Sunday, 10 August 2014


Northern quarter of the Grove
Shredding stuff can be oddly satisfying.  It's also rather boring but sometimes necessary, which is why a large portion of yesterday afternoon was spent combing through our bulging filing cabinet to weed out ancient important documents in order to make space for newer important documents.

Do we really need to keep phone bills dating back to the last century - to 1995, even?  And who can still remember the old council tax payment booklets, designed like a cheque book which the Post Office would stamp with the date?  Home insurance 'Terms & Conditions' pamphlets for long-dead policies; builders' bills from 14 years ago; guarantees for electrical goods I couldn't even remember owning...  In the end, I filled a bin-bag with this junk.  The filing cabinet drawer now opens and shuts without having to arm-wrestle the thing into submission.

Mum had a great time in Perth, Australia.  She went at the drop of a hat after her younger brother mentioned plans for his 80th birthday party, writing that it was a shame she wouldn't be there to share it.  She lifted her suitcase down that same day.  She experienced trouble getting travel insurance because of being in her mid-80's but Age UK quickly arranged it without further fuss.  Next, she wrote to her brother to say when she'd be arriving - only the letter arrived two days after she did.  Frank and his wife Florence were a bit surprised when a security guard from Perth airport phoned them to ask if they intended to collect this elderly English lady!  Anyway, she's back home in England now, full of stories of course, having thoroughly enjoyed herself.

It's not been a good year for roses in our garden, not so far anyway.  However the yellow Rose of Sharon (see photo above) which grows behind the north stone in the grove has been glorious, with more blooms than in any previous year.  This surprised me as I'd pruned it back hard last year, as it had grown spindly.  Oh, if you're looking for a towering stone, think again.  These are less like standing stones and more like crouching rocks, but they serve the purpose of marking the quarters.  They were buried beneath the surface of the garden, unearthed when I originally dug the circular bed which creates the grove's perimeter.

A more fanciful person might claim the stones were waiting in the womb of earth to be born for their exalted purpose, or some such something, however I know from the experience of digging up stuff that previous owners of this property buried all kinds of things, including buckets, children's toys, pans, plates, a thick stack of glass window panes and an entire path.

Maybe that was their idea of decluttering?  Simply bury everything under a layer of topsoil, add grass turfs and the job's done.

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