Today’s air was cool, dry, and largely dull.
Much of the time was spent weeding.
Jackie’s distaste for our invasive alliums is patent as she drops one into her bucket. The red railing behind her has been removed from the edge of the Pond Bed in the foreground in order to gain greater access.
My progression along the Oval Path was delayed by the number of these invaders congregating around the entrance to the Rose Garden. By lunchtime I had not achieved my target of reaching the bend at the far end.
I was, however, able to enjoy the bluebells beside me; the triumphant mating cries of wood pigeons, one of which, preening in the weeping birch, may have shed the feather photographed yesterday; the gentle trilling of the songbirds pierced by the repetitive irritating greenfinch; and the buzzing of the occasional bee.
This afternoon I dragged myself out to complete my task.
I was rewarded by the grating of my final rake attracting a visit from two robins who, nevertheless, kept their distance.
Later, I scanned six more of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ by Charles Dickens.
The tail of the horse stretching past the text in ‘Jonas fought and contended with the horses like a man possessed’ does appear in the book, but is too wide for me to scan it.
‘Mr Pecksniff interposed himself between them’ is another set of accurate portraits.
‘The good man patted Mrs Lupin’s hand between his own’. We know who he is by now.
‘Jonas set upon him like a savage’ has a great sense of movement.
‘The body of a murdered man’
This evening we dined on pork chops baked with English mustard and garnished with almonds; piquant cauliflower cheese; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots; and moist fried leeks, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Collin-Bourisset Fleurie 2019.