Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Life in the slow lane - Part One.

Recent hypothetical text message from parent to adult son -

Been in the garden all day. Time for a bath first then I'll leave, with you by 8. Chilly here - have you had snow? See you soon. Lots of  love xx
PS. Bought too many aubergines yesterday - would you like some?

All very mundane; boring even? Hmmm.

In an effort to save time or appear somehow with-it or hip or whatever term is used now to mean 'not ancient', the parent could instead have sent this -

Been in the garden all day. Time for 🛁. Chilly here - do you have ❄️. 
PS. Would you like some 🍆? Lots of X

Yes, I punctuate my texts.

Punctuation, however, isn't the point here. Or rather it's not the only thing unmasking me as someone who is not hip/cool/sic or lit (which list, of course, proves without a doubt that I am none of these things).

No. The point is that with the insertion of a few emojis, I changed an innocent message about gardening, the weather and vegetables, into something x-rated and made myself …

#2019 Connections, characters and a stone ball.

Half-way into January. A small step into a new year. And I am another year older. How did this happen?

I could answer part of that by reminding myself that as I was born in January and have just had a birthday I am a year older. But half-way into January (over half-way now - several days have passed since I started this blog) and a small step into a New Year; how did these happen?

Time doesn’t stand still. I've said that before. In November's blog. I called it out as a cliche then too. It is. But if cliches can be good and I think this is a good one. Time is animated. Time moves. I wittered on about this at length. In November. Two months ago. Two months filled with frantic present hunting; over-eating; over-spending; under-sleeping; and wrapping (always late on Christmas eve - so late that I risk Father Christmas finding me sitting on the floor surrounded by paper and string - the sellotape always runs out at about 11.57pm on Christmas Eve, doesn't it? - hot chocolate insul…

Time and dreams. And a mountain or two.

Time doesn’t stand still. Not for any man or woman. Time is physics. It proceeds and there is nothing that we can do about it. Not yet anyway. Probably not ever.

While perhaps it's not great writing to start with a cliche (or even a few), the standing still of time, as sometimes observed in a moment of awe, is something we can perceive. Sometimes. Okay, time doesn't actually stop. But it feels like it does. Insert here any moment when for you time 'stood still'; that moment, perhaps, when you had raced to summit a mountain and - with your feet standing on the highest point, your body in that state of elated exhaustion - you watched as the rising sun crept long pillars of light above the distant horizon. And you realised - literally standing still - that you were holding your breath. 

The sun of course went on rising and time did not actually stop. At moments like these, we tell ourselves that it did; just for a moment. But that is an illusion. A mere mistaken perception.…