Where has the time gone?
Got up before dawn and watered, planted up more cuttings — by autumn they will be ready to be planted out into the garden. Sat and looked at the empty fields and quiet mountains, the beginning of a new day. The housemate and I took the dog on a village ramble, past the cottages with their beds of purple statice (sea lavender) and white-flowering num-num bushes, hardy planting against drought. Verandahs shaded by grape vines, sunlight and shadow playing on old limed white walls as it did perhaps a century ago. The streams running down through the village are just a trickle. We waved to elderly villagers sitting out in the morning sun drinking homebrewed coffee with rusks, enjoying the leisurely day just opening up.
Last night was very sad — we went along to the former art teacher to celebrate her 80th birthday and reallised almost at once that she was too ill and weak to talk or eat. She should be in hospital but wept so pitifully at the prospect that we just set out chairs around her bed and sat with her as she dozed off from time to time. I hope she rallies, brave and indomitable character that she is. All around her she had flowers, bunches of wild flowers, roses and lilies but she has not been able to get into her wheelchair for weeks, has not sat in her garden with its Monet feel of pools and bright lovely flowers.
She asked me how the garden looked and I hadn’t the heart to say it was overgrown and neglected, many pot plants dead. I told her about the white Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascan jasmine) twining itself around an old pillar and the clustered pods of wisteria tapping against the trunk and walls. Then she got that faraway look I dread and we fell silent, though she squeezed my hand. We had a few mouthfuls of food, kissed her goodbye and let the night nurse take over, came home.
Arrived back to find the neighbour hushing the Great Dane who had been howling with loneliness, was thrilled to see us. Just as well neighbours in this street are animal lovers.
My small dog has kennel cough, incubating since her trip to the doggie beauty parlour. I gave her honey on a spoon to ease her cough and made a chicken soup for dogs with skinless boned thigh meat and mashed carrot. All three dogs are likely to get kennel cough (tracheobronchitis) because it is highly infectious. The vet was happy to hear from me yet again and said he doesn’t believe in treating this with antibiotics, most infections pass over quickly enough. He said I am welcome to bring the dogs in for a consultation. And infect a waiting room full of other dogs? So I shall see how my little Chlobi-wa-kenobi does. She has no temperature and is lively as ever but sounds like an old smoker with a 60-a-day habit.
Looking forward to a quiet evening with friends, hoping I stay awake until midnight. I wake most mornings before 5am, but go to bed at 10pm and my days of being a party animal are long gone. You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties…
Happy New year to all my blogger friends and readers, I hope this will be a sober, peaceful and contented year for all of us.