strange_complex: (Penny Lane)
I have been out in my garden doing some weeding this afternoon, and am impressed to find that the top of my garden has become a genuinely pleasant place to be. This is what the garden looked like when I first moved in:



Basically featureless and neglected, and set on a very steep slope complete with the sunken ghosts of old grassed-over flowerbeds, which meant that my poor little electric lawnmower simply couldn't cope with the job, and kept overheating and conking out.

Most of it, to be fair, is still pretty much like that. But just over a year ago, I got my gardener to rip out all the wild brambles and ferns from the bank at the top, and plant a nice mixture of flowering shrubs, heathers and ferns instead. Then this January, he also replaced the awful dangerous rotting wooden pallet which was serving as a flight of 'steps' to go up the bank into the area behind where the shed stands with a proper flight of nice brick steps with Yorkshire stone treads:



So this is what the area looks like now:



There are even branches with apple blossom and weeping willow fronds drooping down from the adjoining garden, and eventually the rose bushes which I have planted either side of the arch in the trellis will grow their way up and over and make a lovely conjoined bower.

There's still a lot wrong with the garden as a whole, but this does feel like a genuine 'step' (boom-tish) in the right direction.

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strange_complex: (Latin admirable sentiment)
Some random recent things:

1. Yesterday, a man came round and raked all the leaves off my lawn! I'd been meaning to do it myself, but I'm glad I didn't now. He's the gardener for the communal parts of our flats, and has no obligation to do anything with my patch at all. But I ain't going to be the one who goes out and explains to him where the communal parts end and my own garden begins.

2. Yesterday evening was Cat WINOLJ's birthday, and what a lovely time we had. Luscious cocktails in Raoul's, followed by dinner in a place called Big Bang. Not, as Hitch-Hikers fans might assume, a burger bar, but a place which specialised in sausages and mash. I had two deliciously rich venison sausages on a garlic and rosemary mash and swimming in a gorgeous red wine 'jus'1, followed by Jam Roly-Poly - yay! Definitely a good choice of venue, to which I hope to return in future to explore some of their other options.

3. Book stuff seems to be happening at the moment. I've got lots of other bitty tasks to do, so I'm setting a pattern of working solidly on the book in the morning, and sorting out other stuff in the afternoon, with a return to the book later on if I'm not going out in the evening. Progress is being made this way on all fronts, and it feels good. It is also amazing how much time there turns out to be in a week when you're not spending 10 hours of it commuting.

4. I've now posted my letter of complaint to the manager at Dukes Hotel. Sorry it took a few days, chaps - my printer is being rubbish again, so I had to get a friend-of-a-friend to do it. But it's on its way.

5. I'm starting to feel reasonably Christmassy, but I'm not cracking out the Xmas music until I do my cards - probably tonight and / or tomorrow. Big thanks to those people who have sent cards to me already!

6. That's probably enough for now.
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1. Since when was a perfectly good word like 'sauce' universally ousted by the word 'jus'? That's what I want to know.
strange_complex: (Apollo Belvedere)
The goings-on of this weekend:

Friday evening - James Bowman )

Saturday day-time - gardening )

Saturday evening - The Oxford Greek Play )
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1. Yeah, I'm aware that it's possible to get LJ to display the actual Greek alphabet. But I really am astonishingly tired, so think I'll save learning about that for some other time...

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