May 8th – Tuesday.
Just done a 13 hour day. Tired but happy. Landscaping almost finished. Terrace complete. Plastering of ceilings and Mezzanine wall happens tomorrow. Soakaway built. Awaiting the vagueries of building control to view, judge and throw as many spanners around as they can.
Face is brown and warm. Last week has been endless sunshine. Kew has had hundreds of journeys across it with 5 ton diggers, tractors and trucks, but it’s holding up well.
It feels like the final push, but I am sure there will be some hiccups still to come.
On Friday, we sat up on the deck, listening to tunes, having a few drinks and gazing across to Exmoor in the late evening sunshine. It was blissfully warm. Sharps Atlantic for me, Sauvignon for Becky, Coke Zero for Milo, digging mud holes for the dogs.
It’s days like this that leaves you breathless and in awe of the world around you.
Cocteau Twins play late on Radio 6.
The Devon hedgerows are a blitz of colour and virility. The animals laze in the fields, leaching up the sunshine. There is something so wonderfully lazy about the heat, a kind of stillness, and yet there is so much sound, a cacophony of bird song and insects which drifts into your senses.
The woods are a smorgasbord of greens, every tree a slightly different hue. The oak the muddiest of them all, the beech the brightest, the ash the latest!!!
Rose campions and cow parsley vow for space, bluebells jostle with nettle and the docks get rampant in the fields. You just want to bottle these moments. You’ve waited so long, you want it to last for ever. It like that time when I see Milo do something, or say something priceless and you just want to hold him and stop him from getting older forever. Bottle those moments. But you can’t.
We had 11 duck eggs on the island in the lake last week. I thought Mrs Ducky and Malcom Mallard were so clever, but alas Raymond R, came and took them away and all that is left are a few shells and a nest like a duck down duvet. Ducky and Malcom are still around, morning their unborn. Hopefully they will try again. No fertility treatment for them.
Time marches on, the first cut silage on the dairy farms has now started, even one of our fields, Chives, is growing well, I think we could be only 4 weeks away from a first cut of hay, I want to do small bales on Chives, cut it before the seeds spread on the docks and I’m going to use RiverCross down by the Taw for big bale haylage.
When haymaking goes well, there is nothing like it. The dust of the field, the insects bouncing against the spots on the tractor late at night. The satisfaction of the harvest baled up and in the shed, and that smell of fresh hay. There is nothing more redolent of summer than the perfume of hay. You can bottle that. Like a memory. In the darkest depths of winter, cut open a grey tired looking bale of hay and inside is Summer.
10.42. Need to go to bed. Night all. Must remember to put my bowl away in the dishwasher otherwise there will be hell to pay.
One final thought: BAD BAND names.
Car Seat Headrests. What? First Aide Kit? Come on.