Monday, 24 September 2012

Harvesting Balls

This weekend there was a massive push in the garden. The various reasons for this included it being extremely overgrown, the weather being good with some diabolical weather on the horizon, the impending arrival of the intrepid granny who is coming to watch the Ryder Cup on our big telly next weekend, and the fruit needed picking. So whilst my beloved whirled round with the lawnmower and various sharp implements, I set about planting bulbs, weeding borders and picking fruit.

In previous years, we have had a shedload (literally!) of fruit with me performing as the fruit fairy to try to relieve the glut. This involved me bagging up fruit and leaving it on the doorsteps of friends who either have large numbers to feed or are keen jam-makers. For many years we had our own veg fairy - a lovely old gentleman (no longer with us, sadly) who sometimes found life at home rather too noisy and would seek sanctuary in my kitchen. He never arrived empty-handed so we always knew when he'd been if we were unlucky enough to be out because he left spinach or cauliflower or cabbages or green beans from his very impressive vegetable garden in Spofforth.

This year, there is a pitiful amount of fruit - no greengages, a few eating apples and there are cookers to come on the tree, a fair few blackberries and three plums. Three plums was a cause of great celebration amongst my children. In years gone by, we have had enough plums to feed a small African country. And, because I can't bear to waste food, as well as the fruit fairy thing, I would cook them and make plum pies and plum crumbles and other plum delicacies which I would freeze and then present to my family on a weekly basis all through the year resulting in plum-fatigue. So imagine their joy yesterday when I announced I had harvested all the plums and there were only three!

The other harvesting was the result of cutting back and weeding some of the borders which produced several golf balls - some rather good Calloway ones actually - and a good crop of tennis balls. I know there will be cricket balls as well, I just haven't got to them yet!

So the seasons have turned again and as well as the swallows leaving for warmer climes - I'm quite happy for them to fly solo unlike the Ryanair pilots - number two daughter will be leaving this week but only as far as Harrogate. Not very exciting you might think except that she will be a home-owner which is a most definite sign that she will have flown the nest. Number one, of course, lives in London and has never shown any signs of returning home apart from flying visits of which we had one last week. And she too is thinking of leaving for warmer climes but still at the planning stage so too early to say where or when.

Anyway on a positive note, as well as whirling about on the lawnmower, my beloved spent some time on Saturday sitting on the apex on the bathroom roof (not sure if apex is the correct term but you get my drift) mending the hole. So, even though it is raining today, I am no longer concerned that it is raining through the downlighters in the bathroom ceiling. It's probably still raining into the boiler room but you can't have everything...

And finally, as I mentioned, number one came home last week for a few days and it was one of those increasingly rare times when I have all four of my children under one roof. So numero uno and I did some nice things together including a trip to Malham Cove where incidentally they shot some scenes for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows prompting our idea that the next time she comes home we will go and explore another film location - perhaps Aysgarth Falls where they shot Robin Prince of Thieves. Anyway I decided it would be lovely to photograph all four children together and this is what happened...

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