The second day of the weekend for us. Quite a.lot colder than yesterday too. We spent a large chunk of the day in the garden, digging and cutting. We even ate lunch al fresco. Between getting up and making breakfast I had one last look over the model I built on Friday, and uploaded it for a blog post. If you are wondering how long the lockdown will last then my Covid-19 model might help.
Buttering the Toaster
Over breakfast I managed to butter the toaster. I only really like buttered toast when it’s done immediately and all of the butter melts into the toast. I never have butter (or margarine) on anything that won’t melt it, I can’t tolerate the texture/feel of it.
So I had put some margarine on the knife ready to start spreading it as soon as I’d got the toast out of the toaster. When it popped up the toast stuck in the lip of the toaster and I needed to wiggle the lever while trying to get the toast out. This needed two hands, and I had the loaded knife in my right hand. So I used that. As I wiggled a dollop of margarine came off the knife and fell into the toaster. It started smoking.
Somehow it had missed the toast, and fallen down to the bottom of the toaster. As it turned out the toast wasn’t quite ready anyway, toasters only seem to do stale bread or burnt. I removed the toast from the toaster and took the crumb tray out. The margarine hung over the gap, taunting me. A large pile of crumbs covered the worktop under the toaster. It took some thumping and banging the toaster in the worktop to dislodge the margarine, and a double handful of crumbs.
Tracy and I finished off clearing the brambles and other weeds from outside the hut. While she got stuck into the digging I moved the spare topsoil to the raised beds at the back of the garden. When I’d got it looking a bit more level I then started moving the roots, leaves and branches we’d dug up to the back of the garden. Normally I’d have a fire to burn them when they’ve dried out a bit. However we’ve not burned any garden rubbish since the autumn. Initially this was because it was too wet, but we’ve not done it recently because everyone is at home and we don’t want to smoke people out.
Alexander started to mow the grass, but it failed almost immediately. A couple of wooden skewers managed to get trapped in the blades and stopped it turning. There was smoke coming out of the motor when, after unplugging it, I helped unstick the blades. It wouldn’t restart. Fortunately though we still have the old lawnmower, and he was able to mow the grass with that.
When we finished the digging out of roots we stopped for a bit of lunch on the patio. We had biscuits and cheese, olives, hummus and crisps. While we ate the robins, blackbirds and wagtails took turns finding the insects and worms on the patch we’d dug up. They also sang quite a bit too. It was a nice moment in the sunshine.
After lunch Tracy took the children, on foot, to the Co-op to do some shopping. While they were away I carried on with putting fabric over the area we’re going to pave and then moving the paving slabs that were in front of the hut. These had all been grown over because there wasn’t fabric under them when they were put there a decade ago. This is the next area to be cleared, some of the soul from here will go into raised beds. Then the spare concrete slabs at the back of the garden will go on top of fabric to make a level path under the washing line.
Just before Tracy for back I moved to the front garden to carry on some of the work we’d started there. As I was tidying up a bit and starting to dig out a stump, I realised that Vinny from No18 was rotivating a bit of the nature area on the green. Vinny is a cub scout leader in the same group that I help with, he’s on Monday cubs and I do Thursday. So I went over for a chat, from over the road to maintain our distance.
Vinny was prepping a bed for some wildflowers, and I offered the box of wildflower seeds that I had spare. While we were chatting a woman came by with her teenage daughter and said hello, again at a safe distance. They lived on Taynton Drive and were out for their daily exercise. We had a friendly chat about how things had changed before they carried on.
I’ve got quite a bit of exercise in the garden yesterday and today. So I didn’t go for a walk after dinner. I can really feel my shoulders and arms from swinging the pickaxe!