Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Going to ground

The garden is full of jobs to do. Plant the bulbs, clear the leaves from the patio, strip the grapes from the vine, cut back the raspberries, pot up the apple tree, thin the columbines, trim back the passion vine... but actually I find myself looking out of the window and thinking of new ways to curl up indoors and stay warm. Like a badger I have gone to ground; not proper hibernating, because every weak ray of sunshine has me rushing outside to synthesise some emergency Vitamin D, but a sort of bedding down, crawling under the blankets and the cat and drinking hot drinks to soothe the minor winter ailments that seem to run back-to-back nowadays.

Like the badger, I am also grumpy. Annoyed with this year's Amaryllis, for taking too long to sprout; irritated with next door's twisted willow, not for the leaves (a blanket for my flower bed) but because of the endless fiddly annoying twiglets it drops with them; impatient with the raspberries and grapes, still throwing out fruit which has soured and dampened with autumn until nothing wants to eat them, least of all me.

The orange aubergines were too bitter to eat; their tattered remnants are waiting to be cleared away. I might grow them next year as decoration, but they're never going to be food, sadly. The last of my tomatoes are ripening on the windowsill, astonishingly sharp-sweet under their tough skins. I have cyclamen and heather waiting for me to decide where to put them.

But all I want to do is curl up inside and sleep.

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