Saturday, 7 February 2009
Thursday morning. Finally, after days of growling skies and almost incessant rain, the sun broke through the clouds, and we had a few hours of spring sunshine before having to head to the airport. Necessary, in order to complete a few garden tasks that wouldn't very well wait for the two weeks we're due to be in London. Like, retrieving and re-positioning the planter-basket of water lilies which I noticed at Christmas had broken free from its moorings, and had plunged gently to the bottom of the vasca...two metres of chilly water below. A malodorous and messy job - but definitely one that couldn't have waited any longer, as it was clear that the plants were already coming out of hibernation, and new shoots were evident as the basket broke the surface, streaming water and bottom-of-the-vasca ooze.
In general, the garden is coming alive: crocus tips just visible through the leaves of the vinca minor; the japanese camellia showing half a dozen pure white blooms; cohorts of narcissus thrusting into the open; strong new growth in the iris bed; buds about to break open on the magnolias...
The cymbidium plants have flowered gloriously this year - one of them more generously than the other, presumably because the latter is in need of re-potting - and I carefully transferred them to the loggia for our time away, where they should do well, out of the rain, but with plenty of daylight.
And back to London - to the four-footeds, and the grubby remains of the snow. The grass of Kensington Gardens weirdly populated with white-ish lumps that presumably denoted ex-snowmen...which, in their prime, must have resembled the terracotta army, ranked across the lawns and between the trees. And every one of which required thorough canine examination...just in case. Because, you never know.
A dietarily-focused couple of weeks is planned, to address the aftermath of a sedentary and food-filled period since Christmas. No pasta, or pastry, or risotto...or potatoes, or bread. In theory, we ought to go on the wagon at the same time, but the TD is disinclined to do it, and I know I don't have the will-power to manage it alone! The question is whether or not I have the will-power to manage to avoid all the rest!
Tiger Prawns, in a Vermouth & Paprika & Cream sauce.
Pork, roast in Mustard; roast Parsnips
Apple & Vanilla Tarts