Gardening and Writing

I had one of my ideal days today.

Cool weather, about 7 degrees C, and full sun, with a light breeze.  I spent the morning tidying up my living room, reading a book about people who bought one of the Channel Islands in the fifties, and getting some things done for next week, chiefly figuring out questions for the next lot of papers.

A pleasant lunch, consisting of part of a fresh baguette, one bit with butter and prosciutto, the other butter, cheddar, and my rhubarb chutney from the spring.

Then I bicycled down south of the university (with a stop in my office to collect my utensils) to finish off the fall clean-up of a garden.  I took this on at the end of the summer, when it was just supposed to be a clean-up, with the caveat that I was working full time (indeed, a bit more than full time, with the extra course), so I would have to do it in dribs and drabs as I could.  Two weeks of a bad cold followed by two weeks of rain meant that my September gardening time was exceedingly limited, so it took me until today to finish up the ten-hour job.

But today I worked in the most beautiful conditions happily.  Three hours of labour, plus the forty-five minutes of biking (fifteen minutes down, closer to half an hour back uphill carrying my cultivator and trying not to scrape cars with its tines).

Then I made supper — turkey tetrazzini with the last bit of turkey from Thanksgiving — and made stock with the bones — and read the book on Herm (the island) some more.  Talked with my mum and my sister.  Wrote for a while.  Decided to take a break to write this, but am going back to my story shortly.

A superb day: half intellectually stimulating, half physically, with good food and a tidier space as a result.  Not to mention the cheque for a bit of pocket money earned from the gardening.

I am grateful for such days; may there be many more of them in my life.

Also, I learned that I can bicycle carrying a long pole in one hand, but I sure don’t like doing it uphill when my hands and legs are tired from an afternoon of gripping and squatting.  Perhaps the only thing that would have made it better is if it were in spring: but autumn is my second favourite season, so no complaints there!

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