Gardening leave

Obviously not gardening leave in the usual sense; I haven’t been suspended from any of my jobs for bad behaviour! But I haven’t had to go anywhere much this week, and I took advantage of the lovely weather to do a lot of gardening.

On Monday I had a phone interview; I’m supposed to have been told the results of this before Easter and I haven’t, so presumably I haven’t got the work – not that there was anything definite at the moment, anyway; it just might have led to some work in future. And I finished a prison book – hooray! Then the garden beckoned. I cleared away a dead penstemon and planted its replacement, and seeded the bit of lawn exposed after the removal of the dead one. I cleared up after the last bonfire, and found, in the soggy bits underneath, some shrub clippings that had grown roots, so I potted them up in the hope that they would develop further. And I cleared a bit of drive and put some gravel down. In the evening we had a great rehearsal of Terry Doyle; first time without books, and they were excellent.

On Tuesday, after a short run, I put some weedkiller down and updated the Ledbury Poetry Festival policy documents, answered emails and cleared some more of the drive. And I started demolishing a huge, dead Rose of Sharon shrub. This still isn’t finished; there was an awful lot of dead wood there, plus a few twigs with leaves, which again, I’ve potted in the hope that they will develop into proper plants. And I used a pressure washer I had borrowed on the big patio. This was amazing! I had forgotten the colour of the paving on the patio; it was all covered in muck and moss and lichen, but after much work this week, it’s looking great. What I hadn’t realised, though, was that a lot of the muck goes backwards, therefore covering the pressure washer handler. I was covered in gloop from head to foot, and this was repeated several times during the week. Perhaps I’m not doing it right – but it did seem to work.

In the evening we went to see Source Code. I hadn’t expected this to be all that good, but it was an excellent movie.

On Wednesday I answered emails and went to the hospital, where I worked with two lovely women who really appreciated what we were doing. Then more pressure washing and dead shrub clearing, writing up the hospital stuff, and a TADS meeting.

No prison on Thursday! I went for a run, had a bit of a clothes clearout, did some strimming and pressure washing and shrub chopping – and had a bonfire. In the evening I spent a bit of time with one of my cast members who won’t be able to come to the next rehearsal. He’ll be fine.

And on Friday – a run, my accounts, pressure washing, emails … and then shopping in Gloucester with The Bloke. The Bloke has been great this weekend – he mended a gate for me and fixed new drawer runners, helped me lop off some old dead branches (I did let him use the chainsaw, which is an inducement to any man, it seems). Apart from gardening and a couple of bike rides, it’s been quite a lazy weekend.

And now, of course, I have to catch up with the millions of emails circling above me like vultures. It felt like gardening leave last week, but my suspension has been lifted and I’m stuck indoors again. Although I might just clear away some more dead stuff and have a bonfire…

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