Dad’s letters now describe his gardening in more detail. He is very conscious that I am working on my allotment and for years there has been distance between us so now he is delighted to find a little common ground! Dad always tried to be respectful and if possible set an example. I love the way he mentions the spiritual as well as the physical benefits he derives from gardening.
My Dear Joy,
I had intended to start this earlier but I had to get down some stuff from up the attic and that started me rummaging around amongst the long cast off Braeside relics. I found a folder of what was presumably some essays of your pupils when you were on teacher training in Bath. That kept me browsing interestingly until I remembered that I’d business to do down the village and the time simply flew.
Anyway, there is little as usual to write about. No concerts this week thank goodness though I think we have one next week and thereon they’ll come thick and fast. Colds are better and today it has been quite mild and almost spring -like. Chris is well on with his winter digging with a third of the garden turned over in huge chunky lumps-to let the frost in and accrete the soil, great stuff to be off with a good start in the spring. Excellent exercise to if you don’t overdo it-gives one a sense of well being both mentally and physically. Whilst I am working I give my thoughts free rein and it’s surprising the benefit one derives from it. Now though I am a little older and I don’t do too much of the heavy stuff but I find plenty of other useful work to do, I always start the year by getting about fifteen barrow loads of manure from the farm across the road. I’ve cleared the cold frame of tomatoes and put in about three score of lettuce that may come up. And to think of it…when I courted your mum I could hardly tell a fork from a spade. But I found myself in a family where honest toil was a necessity and each and all had to do their stint. It was good training. as I found, so the good time had to go to be replaced by far greater fun and happiness.
Seems like you and Mike have found the secret too when you say that Mike would be there all day if you let him. You taking to it though has really intrigued me for honestly and truly I never thought that gardening would ever hold any fascination for you. Chris too is impressed. His way is immaculate… everywhere so neat and trim-not a weed to be seen whereas I am not so exact. Two schools of thought.
It’s been a blustery, windy day with little rain. I managed however to clear all the dead leaves from under the brussels and get out quite a pile-Chris had already cleared the other side. Before that I spruced up the sink unit tiles with Polyfilla and made a neat job of that. Rang in a wedding peel after dinner. In the morning Chris took part in a two and a half hour peel at the church. It was top stuff_-seven extents of Surprise method. I went out once or twice to listen-it sounded smashing and they were cracking along at a good pace.
Enjoyed the whist drive last night and although I didn’t win, mam did. And now here’s Chris back from the City football and into his bath. Mam is at Auntie Sylvia’s . It is a beautiful moonlit night, though cold. So I’ll be on my way for my usual Saturday evening refresher. Hope you are still coping well with university, with everything well in hand, the best of health and all that.
So cheerio love, safe keeping always and the best regards to Mike . Love Dad.