I have just spent an hour or so sitting in the garden listening to the birds singing and watching the swallows and house martins - yes, both are nesting under the eaves.
A cup of tea, a piece of date slice (recipe at the end)(not mine), a Kakuro completed, a few pages out of Prehistoric Cumbria by David Barrowclough (he gets the middle name of my Great Great Uncle, the one who excavated Ehenside Tarn, wrong - should have been Dukinfield not Durkin), and finally Our Kind of Traitor by John Le Carre.
The name Le Carre reminds me of the story of one of our children - I will let them be anonymous - who when asked to name a disciple of Jesus said Judas the Carrot!
To the garden, mowing, STRIMMING!!!!!, yes, I have taken it out after 18 months and it started first time, done around shrubs on banking and the sides of the stream. A big toad and a small frog escaped my threat.
The asparagus struggles on - a disappointing year - but the rhubarb has recovered with a good feed and loads of water. We are getting desperate for rain or it will be watering, watering, watering. Three cheers for a bore-hole.
Aquilegia are everywhere - wonderful chaos.
The Oriental poppies the previous owner, TJ, had have come out in the long grass on the top banking. I rather like the shock of colour in the long grass.
The streams from the field (drains) have dried up but the one from under next doors wall and the drainage from the septic tank overflow have kept the pond, just, topped up (ish).
The wood is full of red campion and pignut but the bluebells are over.
It must be time for the recipe -
Date slice -
Ingredients - 12 oz dates chopped and stoned
6 tbsp water
grated rind 1/2 lemon
8oz wholemeal flour
4 oz porridge oats
dark brown sugar 3 oz
butter melted 5oz
Heat dates, lemon rind and water gently till dates soft.
Mix rest of stuff and press half into bottom of shallow square cake tin.
Spread date goo n the top and then the rest of the stuff on top of that. Press down.
About 20 min in 200C - Aga, bottom top oven with cold shelf in.
Allow to cool, cut into squares and eat!