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diary

a few days in March

All is still in the garden. Trees motionless. There is still life. Birds make themselves heard. 05.45. Daylight creeps. Dews the ground.

Looking out through the window I see dark greens, light cedar and a pale grey white where the sun has hitherto failed to add colour. Landscape painting a gradual process.

Behind me a runner passes the front gate. Wow. Dedication. Commitment. Desperation? I glimpsed him out of the corner of my eye when glancing around to compare scenes. Front and back. The runner registered but the drive did not. I cannot describe any north versus south contrasts.

Were I an artist I would set my easel here. There are no inspiring views except those of my imagination.

I now hear movement upstairs. The day is starting…

What will happen when I am gone?

When I can no longer gaze at your face

And wonder at the fact that you are lying there next to me

Now, I walk past buildings I will one day stop seeing,

How does that work?

My strength will wane, disappear.

Tis a beeootiful day in the shire. Tis also Super Saturday whereby the last three games of the 6 nations tourney are played to decide the final standings. I’m expecting Wales and Ireland to win, in chronological order. The last game, which is not until 8pm and for which we will have a good post pandemic crowd in the shed, is England away to France.

Thereby hangs the dilemma. Ordinarily I wouldn’t want England to win but if they do and Ireland beat the Scots as expected then Ireland will top the table and take the honours. V shall c.

It is a perfect morning to do stuff in the garden. I’ve already cooked the beef stew for tonight and nipped out to the Rose of Wait to buy some nice bread. So what am I doing in the shed? I did just check out the apple tree that Monty said last night was ripe for pruning but tbh the buds have already emerged and I’m really not sure about it this time. Should have done it earlier when the weather was freezing and not conducive to pruning apple trees. 

Pruning does make a big difference to the yield but there again we never pick all the apples anyway. The other thing that I found made a huge difference to the crop was thinning them out. The result in the only year that I’ve really made the effort was much bigger apples. I will discuss the tree question with Mrs Davies upon her (and my) return to the main house.

Later, we had a conversation and I checked with google whether our timing was good. A ladder was retrieved from the garage and an hour and a half or so of tree pruning commenced. Couldn’t quite reach everywhere I wanted to chop so that will wait until tomorrow and when I can be bothered to get my ten foot step ladder out.  My confidence with cutting grew as I went along and I think tomorrow I will also sort the eating apple tree near the barbecue area.

There are occasions when it suits me to adhere to the Sabbath. The bit about not doing any work, not the bit about going to church. Today is such a day. It is a bright and sunny afternoon and John and I had a very pleasant walk to the Bailgate. 

We had intended to have a coffee in the cathedral caff as part of our “try a new caff everytime we go for a walk” routine. However said caff was closed. We suspect it had been taken over by the film company that has been doing stuff around the cathedral. There was no sign of anyone filming today even though there was a big marquee on the back lawn. Maybe they don’t work on the sabbath either.

Instead we trundled along to the castle wherein we consumed our coffee. Another caff ticked off the list.

There were lots of tourists out and about around the castle and Cathedral. The weather brings them out innit. There is however a slight edge to the day which is partly why I’ve decided not to do any jobs today. I had told myself that I would finish the tree pruning but it is cold out there and is forecast is for it to warm up from tomorrow so the trees can wait until then.

Also I am enjoying my bit of relaxation.

When I was a kid the sabbath was a v boring day. We would be dispatched to Sunday School. On our own. Parents would stay at home. There was bugger all to do for the rest of the day. Occasionally there would be a cowboy film on the telly and the high point of the day was the comedy on Radio2 at 6.30pm. Hello Cheeky and similar.

Today the peace of the sabbath is disturbed by various sources of noise. An incessant bass line coming out of John’s studio in the attic and now next door would appear to have decided to cut the grass with an extremely loud lawnmower. I could move to the shed which would escape the bass but the lawnmower would follow me there.

Woke up to frost in the garden but the sun has burnt all that off and it looks to be a lovely spring day  out there. Still supposed to be cold this morning so will hold off on the apple tree pruning until this afternoon.

Noises abound. A loud woodpigeon must be sat above me somewhere. A siren, police or ambulance typically. Don’t see many fire engines round our neck of the woods for some reason although I don’t look.

Glorious first round of golf of spring on Tuesday. Now stiff and weary and back in the shed. It is a joyful afternoon in the garden with the avian chorus in full voice.

Friday. Gonna be a seriously nice spring day in the shire. We will be spending half of it in the car en route to the Wirral for a long weekend. It won’t be as nice on the West side of the country but still ok.

The doors of the shed are flung wide open and the heating is off. Will I turn it back on before the Autumn? Quite probably 🙂

V relaxing start to the day. Gonna be a lovely Spring day. The sort that makes you question the logic of even thinking of going abroad for a holiday. I realise it is not always like this but when it is it is good. “On the second day Tref saw that it was good”.

We are staying on a “street of a thousand Turkish barbers” or so it feels so am pondering wandering along for the full wax treatment. My last haircut was the day of trefbash60 which you will know was an aeon ago. Will depend if there is a queue. Am not queuing for a full Turkish.

You wonder whether they are all related. One is called Big Als which doesn’t sound Turkish at all. Could be Ali. They all get good reviews but Big Als is the nearest and had a lot of people in it yesterday which is a good sign shirley (stop calling me surely).

Maybe haircuts are a big thing here. I used to just think a haircut is a hair cut until I went to one in London (the day of trefbash60) recommended by my cousin Ken who is in the trade. Adriana was v good fair play and surprisingly cheap for London. Something line forty quid for the works. Anyway I’m boring you here.

On a day like this you suddenly wish you’d brought your sandals. I’ll have to find out where they were hidden at the end of last summer. I remember one year taking the kids to Old Trafford for a test match. There were a couple of hairy blokes at the end of our row wearing socks with their sandals. My thoughts were “if a cricket fan wants to wear socks with their sandals that’s perfectly ok by me”. Then when I walked past them I overheard one say to the other that he had no clue about the rules of the game which suddenly changed my view completely on their wearing of socks. Losers 🙂

An interesting snippet for the golf lovers amongst you. Yesterday we were in New Brighton and drove past Wallasey Golf Club which proudly displayed a sign saying “home of stableford”. Wow impressivo I thought. Who’d a thunk. Had to have been invented somewhere. How did they come up with  the name stableford though? 

Today we start the festivities with a dip in West Kirby Swimming Pool. I suspect it has a different name but that is an adequate description of the destination. I am minimally concerned that it is not lane swimming and it won’t be that long since breakfast but sufficiently minimal to not break out in a sweat.

Then at lunchtime I am off to the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port. It’s the kind of activity for which I like going solo. I’m not a massive narrowboat fan like some of my pals on Facebook but I like old boats.

By Trefor Davies

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