye. How about a ceremonial dance around the bonfire? Forget that!