Fair Weather Living
During our first lockdown it was a pleasure to drive (so long as you had a reasonable excuse to do so, of course). The roads were empty, and progress could be made unimpeded by other traffic. I was reminded of that feeling of enjoyment this past week when choosing to visit my mother during one of the home teams' group matches in the postponed Euro 2020 football tournament. Clearly I was one of only a handful of people who had not felt obligated to gather around a TV screen to watch the game and once again the road was my own.
As with so many things in retirement, it is always useful to be able to pick and choose the timing of activities. Scheduling a journey to avoid the commuting rush that once I would have been stuck in, at the beginning and end of each working day, always gives me a feeling of satisfaction. Picking the right time to visit our local market town when parking spaces will be plentiful is a delight too. If I can venture further afield and stage it to avoid the crowds that's a real plus.
Then there's the weather. Indoor and outdoor jobs suited to the conditions rather than squeezed into a weekend. Take the last few days when I finally got round to restoring an old garden seat that has served us well for almost 20 years but really was in need of cleaning and oiling if it's to last another 20. Of course, another aspect of retirement is that I can afford the time to gild the lily if I choose to do so. Despite, therefore, neglecting this bench for two decades, it has now not only been cleaned, sanded and treated with restorer but had 3 coats of teak oil too.
I am becoming a trifle concerned, however, that I may be taking the whole acting according to the elements thing a little too far and becoming, shall we say, a fair weather gardener. Conditions have been glorious for sowing seeds and potting up of late but I fear that when I've been so spoilt I may never dash to the greenhouse in a rain shower again not to mention take up the hoe if a breeze is blowing.
To be honest I am currently scanning the weather forecasts for some indication of inclement conditions. My army of water butts is once more almost entirely depleted and I suspect there is a growing need to devote some indoor time, if only it would rain, to the mundane administration multiplying on my desk.
Still it was a delight to go round with the watering can tonight and find this chap sitting on top of one of my plant pots. I'm guessing he had overindulged on the slugs and snails presently hiding in any dank spot they can find and was lying there hoping I might revive him with the delivery of an evening shower. Alternatively, he could have been a prince waiting for a kiss, but I baulked at the idea of taking that experiment any further.