Yes, we know you’ve all missed us terribly, but there have been mitigating circumstances. The sun’s been shining.
Well, OK, most of the time it’s been bucketing down with rain and freezing cold, but it hasn’t deterred us from doing our duty patrolling the garden. Frankly, there’s just no time to sit at the computer when there’s so much to do outside.
We’re pleased to report that the neighbourhood cats have mostly got the message that the Vicarage garden is strictly invitation-only, but it’s still necessary to keep them in check. Then, of course, we have to keep the lawn trimmed and check on the bird feeders in the trees. Really, it’s quite exhausting.
And to cap it all, the Vicar seems to be channelling the spirit of Gerald Winstanley and has become a Digger. Every day, another tree or plant seems to disappear from the garden, only to reappear in the ever-growing pile of cuttings by the pigshed. The Vicar is often to be seen wielding either spade, fork or (most alarmingly) saw, and eyeing up every branch with a malevolent glint in her eye. You’d think that the parishioners might put a stop to this one-priest environmental disaster – but no, they seem to be actively supporting it. Visitors are forever dropping in with loppers, lawnmowers and shredders, apparently eager to do their bit for the deforestation of Forton.
Of course, there is one major benefit to all this – the acquisition of a new friend, who goes by the enigmatic name of Bayleaf the Gardener. He is often to be seen working away in the garden, sawing branches and chopping wood. We like him very much, although he does seem to have some funny ideas about removing branches from our prized Sumac, which serves as both climbing frame and birdwatching hide. We’ll have to see about that.
On the home front, things are moving on apace too. The Vicar has finally realised that she is useless at housekeeping, and has acquired a House-Elf. This is excellent news for us, as we can now actually see the floors, and we get lots of extra cuddles in the bargain. The Vicar has promised to supply some elf shoes and a hat with little bells on, so we are hopeful that our elf is here to stay.
The Fab Four have also managed to convince the Vicar to do a bit of decorating (after all, we’ve only been here six months…); and so we finally have some dining room chairs, and a brand new living room to enjoy. Sadly, they are all still using brushes and rollers to apply paint, which we have already demonstrated is a very silly way of doing things. By the time we got round to glossing, it was up to Martha to show them the way – using the whole left side of one’s head and body is just so much more efficient.
With all this work on the Vicarage, we thought it was time to open the doors a little and show some folks around. Our Name Day – the Feast of Ss. Martha & Mary – is 29th July, but since the Vicar is selfishly going to be away in Morland (again!), we decided to hold our celebrations a little early. Here are a couple of snaps of the happy event (courtesy of the Cellarer, of course):