Bowling home last night along the road that follows the spine of Long Mountain I kept my eyes peeled for a glimpse of the new moon. It seems forever since we have had a clear sky and this night was no exception - indeed as I neared home a misty and persistent drizzle fell and I drove the last few miles lulled by the rhythmic slap of the windscreen wipers and a fascinating tale on the car radio. (One of those programmes that make you want to drive around for a few more miles just to hear the ending.) I'd been to Shrewsbury and the County Archives where D and I have embarked on a short course of Medieval Latin. (I think I shall need to explain this venture at a later date.) Suffice to say I wish I had paid more attention at school because by 9 0'clock my brain felt like it had fought 10 rounds with something harder-hitting than grammar.
I fell into bed declining nouns and conjugating verbs. It's a good way to send yourself to sleep - maybe better than counting sheep.
On waking the litany of 'amo, amas, amat' hadn't quite cleared from my head - but hurrah! - a gutsy wind was blowing the cloud away and give or take a few spots of rain the weather looked set fair. A good day to take stock of the garden in early autumn; what has been successful, what can be composted and what was a complete waste of time. It's a job best done with the sun on one's back and a mug of tea to sip while making mental notes. Ever the optimist I know I will be beguiled by such fripperies as fennel and sweetcorn - the evidence in front of my eyes should make me question the sense of trying to grow the like on the top of a low Welsh mountain.
There are still vegetables to harvest and winter greens and roots still in the ground but we are clearing beds and applying compost and muck in readiness for next year. There are apples to be gathered in and bulbs to be planted too for a splash of welcome colour when spring comes round again. The flower borders, so exuberant in spring and summer, have something of the Matto Grosso about them now (so dense is the vegetation that there may indeed be lost civilisations hiding there). I need to summon up much energy and enthusiasm to start tidying them. This will not be a job to do today.
So today under a bright and beautiful sky I pressed onion sets into newly tilled earth - exhorting them as always to 'grow, damn you, grow' - and planted garlic. It's good to get things growing - both I hope will be ready in the early summer. Thus the cycle begins again.