Now that the house is back into some semblance of order after our wet week in Wales (taking six washes, two hours of ironing, four cups of tea and three Welsh cakes) it was time to check the garden for any dying or wounded (plants, not the children).
First stop was the hanging baskets. These looked like they gave up around last Wednesday, and three soakings later, I could just about make out a faint heartbeat. I had planned on dead-heading the baskets, but decided not to in the end, as it would have meant just upending each one straight onto the compost heap. The colour is coming back into their petals, so it looks like they have a reprieve for the time being.
Next on my list were the borders. Now for some reason, the copious amounts of rainwater which has fallen on my borders this week has been extremely selective, falling only on the nettles, dandelions and other offensive looking weeds. I say this as the weeds are almost as tall as the fence, whereas my beautiful plants are looking haggard. Weeds are the squatters in my garden...I didn't buy them. I didn't invite them in. I didn't even leave the side gate open for them. They just tip up, give no joy and make work for me. Come to think of it, this sounds rather like my children.
Walking across the lawn (I say lawn, but hay field might be a more accurate description) I made a mental note to remind the husband to get his mower out. I know you will be surprised that I don't do the lawn myself, but this is what a call a Blue Job. Other tasks which come under this heading are: taking out the bins, cleaning the gutters, checking tyre pressures and anything which requires a hammer. The Pink Job list is far shorter - it's just Everything Else Not Covered By The Blue Job List... a woman's work, and all that...
It was then over to my pride and joy, my strawberry patch. This was showing incredible promise before we went away, and since getting back on Friday, I had glimpsed satisfying flashes of red fruit here and there. If you remember, I am in competition with the husband over his meagre crop on the allotment, and walking over to my patch with a bowl yesterday afternoon, I was looking forward to picking some and doing some serious gloating.
What I hadn't allowed for though was Reg. This would be Reg the five month old Miniature Schnauzer pup, the one who lavishes me with love and affection, and sleeps for England. It would also appear that Reg loves strawberries. Quite a lot actually.
I had picked a lovely bowlful, and leaving them on the bench while I put some straw around the plants (do you see how I almost sound like I know what I am doing) I didn't give much thought to the four legged carnivores I share the house with. Finishing the straw job, I bent down to pick the strawberries up, only to find Reg, neatly polishing the last of them off.
Looking back, I don't know why I was surprised at this. Reg will eat anything that stops moving long enough, be it spider, biscuit or floor mat. The worst part of all of this, was that I knew what the eventual outcome of the strawberry feast would be. Unfortunately, picking up strawberry-fragranced number twos is definitely a Pink Job.
Life is grand, isn't it...