Spring Cleaning Month

Yesterday evening I received an e-mail from Mark telling me that it had taken all day to clear the cellar in Sigoules, and the job was still not finished. It will be continued next week. I didn’t think of this space when I checked the house, because I have to bend double to enter it and consequently am not in the habit of going down there. Much needed rain in the form of a heavy thunderstorm arrived this morning, giving me a watertight excuse for taking a break from digging up concrete. I stayed in and identified and scanned a batch of colour negatives from May 1982. These feature Jessica and Sam at a toddlers’ morning at Brixton Sports Hall, where it was great fun leaping off the gym horse onto the mattresses and trampoline; Jessica and Sam 5.82 001Sam 5.82 001Sam 5.82 002                                                                                                              and cleaning up a pram for Sam’s new sister, Louisa.Jessica and Sam 5.82 002Jessica and Sam 5.82 004Sam 5.82 003 These photographs were taken in the garden of Gracedale Road in Furzedown, where we lived at the time.
Matthew 5.71 001Matthew 5.71 002May is clearly the month for spring cleaning, for, exactly eleven years earlier, Matthew had given the Amity Grove garden paving a good scrub.
Jackie with bonfires 2Jackie with bonfires 1Encouraged by the warm, dry, day that followed this morning’s downpour, and by Bev and John being away, I attempted to light a bonfire in mid-afternoon. After three quarters of an hour of profuse smoke and no flame, I was about to give up when I heard a faint, quickening crackling, followed by at first a glimmer, then a burst of flame. We had lift off. Jackie had continued her preparation for spring by completing the setting of hundreds of bulbs and various other plants, and, in the early evening she decided to make her own bonfire. Having been a Girl Guide, she produced flame in fast time and we soon had two pyres on the go. Thus we were able to make impressive progress in clearing the piles of debris. Observant readers will notice that the wheelbarrow brazier has lost one of its handles.
Dinner this evening consisted of chicken breasts marinaded in piri-piri sauce, crisp roast potatoes, and carrots and cauliflower, followed by egg custard. Should you be tempted to repeat this menu, you should heed a word of warning about the sauce. Dilita’s Afrikana Peri-Peri Wild Herb Sauce is not for those without an asbestos coating to their mouths. Do not be deceived by the single chilli image on the jar. No way is this mild. Even I took in a deep breath after the first mouthful. Apparently Dilita make one sauce which has three chillies on the jar and is described as hot. The medium one sports two chillies.
We both drank Pedro Jimenez Cimarosa 2013, which helped to cool us down a bit.