We went out for breakfast and spent a leisurely hour chatting and planning some of the things we'd like to do over the next two weeks. Day trips and spring cleaning were high on my list, bike maintenance and several sporting fixtures on my husband's.
When we got home I spent a couple of hours dusting, cleaning and tidying in the bedroom (the easiest room in the house!) and went through the contents of my trunk - old drawings, prints and photos from my college days, handmade birthday cards from when the children were little, and the Christmas tree (plus wrapping paper, lights and decorations). It also holds quite a big cardboard box full of fabric scraps and remnants which I peered into and then closed again - a job for another day. I made a start on filling a bag for the charity shop, having managed to discard a pair of hardly-worn shoes, a scarf and a cuddly toy elephant that I like but just don't love.
I did a bit of titivating in the pots outside the kitchen window, where lots of last year's experimental (planted and forgotten about) bulbs are already coming up - hyacinths, crocuses and narcissus. I added some jolly red and yellow tulip bulbs bought from Ikea a couple of weeks ago and a couple of cheap and cheerful punnets of violas (impulse buy at Aldi on the way home from breakfast). It's a pity they're not perennials though - I've decided that bulbs are definitely the way forward for a lazy gardener like me.
In between these bursts of activity I continued work on the scarf for my mother-in-law. It needs to be ready for Tuesday...
Started with a rainy morning walk at the park. The XXSCat dog was absolutely caked in mud by the end of it, but nothing a quick shower in the kitchen sink couldn't fix (probably the biggest advantage of having a very small dog is that the mess she creates is also small-scale). Lots of lush green moss, and buds and shoots - I'm so glad to be leaving the dark winter months behind.
I did some tidying in the front garden when we got home (removing dead foliage and cutting back the brambles that will not give up the fight for survival). Despite my aching back and very creaky hip I managed to fill half a wheelie-bin before a sudden hail storm drove me back inside to deal with the laundry pile.
My mother-in-law's scarf is nearly complete. I've bought a set of long blocking wires so that I can (hopefully) give it a really professional finish, but will have to do a bit of research first into how to use them properly!
Another day, another park. This one is a 15-20 minute drive away, but well worth the effort for the walk around the lake and the fruit scone with jam and cream at the cafe afterwards! It gives the XXSCat dog a chance to practice her people skills, as it is much busier than our local park. The XXSCat dog loves other dogs and adores her human family, but has a profound mistrust of everyone else and a bad habit of growling and barking at passers-by who don't have a dog with them. Most people just laugh at our miniature guardian, but it is not a habit we encourage, as it would be far less amusing in a bigger dog. A combination of redirection and rewarding of good behaviour seems to be doing the trick, and she managed to disregard all but a couple of the most suspicious (in her eyes) characters. Even the swans got a free pass today.
The scarf for my mother-in-law is finished, and is currently being blocked (after a quick YouTube tutorial). The blocking wires are doing a wonderful job, but I didn't enjoy the painfully slow process of threading them through all those edge stitches whilst kneeling on the floor. My poor old joints are still complaining half an hour later!
The day didn't start terribly well, as I had a phone-call from the GP with x-ray results for my hip. "Severe osteoarthritis" with bone now rubbing on bone rather than cartilage. Which I guess would explain the constant pain and stiffness...
The GP is going to refer me to the hospital because she seemed to think hip replacement surgery might be on the cards - a scary prospect for someone in their mid-fifties. But it's also a relief to know what's causing the pain - it's been so consistently bad for so long that I've been getting bored of hearing myself grumble about it, and even wondered at times if it was all in my head! Now, rather than continuing to hope it will "ease off" or go away if I walk far enough, I know it's probably here to stay and can find other ways to help myself - like getting a walking stick to take some of the pressure off the bad hip. A snazzy blue folding walking stick!
Meanwhile, the scarf for my mother-in-law is finished. Blocking really brought it to life - it is soft and airy and oh so pretty with those deep rainbow tones.