Summer’s lease…

…hath all too short a date, as Shakespeare said, and he knew a thing or two. It’s the end of August, almost, and I’m starting to feel sad; I wish it were always summer. I get so much done! And I do it outdoors!

So, what I’ve done outdoors this week is: Started work on the front of my house (it will have to wait, though, for some major repair work, unfortunately); finished decanting the compost from my 5 compost bins (I actually have 6 compost bins, but in one of them a family of slow worms lives, so I leave that one untouched); cleared away the weeds and overhanging shrubs from my front wall; filled and painted (two coats) the front of my garage; had an amazingly good bonfire; weedkilled the drive; painted a window frame; cleared away all the trimmings that my kind neighbour had cut from my shrubs and left lying on the patio; started clearing the incredible growth of weeds from the patio; chopped the vicious rose that lives halfway down my garden and attacks me when I walk past; been up on the roof and painted the rendering on a dormer; picked some pears, using my new fruit-picking device; picked the first gages (and, oh, they were delicious) from my two-year-old gage tree.

I’ve been busy indoors, too. I’ve put lots of stuff on eBay, and at least some of the things have sold. I’ve dealt with lots of emails. I’ve finished the poems for Croome, and written one for The Daughter’s wedding. I’ve sent out all the invoices to the Poetry on Loan authorities. I’ve been to Gloucester for a meeting, only to find that the project manager hadn’t told me that I didn’t need to go, so I came home again. I do wish people would be a bit more organised!

I’ve done the prep for a session in a prison that I’ll be doing soon – it’s something a bit different, and it took quite a bit of time to construct. I’ve been to an Artlift taster session, and had a really good session at the hospital. I’ve proofread the Poetry on Loan recommended poetry booklist leaflet, and had a great Pilates session at the gym, and phoned all the people who will be joining my new group in Cirencester. And phoned the new Artlift referrals. I’ve been through all the entries for the Birmingham Poet Laureateship, and decided on my shortlist recommendations, and done some Artlift stats.

The most interesting thing happened on Tuesday. On Monday, The Bloke brought me a new fruit-picking device. It’s a hand-sized cloth bag on a pole, with crenellated metal bits at the top. You hook the fruit with the crenellations, and it drops into the bag. Clever! And it works really well, as I found out later in the week. However, on Tuesday, I had another problem. A large dragonfly – about 3” long – had found its way into the utility room, and was banging against the skylight, trying to get out. The stupid thing wouldn’t pay any attention to my attempts to help it out through the door, and I was wishing for a butterfly net, when I remembered the fruit-picker. And Yes! I scooped the dragonfly into the bag, and out it went.

Oh, and I’ve seen The shallows. I like a good shark movie, and this is a good shark movie. And today I went to the Pershore Plum Festival, which is always good fun.

So, why do I feel sad? I’ve got loads done… but it’s still just a tiny dent in the list of what I would have liked to have done; and soon it will be colder, and the days are getting shorter already, and soon real work will hit me hard. But still. This coming weekend it’s The Daughter’s wedding, which is something to look forward to – although that really will mark the end of summer’s lease for this year.



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