It's our two-day mid-term holiday and I've been gardening, though this is not a picture of me. For one thing, I'm rather plumper than this, though happily my head isn't quite as large. For another, I don't have a faithful dog keeping me company. My faithless cats are slumbering in the warm living room. Very wise. It's FREEZING out there - literally. I've just emptied the bird bath because it contained a mixture of dead leaves and ice. Nor is the garden as green as in the picture - well, the grass is, but not much else. And I'm wearing a red down jacket and thick trousers rather than the pinafore dress and bare legs. There is no need for a sun hat.
"Gardening" is a bit of a euphemism. I've been raking up large quantities of soggy brown leaves. This is not my favourite occupation but it's a very necessary one, since they're everywhere (where do they come from? - well, yes, trees, but we have far more leaves than could be accounted for by our two trees and anyway I raked them all up in October). Under the leaves are bulbs, snowdrops and crocuses and chionodoxa and scillas, all trying to get through to the light and give us a little touch of spring, so it's a worthwhile task to rake up the leaves and allow the flowers to shine through. But it's backbreaking for a person with a bad back, not wonderful for a person with a lately-broken ankle and I've had to come in to thaw out my frozen hands and feet.
Ah well, we're not here to enjoy ourselves / the labourer is worthy of her hire / it'll be worth it when I've finished and suchlike remarks. Meanwhile (oh ye of little faith!) Tony the Painter arrived exactly when he said he would on Monday (well, or Tuesday; but it was Monday) and has been working away non-stop ever since, listening to intellectual programmes on the radio. So that's good.
Feet and hands now able to sit up and take a little nourishment. Maybe I'll give them a cup of tea before venturing outside again. Say it firmly: I enjoy gardening. (Convinced?)