Most of our verbascums have been ravaged by caterpillars. Some, perhaps protected by hoverflies, have survived. There are some wonderful scents in the garden. Some simply pervade the atmosphere. Others, like this salvia microphylla, a woody shrub native to Arizona and Mexico, emit their fragrance from crushed, or simply rubbed, leaves. These have odours of mint and blackcurrant. At 7 a.m. this morning, my daughter Louisa set off with her friend Claire to attempt the Three Peaks Challenge. They must climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon in 24 hours. Having each lost their mother to the condition, they seek sponsorship for Cancer Research. They look beautifully excited don’t they? Louisa is on the viewer’s left. She first climbed Scafell when she was about seven. This was one of my trips made in an unsuccessful attempt, accompanied by Jessica and Sam, to cure my fear of heights. As we neared the summit, the little girl slipped on some scree. That was it for me. Vertigo is much worse when there are children involved. I could go no further. The others made it to the top whilst I remained paralysed.
Today, my lovely daughter, you will make it.
Should any of my readers feel like donating, here is the link: www.justgiving.com/3peaksteamwestdale
Jackie shopped early this morning and bought me a nice new pair of gardening gloves. Oh, ‘frabjous (Lewis Carroll in ‘Through the Looking Glass) day’. That meant I could continue clearing the front garden. I made enough progress in this to realise that the invasive lonicera hedge and brambles from next door run down the side of the house at the front as well. I shouldn’t have been surprised really.
Late in the afternoon we drove to West End to visit Mum. The traffic was so bad that the journey took almost two hours. After spending time with Mum we collected Elizabeth and the three of us dined at Eastern Nights in Thornhill, where the food was as good as ever, and the service as friendly. With more staff on than we have known, there was no extended waiting time, either.
On the way home we learned that the two young women and their male companion and dog had scaled Ben Nevis in four hours fifteen minutes, which was bang on target. They looked fit for their next mountain, Scafell Pike in the Lake District.