E has been her usual self, winning prizes seems to come naturally for her. I have lost count of the things she has won over the last few years, holidays, tvs, cameras, books, furniture, the list goes on. It was Monday morning the second day of the month and we were in the dining area alongside the kitchen just talking and looking out the window at the garden when the doorbell rang. I went to see who it was and it was the postman delivering a parcel, two parcels to be precise for he called a minute later with the second. E had no idea what was in the parcel though it was addressed to her. Eagerly opening it she discovered it was the prize she had recently won in a competition, a bird box as we call them here. It had been manufactured in Holland and was labelled a three level bird ‘flat’ (apartment). It was my job to mount it on the wall, the only place suitable for it to go given the preferences….
…and the close-up showing access panels on the side for each level should they need to be cleaned out…
We are hoping the box will get more cover as the plants below grow taller. Now that I was out in the garden I decided to do a couple of small jobs one of which was to sweep up the enormous piles of leaves that always accumulate by the cellar door leading out to the garden and in one or two other places around the house building. My other job was to shave off a little wood from the new passageway gate I had constructed a couple of months ago. It had expanded in the cool, humid weather as wood does. In the warmer and dryer months the wood shrinks a little so the gate fitted perfectly when I made it. I had forgotten to allow for the normal expansion of the timber. Despite the high winds we were experiencing on Monday it remained pleasant and warm throughout the day.
I went to a job on Thursday morning . On my return home a couple of hours later I half-expected E to have been busy in the kitchen continuing with the painting of the woodwork she had begun to do the previous afternoon but alas no she wasn’t. She was busy on her computer ‘catching up on a few things’ by her account. What she really meant was that she was entering some more competitions for she spends an awful amount of time doing that. I think she spends far too much time on her computer doing that but that is only my opinion. Anyway during the afternoon she would be out shopping with her mom doing the weekly shop and wouldn’t have the time to do any painting. That meant I could get on with my part in the deal, painting the walls but no I was feeling a little tired and didn’t much want to start painting after my lunch. I was gazing out of the kitchen window at the now almost bare deciduous trees and all the leaves they had shed upon the lawn and elsewhere. Every year it is the same, the leaves seem to gather at specific places around the garden and form great heaps. The usual places are immediately outside of the cellar door which leads out into the garden, in and around the three grids (though they do have a little protection) at the back of the house, at the bottom of the stone stairway that leads from the kitchen down into the garden, in the space immediately outside of the rear door of the garage E uses, in two places on the lawn, around the path we created when we dug out the old mound, on the path to the large greenhouse and even behind it and of course trapped in the borders which are about the only places we don’t have to bother much about clearing them away. I looked and thought to myself, ‘You’ve got to shift them as next Monday will be the last collection of green waste for this year and the next one will be at the beginning of March’. The weather also promised to be wet and windy so I had to seize the opportunity and forget all about painting in the kitchen. So that is what I did and I filled the two wheelie bins in the process which doesn’t sound much. However I had to compress the leaves to get them all in, well as much as was practically possible. Even so there might be more to go in them before Monday morning. Now I could have used the lawn sweeper as we have one just like the one in the picture but the leaves on the lawn had generously heaped themselves in two places and though there were a few scattered about it simply wasn’t worth getting it out. I left the more compacted bin in the rear garden as there might be more to shovel up and the other bin I took back to the front garden where another large heap of leaves still lay on the path against the wall. I was hoping the wind might blow some of them away before Monday. I thought that in a day or two the leaves would have settled more inside the bins to allow just a little more to be put in them. I have resorted to standing inside the bins in the past in order to compress the contents and I might have to do so this time. I feel sorry for the guy next door whose entire lawn is covered in a couple of inches of leaves and his lawn is almost twice the size of ours. Unfortunately his garden is east of ours, the prevailing winds are from the west and his garden is surrounded by trees on all sides except for his house. Most of the leaves that fall in our garden come from large trees which are not in our garden though some smaller ones are. By the time I had cleared away as much of the leaves as I could I was feeling even more tired!