13 April 2011

All change

As expected, the weather took a turn this week and we've been plunged back to more typical April weather: cold, damp, blustery. The salad crops I planted in the outside planter have done absolutely nothing, so I'm pleased that I sowed some in the greenhouse, though, at the moment it's not a lot warmer inside there.

The fruit trees are really starting to blossom though - the pear tree is now fully out, leading me to hope that for the first year we'll get a really good crop.  Last year we got about 4 or 5 decent-sized fruits, in what is the tree's - what - third year since we planted it?  By now the tree will be about 5 years old so it should be starting to get into its stride.

Isn't it just a thing of beauty?

The front garden is difficult to really plant - it's north-facing and most of the day is shaded by the house, so only the top of the garden - where the planters and tree are, get any consistently long hours of sunshine and that's at high summer.

And - another reason it's difficult to garden is our neighbour who is retired and as soon as you step out the house is there to "help" or offer advice.  Bless him, he and his wife are retired and elderly, and I'm sure he just wants the company, it's just difficult to really get anything done when he's there.

Indoors, the courgette seeds I planted just a couple of days ago have erupted spectacularly into life overnight. I looked at the seeds last night before going to bed and saw they were still the big, flat, tear-drop shaped seeds I stuck point-down - I'd just assumed they'd take a few more days to germinate!

The purple sprouting broccoli from the garden was a success: dark green and purple and very tasty with the individual chicken, bacon, leek and thyme pies I'd made (and frozen) a while ago. There are some more spears on the plant but I'm definitely going to grow some more - have to think about where to put it since it's a "long term" plant and is in the ground for up to a year...

I went into work  yesterday to discuss my phased return to work with my boss. It was very constructive, we've agreed a return over 8 weeks rather than 6 as proposed by Occupational Health, and it'll be reviewed part-way through to make sure I'm not struggling too much. Just before the meeting ended my boss nipped out to speak to another colleague - at which point I admit I sagged as I thought he was going to try and squeeze in a quick work meeting while I was there - but instead he came back with a bunch of flowers, an orchid, an Amazon voucher and a card signed by most of the Division. I was struck dumb - and it's not often that happens!  I was touched and delighted.

I think the visit though took a lot of out of me - and that was just for an hour. Today I've had to go for a snooze (with Poppy, who also snoozed so that we were nose to nose) and I feel a bit wiped.   Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I'll be improved enough that my stamina for being in at work will be enough that I don't suffer the same exhaustion after such a short time.   D is adamant though that if I'm still feeling exhausted, I'm to go and get signed off again - I really don't want that to happen.  I suspect that part of it is not sleeping well due to being so cold at night now that we've changed (somewhat prematurely and probably inadvisedly) to the lighter summer duvet! Hopefully the weather will start to warm up soon - but regardless, it doesn't seem to be stopping things growing.

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