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As weekends go, this one’s not got off to a bad start – mainly because we were under no pressure to do anything or get anywhere (that comes next week). Instead, Dawn managed to get her full compliment of Z’s whilst I wasn’t far behind. My Fitbit is telling me how virtuous I am, which is nice…

Once we’d imbibed sufficient quantities of caffeine to kickstart the day we both got motoring. Whilst the weather forecast hadn’t been promising I could see the opposite side of the valley (always a good sign) I I decided to blitz the back terraces to the house. Working over multi-levels and up and down steps certainly keeps one fit. as does deciding to improve the quality of the soil in the flower bed opposite the kitchen window by digging it out and sieving all the stones – by hand. The flowers will thank me. My back didn’t! As if this wasn’t masochism enough I also broke up more of an old stone sink I stripped out of the former outside toilet. Yep, this cottage is old enough to have one of those! I’ve gradually been getting rid by turning the thing into gravel but now spring is here I want to get shut of all of it. Luckily, there’s an unadopted road near us that’s so potholed it looks like a Ukrainian battlefield, so I’m killing two birds with one stone (or should that be sink) and helping fill in their craters. Whilst I squatted on the cobbles at the back of the house breaking rocks my mind drifted back to my travels. The process reminded me of my old visits to India, observing road repairs, which was quite a shocking experience the first time I saw it. You’d find whole families working on road contracts, living in shanties on the side on the side of the road they were improving. Dad and Grandfather would be turning boulders into rocks. Mum and Grandmother would be turning rocks into smaller rocks and the kids would be turning said rocks into gravel – all for a few Rupees a day in the blazing heat. At least I only have one sink to break up – and it wasn’t to earn a living..

Having improved the soils and removed a few kilos of gravel I planted the Mimulus I bought in Ossett yesterday. Apparently, they’re an old Victorian garden favourite – which seems appropriate considering the amount of graft I’ve undertaken just to get the bloody things in! Still, joking aside, I really enjoy gardening. The weather stayed clement and I got a lot done – as did Dawn – just indoors. Hopefully, the weather will play ball again tomorrow so that I can finish ‘nuking’ all the weeds on the top terrace. One of our neighbours struggles to get up to her terrace nowadays so I’m fire-fighting living next to a jungle as stuff spreads like mad.

Now, having done my ‘great escape’ impression and surreptitiously dumped a load of hardcore in few potholes (thankfully I didn’t have to do it down my trouser legs) I’m relaxing at home. Dee’s preparing supper (lamb kebabs with salad), after which it’s time to relax. All that remains is to select the picture of the day. Sans rubble I called in for a ‘swifty’ at our local pub – the ‘Big 6’ so tonight – here’s a drink on me!

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