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Life (the dogs), the universe (my garden) and everything (life!)

What makes a good day?

- One isolated good event, or a sequence of good happenings?

- A sprinkle of joy and any pesky spirit of sadness banished to beneath a well-worn corner of a floor rug, where he has to stay until the balance of emotions tilts back down into his deep and dark direction. 'Til then the horizon looks bright.

This good day added up as follows

  • number of people who cried = 3 (only three! Three is good. I am often the keeper of the tear- switch and when people see me they reach across and switch it on. On a day when only three cry I finish early and leave work happy. Going home early is always, most definitely good)
  • number of bars of chocolate consumed = 0 (proving to myself that I can do it. Number of hours since I last ate chocolate - 26 and 53 minutes .... approximately! It's not that I'm counting, of course. I'm just keeping a record. Sort of metaphorically patting myself on the back; well done me. I didn't know that I had that much willpower. It might have something to do with the relative paucity of use of the tear-switch this morning ...)
  • number of dogs washed = 2 (number of dogs who enjoyed their meeting with the hose = 0. Number of dogs who stood far too close to me when they shook themselves dry = 2)
  • number of apples ripped of the apple tree = 2 (Bertie Baggins led Four-legged-friend over the fence, so they could both enjoy an illicit, crunchy, green elevenses)
  • number of wheelbarrows filled = 3 (Yay! A wonderful afternoon in the garden)

  • number that the shortlist for the annual-biggest-thug-in-the-garden prize has been narrowed down to = 1 And the 2013 winner is ... tah-dah ... honeysuckle!!! Rampant, strangle-everything-in-my-path honeysuckle. And I'm-hidden-round-a-corner-so-can-do-my-own-mass-murdering-thing-without-being-noticed honeysuckle. And I'm-attractive-to-wasps-so-no-one-will-dare-to-hack-me-back-anyway honeysuckle. Pah!-  it clearly hadn't reckoned on the cutting capacity of the following
  • number of Felco shears sharpened with new Felco diamond-coated sharpening stone = 1 Sharp!
  • number of dead plants found beneath the hacked-back honeysuckle = 2

  • number of dogs interested in the rabbit holes found beneath the strangled plants = 1

  • number of little dogs who can still look very puppyish at times and find watching gardening activities completely exhausting = 1

  • Number of exhausted puppies who plunge into a don't-wake-me-up-til-tea-time sleep = 1


  • number of cups of coffee made for me by someone else = 2
  • number of infinitives split by me as I attempt to numerically define a good day = 1
  • number of dinners cooked last night =  0 (the perfect end to a good day is having a friend cook you dinner. Plus having no washing up to do the following morning.)
  • number of apples picked =  17 ... note boys, it is possible to pick an apple rather than rip it off the tree. It involves a slight twist which is probably beyond the 'dexterity' of the jaws of most dogs. And before anyone who can count counts the number of apples in the basin and wishes to point out that there are at least 19 in the picture, I have never been particularly good at arithmetic and some of them were windfalls so picked up, rather than picked off.

  • number of salads prepared = 3. Actually it will be three, as I plan half an hour more in the garden first. Then, warm potato salad with chives; green salad (Abel and Cole lettuce, finely sliced runner beans, cucumber and celery) and caprese which is pronounced ca-prrr-ay-say with the emphasis on the middle 'ay' (sliced tomatoes, basil leaves, olive oil, salt and a little balsamic vinegar. Best prepared an hour or so in advance of eating, to let the oil and salt draw out the flavour of the tomatoes. Mmmm ... *sigh* ... shut your eyes and believe you are in Italy.)

Thus the numbers that make up a good day add up to 42... which happily is the number that Douglas Adams determined was the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Which pretty much sums up the meaning of good.


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