Sunday, 16 October 2016

a domestic day

Every so often the cleaning catches up with you, or at least it does with us.  So today I tidied up the pile of paper on the kitchen table, discovering a reminder letter about the electoral register which one of us should have filled in weeks ago, a feedback form from the house sitting agency that must have been there for nearly a month, and a rock climbing magazine addressed to one of the neighbours.  I really wish the postman wouldn't do that.  Everybody who delivers our mail seems thoroughly pleasant and I don't like the idea of complaining about them and getting them into trouble, but they shouldn't go delivering mail to the wrong house.  I didn't find my last Visa statement in the pile, which I was hoping to, so who might have it if I don't?  It could be on my desk, of course.

And then I scrubbed the Aga with paste out of my bumper jar of non scratch enamel abrasive, and wiped the worktops and the cupboard doors and the tiles, and scrubbed at the sinks, and vacuumed and washed the floor.  I don't mind scrubbing so much.  You can listen to your choice of music or a podcast while you're doing it, and have a cup of tea to hand.  I caught up with Pienaar's Politics, which I missed live because I went to the supermarket.  I find it difficult to take Tim Loughton entirely seriously as the chairman of a select committee because I remember him when he was a very young stockbroker back in the early eighties.  He wore chalk striped suits and we were once invited to dinner at his flat, sausages and mash served out of the sort of white plastic urn they sold in garage forecourts.  He wanted to be an MP even then.

The new pump is still working down in the conservatory.  Fairly soon I'll have to switch it off because the struggle will be to keep the atmosphere buoyant, not to raise the humidity even further, but after months of not having a working pump it is so nice to go in and hear the trickle of water.  And the Systems Administrator advised me to run it for a few days in case it failed. Apparently if they are going to go they tend to fairly quickly.  We drank our tea down there, and I realised it was time to clear the dahlia pots away.  I am going to have to make space for the potted Salvia confertiflora in the conservatory and am not at all sure where or how.  It has grown since last winter, and so has the Eriobotrya it managed to nestle under last year.

The salvia has individually tiny orange red flowers on terminal (that is held at the ends of its branches) spikes, and as the autumn goes on the spikes have got longer and longer.  The old flowers drop off discreetly, so while the effect is getting a little straggly by now it isn't too untidy. The plant is a bit gappy, though, and not so dense and bushy as some I've seen at gardens like East Ruston. I gave it a bigger pot in the spring, and it has responded by sending up a second shoot which I might try nipping the tip out of to encourage it to bush out.  I bought my plant at Kiftsgate Court and have never tried growing one before, so don't know how well it will respond to hard pruning.  I had better feed it more next year, along with the dahlias.

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