There’s a moment, around now, when I suddenly realised that spring is on the brink of summer. I’m never quite ready in my mind. Are we nearly half way through the year already? All of a sudden, the evenings are much longer and it’s light at 5 in the morning. The countryside is saturated with colour: we were driving back from a site the other day, and saw a great field of yellow oilseed rape, edged with copper beech trees – as Rupert from my office said at the time, it felt like driving through a drawing by David Hockney. Or then, I was in the garden last night at sunset and the sound of birdsong was intense. Winter seems a very long way away. Whichever way you look at it, I love early May.
I’ve had the quietest weekend imaginable (those sorts of days when the only person you speak to all day is the person in the shop when you’re buying your newspaper). I can’t say I mind feeling a bit reclusive every now and again. It’s good, although it reminds you why you love your friends. Well, anyway, I’ve had what, I think, in the 19th century, was known as a Rest Cure. I’ve spent most of the weekend in the garden, and while it doesn’t make for the most interesting life, or blog, for that matter, there’s nothing – nothing in the world – like the peace and calm that arises from spending a whole day digging and raking and sowing, with the sun on your back, and thinking about nothing else at all other than the task immediately in front of you. Bliss.
So there’s very little to write about at all. But lots to look at.
I don’t think I’d planned so many queen of the night and black parrot tulips in my head, but they are kind of working. More creams and lemon yellows next year (note to self).
I love the patterns made by rows of newly planted vegetables, full of optimism; and I love the moment when the beech hedge breaks into new growth. Blink, and you’ve missed it.
The house goes green or purple depending on the trees outside the window:
I walked across the green to watch a perfect, soft, misty sunset, and have a chat with very inquisitive young cows. (that is how exciting my life got this weekend).
This week, I’m quite excited, by contrast. I’m off to Stockholm on Thursday morning for a few days – a trip that Maggie and I have planned for years, and the first time I’ve been. All advice is very welcome!