I have been (willingly) chained to my desk for the past few weeks creating an index for my Far East POW book. It’s an occupation for the obsessive list-maker and one I didn’t expect to enjoy, but it has its satisfactions. It has also raised multiple research questions. I hang my head with embarrassment over the number of tiny textual errors I have discovered in the process. Yet everything discovered is one less error in the published version.
On Thursday the sun came out and I played truant from my desk for several hours to plant up my nursery of seedling maples – all offspring of Matsukaze or Sengokaku. I started with a pot or two and some compost…and then I needed the big cutters for some roots and more leaf mould and, and, and… By the time I started to clear up, the sun was going down.I know it all looks very dull now but there are eight Japanese maple seedlings between one and three years old in pots or in the ground, and in a couple of months they will be trembling with new leaves.
As I left a Robin circled over my working area and sat in the nearby tree to assess the changes to his territory.
My husband was a little underwhelmed by his first sight of lunch today.
We love tomatoes and I thought with the new greenhouse we would have a splendid crop of homegrown ones. Sadly, all the ones I started in the greenhouse have not fared well after being transferred to the vegetable plot. The blazing heat, our sandy soil and my erratic watering and feeding (though I tried) have not been to their liking, so every kind of rot has set in and this is all that is left.
And they’re not as healthy as they look. The one plant I kept in the greenhouse is looking much happier, so next year I will fill the greenhouse with them.
However my little nursery bed of seedling maples has come through the summer in brave force and I think there are some interesting plants here.
I was a little alarmed to see that the parent of most of these, Matsukaze, is already showing some Autumn colour. I don’t understand where the summer went or how the year is slipping past so swiftly.
At least the birds and the hedgehogs are flourishing. Outside my writing room window very new half-coloured robins, bluetits, great tits and coal tits and, I think, a willow warbler (who resists the efforts of the paparazzi ) all flit about constantly (very good for concentration) while the ground is patrolled by pigeons, dunnocks and blackbirds (one with a grey head). We hear the hedgehogs at night and they polish off a plate of mealworms etc every night. I am torn between my desk and the outside, but the seasons won’t wait, so I must try and get out more.