• A friend, Anna, died very suddenly this week. She was someone Lachie went to school with so we saw her periodically over the years, meeting up for holidays, weddings and at Christmas. She was always smiling, always ready to have fun, and she was really really lovely to any and all of the babies when they arrived. Party on Anna.
  • It seems crass to put something about a friend’s death next to inane things about broad beans, but that is kind of what grief is like. Sobbing and then wondering if your broad beans will germinate.
  • As this is our first winter in the new house, we’re running a lot of experiments. Will the conservatory get so cold all of my plants die? This is weather dependent of course. Will the foxes, who have been playing about with the lawn, fully commit to digging a hole in it? How much does it cost to heat the house all day to a standard where I don’t have to sit under a blanket and my hand joints don’t cease up?
  • The broad beans have germinated, some of them anyway. So have some of the sweet peas. As usual I couldn’t be bothered to label them, so we’ll just have to wait and see which were duds and which worked. Perhaps I’ll avoid making the same mistake next year but probably not since this happens every year.
  • My calendar tells me this is the month to plant tomato seeds in the greenhouse. I’m going to try and do tomatoes as well as Cheathco this year, reach for the stars and you might just hit the moon!
  • For a while I’ve noticed a lot of roof moss is making it onto the ground around our house. I had assumed it was falling off the roof, and landing there. But now I see that actually there is a magpie that hops onto our somewhat blocked gutters, picks out the moss and throws it on the ground. Presumably looking for something more interesting. What a service! Ben’s Gutters quoted me hundreds of quid to do the sameish job but nature will do it for free!
  • A good jigsaw company: Wentworth Puzzles.

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