It has been a busy time, with the vitamin D cells getting a much needed top-up. I’ve been keeping an eye on the skies and on the wires; watching for blobs of mud on the walls; listening from the warmth of bed for a familiar busy-ness on the other side of the window.
But there’s not a glimpse of a house martin just yet. Perhaps the strangers in the garden are keeping them back; or maybe it’s not warm enough. Football and dribbling cones and bulging nets are just about consigned to school hours again, at last.
But there’s been plenty of other activity. A new shed will appear soon, as we try to create space outdoors as a route to creating more indoors; garage contents will be shifted around and a little used porch will be emptied of camping gear and tins of paint and demijohns of vinegar that might once have been wine. Old printers will go where they should have gone years ago. The Genealogist needs a study. It will free up bedroom space; space that may or may not be immediately filled with more bookcases.
So outdoors the work begins. Twice now strange men have been. The mini-digger has done its work from the other side of the fence. The concrete mixer arrived once, but the load was not dispensed. Back they all came a couple of days later, all that is except said concrete mixer which broke down again, before arriving at The Towers. Two men enjoyed two hours in the sun, or not.
Another team of strangers is due to arrive, tree surgeons. There’s a willow needing attention, pollarding almost. We might even get more light in that bedroom window, to better view the bookshelves of course. More importantly the panels that have sprung up on the roof will get full rather than mottled light. Oh yes it’s all happening.
The birdies aren’t liking this. The willow used to reach above the height of the house. The chatter from the bushes is almost as loud as the recently departed chainsaws. But, like one’s hair, still, it will grow.
There’s much to be done. The garage is half filled with an enormous plastic kitchen and plastic white goods The Matriarch thought a great buy from a charity shop in the days when she had no little girlies of her own that might have used it. It takes up vast bike space. To the old shed it will go, the wooden one with the leaking roof and sodden walls. There should be a year or three yet before the floor gives way.
The new shed will see shelving units and worktops, perhaps a table and chair. But the porch will be released and the telescope will be accessible, ready for use from within it’s own wee astronomic tent. Clear nights please.
But in amongst all this activity, and heaps of other angst, there was another stranger. He too sat idle on the fence just like those who were meant to build one shed of grey. It was the pink that caught the eye, and the quiff. No, not the men with the digger. They don’t make them like that in these parts.
And Simon Barnes was no use, for it was neither little nor brown. Waxwing I reckon; never seen before, not here. He sat on the fence post, then flitted away to another, watching quietly. Winter still lingering, summer awaited. Some strangers in the garden are more welcome then others.
But soon there will be a shed, which brings me round to bikes. More later.