This weekend, I have bought and planted twenty marigolds, ten white snapdragons, ten burgundy snapdragons, ten blue lobelias, two white-flowered fuchsias, two yellow gerbera-like things, a large daisy, a purple gerbera-like thing, and a Venezuelan plant with purple feathery cones of flowers which I have naturally christened Hugo. Also 75 litres of compost and 75 litres of topsoil, 25l of which I have put in the large hole in the ground from which I excavated the buried vacuum cleaner on Thursday. I would have bought and planted a great big bag of broad beans, but apparently it's almost exactly the wrong time of year for them.
On Saturday, I cycled to Grantchester, had tea with naath
, and cycled back again. I have attended a barbecue chez antinomy
, paddled in the pool and eaten barbecued gammon steaks.
Today, I have cycled to Audley End (1:40 door to door) and back (1:20 door to door); it's quite an impressive house, though probably best to go there later in the summer, when you're not obliged to take a guided tour and can stare in wonder at the three rooms full of cabinets of taxidermy - they have a passenger pigeon, and an extremely disturbing entire cabinet full of owls. If the plan to get Great Bustards reintroduced on Salisbury Plain works out, I see I will have to go there and admire them; they're enormous
The garden's also good, Capability Brown vistas with hahas everywhere. There's an urn with a monument to the Free Poland resistance members trained at Audley End by the SOE during World War 2; that's not an episode I'd heard of before, presumably because Free Poland didn't end as well as Free France.
I am tired now, and slightly wishing that I could install a spare set of knees; I will have a bath, eat pasta, then curl up in the living room with a good book until I feel sufficiently sleepy.