Tuesday 24 September 2019

...making hay while the sun shines

Last week marked the beginning of my phased return to work. I only had to be in the office for one day, so I made the most of the sunny weather and my few remaining days of 'freedom' with some serious pottering around in the back garden. One afternoon the garage got a long overdue de-cluttering. It's such a pity I didn't take a "before" photo, but I didn't know I was going to tackle it so thoroughly until I was more than half way through!  
The shelves at the back were hidden behind a mountain of accumulated "stuff" that needed sifting, sorting, putting away or taking to the dump, and this was also blocking access to the lockable storage chest where we keep a lot of the garden tools. So once I'd cleared a path to the shelves I got the hedge trimmers out and gave the hedge a bit of a tidy too!
This is the very hedge that so often features in the "chucked in a hedge artfully styled against a delightful leafy green backdrop" photos I take of my knitting projects, so it needs to be maintained!
I picked up a couple of cheap and cheerful punnets of pansies from Aldi to give the outdoor pots a slightly longer lease of life. I like to tuck them randomly into the gaps that appear when other plants are past their best and to see their jolly little faces peeping up at me from outside the kitchen window.
I was given several "get well soon" houseplants after the hip op, and I am trying very hard to keep them alive, so they got a team bath in the kitchen sink, after I'd filled the watering can for the pansies. They looked so happy to be soaking in the sunshine too!
My normal rule of thumb is to stick with cacti and other drought-tolerating plants indoors, as I so often forget to water them. The cacti and aloe vera plant below have spent the past twenty years hovering on the brink of death by dehydration, battling to survive against all odds. The cactus in the foreground even managed to muster flowers after being decapitated and replanted at a fraction of its previous size! I don't really like these plants all that much, but I have to admire their grit and tenacity, and feel they've truly earned their place on the windowsill. As for the "get well soon" bunch, only time will tell! 
I'm so grateful for that sunshine last week. The weather has turned cooler, with grey skies and rain now, just as my phased return is starting to pick up pace. I'll be working three days per week for the next two weeks and will be back on full time hours by the second week in October. Soon all this time in recovery will seem like a distant dream! I like Autumnal weather, and it's good to be back with my team at work, but I'm glad to have been able to spend those last few days in the sun before returning to life in the real world!

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