Yesterday was a weird day. We were expecting bad weather yet the sun was shining bright, so I scrambled into gardening clothes and went mad in the garden, mending the hose that takes water from one rain butt to another, clearing paths and finding the edges of them. EG had set a fine example a week ago clearing all the moss from the side path. I kept expecting the sun to disappear, but it was so warm I went coatless.
In the afternoon we went to the funeral of our 92 year-old neighbour. She was a feisty and determined lady. She lived alone in the house her father built, and insisted on maintaining standards as she thought fit. When we came to live next door – more than thirty years ago – I lived in dread of her. She went in for unparalleled frankness and had many things to say about our house and garden, but over the years we became friends and she was always kind and generous to the children. Latterly she became a great supporter of my writing and would lend her copies of my books to all her friends – insisting that they read them. She was lucky in having devoted friends, on whom she made great demands, who made it possible for her to stay in her own home to the end of her life.
After the funeral, as the bad weather still held off, I rushed into the garden and started work on the brick paths and beds in the area near the new drive-to-be. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the exhaustion of labour. I positively relish moving earth around and realising designs that had started out as pencil on paper. I think the two maples will look great in their re-made beds.
Later in the day, a lovely email from the researcher of the magazine on Far Eastern Prisoners of War to say that my article was OK. Much relieved. Apart from corrections, I did no writing yesterday.
To finish off the day I took myself off to a Lindy Hop session. This was mad. It takes place in the basement of a pub with limited floor room. Tonight there were suddenly about 15 newcomers. A crazy, lively and very noisy session, but not much room to dance.