The Mummy’s revenge..

They do say, don’t they, that you eventually grow into your mother….Well Lachlan had a taste of the future on Mothers’ day. He had been super secretive about the present he had procured for days and was of the view that he had totally “nailed it”. He was therefore somewhat non plussed when I burst out laughing when I peered into the bulging sack of goodies. Yes, he had bought for me the exact same Korean cook book and ingredients kit that I had tucked away in my present stash for his birthday, next week. We have resolved to have a Korean cook off after his birthday and I am carefully mugging up hoping that my two week starter might give me an edge. There’s a Korean food shop not far from our friend Anne’s house in Islington which always has interesting bags of dried things – I may send down for sneaky additions…

Mum has likewise been thoroughly “enjoying” the ongoing role reversal of having me insist she eats breakfast, forcing her into the fresh air at every opportunity, knitting her a silly jumper and making her wear it in public and even making her put on a hat one blustery day. This last item was her comeuppance for the bloody awful red and blue tweed thing with ear flaps she made me wear. If she misbehaves I might go so far as to see if I can source one of those awful scratchy wool vests she made me wear in a ladies size 12. We have agreed she can have a couple of days’ parole next week when she can go home to water her plants and soft out some stuff. Out of sight of my gimlet glare she will be free to skip breakfast, lift heavy plants whilst wearing weather inappropriate clothing and clype on me to Auntie Syb. Only two days though then she’s back to the penitentiary.

In the garden a run of sunny days has brought the early bulbs, primula (including a lovely old red variety which smells lovely) and daffodils out en masse. It is really quite glorious. In one clearing in the little wood next door, where a tree came down last year, a carpet of violets has emerged and when they warm up in late afternoon the smell wafts all the way down the back track. Less fragrant are the crown imperial fritillaria, which honk of fox. All this good weather has galvanised me into action and I have finally planted the last of the new plants. My dilemma had been that I had two plants left and could think of six places needing them. Mum cut the Gordian knot and resolved the dilemma. I have put them by the pond, where I shall probably enjoy them most this year (most mornings mum and I sit, swathed in the best curtain wear dressing gowns, by the pond admiring the plants and listening to the frog chorus) and resolved to buy another 4 next year for the other spots. Simples! I also finally mastered the battery hedge clippers and my lavender, sage and santolina and some of the larger helianthemum have all had a hair cut. Feeling sorry for the clippings, and also the clematis victims of the friendly fire that is Keith’s wisteria pruning the first batch of cuttings of the year are also now underway.

For the frog lovers amongst you I can report that they are “at it” all day every day and all of the shallow pools in the stream and the pond margins are brim full of frogspawn. I can still hear them singing as I type at 7pm!. No toad spawn as yet, I think they are only just waking up. I disturbed a suspiciously warty chap this morning when watering some newly planted herbaceous poppies. We seem to have two main groups of frogs. There are dark grey ones with very white throats which are all a deep baritone. These mainly hang out in the Top pond and seem to have formed an all male Bullingdon Club choir. They have been known to foray south in search of totty, but they clearly prefer the refined ambiance above the bridge. Darn Sarf, we have a range of spotted chaps, ranging from green to a very light yellow. These cheeky chappies have more of a chirpy croak, and there is one who definitely quacks. Most of these besport with utter abandon in the “balearics”. (The Ibitha pool was rather denuded of water plants in an overzealous pond clean this winter and has a slightly desert look. This has been largely abandoned by the pleasure seekers who have moved to the Menorca pool and the infinity pool in the final drop of the stream. However, Clint and a few of the Yella Fellas seem to like the ambiance and bask there humming Ennio Morricone themes. ) A few of the hardier types have also taken up a rather muscular form of parkour, running upstream and scaling the rocks to get to the top pond. I should like to report that the Toffs greet these socially mobile athletes kindly. Alas the Bullingdon croakers perform to type and I saw two ganging up on a tiny little spotty lad yesterday………………

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