Since Lachlan came home, and I am no longer on duty for the morning and evening dog walk, I have thrown myself into a welter of other activities. The ironing pile is much reduced, the chillis and sweet peppers are all repotted and *drumroll* I have even finished the dog walking waistcoat with useful pockets. (The aforesaid item has been lovingly constructed from one of the old nursery curtains from Blackheath and two pairs of torn pyjama bottoms. It has not two, not three but five pockets (iPhone, glasses, wallet, hands/dog treats); three external and two internal. The patriarchy will be trembling……It is a bit wonky in places. There are definitely things I would do differently next time, but overall I am thoroughly pleased with myself. I shall be prancing around it in all summer. Lachlan has recently donated several additional pairs of torn pyjama bottoms and I still have a number of leftover curtains so we could be looking at an autumn range as well.
This frenzy of activity has been all well and good but I have really missed walking the dog. Lachlan took pity on me yesterday and sent me off with Lyra whilst he took a call. I did not need asking twice. Lyra and I were across the field and over the stile before he could change his mind. I wondered, now that I have been demoted from pack leader, if Lyra would still behave with me. However, we rubbed along beautifully (the chicken bits in my pocket were a pure coincidence). Lyra waited patiently as photographer’s assistant as required and I let her get muddy in the drainage ditch confident in the knowledge that Lachlan is bath and hairdo monitor.
All along the lane the hawthorn is turning rusty as the blossom withers. it has been succeeded as star of the hedge by delicate pink and white dog roses. The first of the elderflower is out now and tight muscular buds of hogweed are appearing in the ditch. A mass of clover flowers (sookie pom poms my dad calls them) are pushing through the grass in the path along by the field margin which is feathery with wild oats. As we pass into the little wood to the north I find spotted orchids colonising the edges of the path. I spot one, then another two and then realise they are everywhere nestled in the long grass. The raspberries are in flower so I know where I shall be coming when ours run out. There are never enough. I can sicken of strawberries but never of raspberries – I have a bottomless appetite for them. When I was little no one I knew actually grew raspberries. There were dense thickets of them down the waterside and in the summer we would be despatched with bags and tubs to pick some for jam. We would return in the evening faces and hands stained a deep red and the bags perhaps half filled.