If it had still been spring I would not have been cleaning, of course, I'd have been out in the garden. But storm Katie arrived, the forecast gale raged, it was cold and horrible and I did not feel like crawling around with buckets of Strulch and handfuls of bonemeal and 6X poultry manure blowing everywhere.
Maybe this is what the first three months of the year have always been like. Perhaps the spring days spent playing in the garden among the polyanthus and wandering around in the weak sunshine looking at daffodils are creations of my imagination, based on a couple of warm days when I was six and about one outing to look at daffodils. The Systems Administrator reminded me that when we had a boat this was typical fitting out weather, sitting around in the boatyard unable to apply varnish because it was too windy or spitting with rain. Indeed, our boats never seemed to be ready to go in the water until about the beginning of June, so maybe the SA is right.
I thought of the times I'd unwrapped deliveries of Italian shrubs at the plant centre in the snow during March, and the time it snowed for their spring Open Weekend so nobody came, and the beekeepers' candle making day on 23rd March having to be cancelled because snow was blowing into the garage where it was to be held. Perhaps this is what an English spring is really like and I should get used to it.
I went shopping, and bought small clay flower pots, and sisal string and jute string, and a new hygienic small watering can to be used for seed sowing only and then stored upside down so that it should dry and algae would not grow in it like they have in my current small can. I bought postcrete in B&Q to mend the potholes, where an eager staff member approached me trying to help, but was stumped for advice once I'd said what I wanted the instant cement for. I presume he was primed to tell me about putting up posts. I bought general fertiliser with added seaweed for my plants in pots, to use in the first part of the season to get them growing before switching to tomato food to promote flowering. I bought the ingredients for enough meals to last us to Thursday, and escaped from Colchester just in time, as the traffic was building. I don't think I was the only person to have decided that Easter Saturday was a washout and they would go shopping instead.
Then I vacuumed the study and the bedroom and cleaned the kitchen. I didn't quite get all the way round the cupboard fronts and the sinks, but the forecast for tomorrow and Monday are dire, so I've got plenty of time to finish the job. Keen gardeners generally have cleaner houses when the weather's bad.