All girls!
Ewes and Twin Lambs - 2017

My birthday week is turning into a more thoughtful birthday week than usual. Ha! Maturity is finally sinking in? But thoughtful is fine. It is, after all, an impressive numerical birthday (next Sunday is THE DAY).


Have been worrying a bit about little things (it's lambing time, and we've already lost two), and about big things - the plastic menace, water degradation in my own province, bull-headed attitudes of people who care nothing for our future environment. Oh boy! Oh joy? So what can we do - no, what can I do? Ha! Two days ago I refused to buy a pack of parsnips (I adore parsnips) because they were in a plastic bag. That has to count, right?

Then this morning I remembered the earthquake, nine years ago today, which - ahem - rocked my house and garden world. Made the mistake of re-reading my journal of that particular birthday week. Wrote about feeling hopelessly small and powerless. Aargh!

 A pretty pair.
Rhododendron and Daphne

Let's sort this out and regain some cheer. Give thanks for every moment of every day. Give thanks for spring, for shelter, friends and family, music, good food, cats and dogs. And give thanks that I can afford to pay their vet bills (ouch). Give thanks for having choices. And, getting down to basics, give thanks for hips, knees, feet, hands, heart and bones that still 'do the business'. Oh, and nose, to smell the Daphne, and eyes, to see the new Camellias. And so on, and so on...

And now - off into the garden with big, powerful strides! Brush aside the drizzle (in the mind and in the air). Take those delightful dogs for a long walk. Take photographs of beautiful things. Plan the gardening day. Get cheerful. Give thanks for spring.


Hmm. It was a bit damp to kneel or sit down to do some weeding. So I made a start extending the Pond Paddock Garden, laying down newspaper and old egg cartons, covering them with horse manure and leaf mould. Naturally I ran out of newspaper. But then I located my puffy kneeler. Right! Let the weeding commence! I did a couple of hours in the Hump and around the house.

 By the entrance path to the Hump.
This Seat Needs Painting

Am now inside, a bit damp and cold. The log-burner's going, the coffee's hot, and I'm found a nice man to go Youtube trekking in the Himalayas with. He's non-intrusive (no chest-puffing or waving at the camera) and silent (no annoying commentary, not one word spoken, minimal captions). The foothills and tracks are just as amazing as the mighty mountains they lead to. Wow. Some track plodding sequences are wobbly (filmed on a Go-Pro) - not a problem - and there's a bit of heavy breathing. Only to be expected from an older bloke at altitude!

Feeling better...

And I do feel better. Yeay! But if I could have one birthday wish for today, it would be that the next spring lambs to be born in the back paddock are good, strong survivors. Simple as that.