It has been a weird month, mostly good and developing but all development costs energy and I am exhausted.
This is what I have learned the last month:
- there are fully functional pieces of clothing that I will not wear even if nobody can see me and I have nothing else clean.
- strawberries can be an invasive type, spreading like wildfire, that you will not want to introduce into your garden. Only plant varieties that can be controlled. Avoid bamboo, knot weed, rye, and any other undesirable plants in your garden.
- DIY shops are soul-destroying, doing it yourself tasks are scary while having done it yourself is empowering.
- be kind to your children and neighbours before you die.
- rats are intelligent and easily scared but you have to keep it up and change it around.
- don’t buy tomato seeds, just scrape some seeds from any nice tomato you buy onto a piece of paper. Let it dry and plant by scraping them off the paper into a pot in spring. Harvest in fall.
- brush your teeth, floss and use mouthwash whenever possible, also in rustic living conditions. You will thank you.
- internet is great but not helpful unless you are smart about it. Write a list of what you want to look up and then when you have access, go through the list.
- other people may need you immediately but you didn’t need to help them immediately.
What a month. We have paid for and taken our summer house in possession. We have worked six days a week with clearing the house and garden Six large supermarket bags filled with garden ornaments, gnomes, wind chimes, tea lights, solar-powerd flowers, frogs and everything else. All rusty, derelict and of the nattiest quality to begin with. All sorted and moved by bicycle to the waste recycling centre.
I am certain there were items in there our neighbours would have been delighted with. I do not want to look at this junk in my neighbours gardens either so off it went.
We have also spent a month liberating the trees from climbing plants. Roses, wisteria, ivy, kiwiberry, to name a few that we know of as well as a few that we have not been able to identify but had to go anyway. As well as the invasive bamboo (planted (bought and planted!!) within the last few years!!!) All bundled up in large supermarket bags and transported by bicycle to the waste recycling centre. None of it can be composted in a home compost without risk of spreading it everywhere.
We have identified around 20 different trees, at least ten sorts of bushes and the amount of flowers growing, also from bulbs will be a surprise in spring. Did I mention the garden is 320 m2 (about 1000 square feet) and that there is also a house, a shed and a terass? To say that the garden is full is not an exaggeration.
Our priority are the trees. Two has to be moved as they are in completely unsuitable places. One cherry already moved and is in chock - hopefully it will root in the new position. If not, there is nothing to be done about it. It simply could not grow directly under the large trumpet tree.
We will move a small apple tree growing under the sequoia. There is just currently no clear place for it anywhere else.
I love our trees and I enjoy seeing them stretch out their branches after having been liberated from ropes, electrical wires, nails, ivy and what-not, suffocating them. We did a first trim of the fruit trees which can be cut right now, and some will be able to recover. There is are a few that are so badly treated I am not sure they can be salvaged. Twisted branches, tops cut weirdly and sides branches just broken and left hanging. Some are also in such weird positions, I doubt they will ever bear fruit.
Time will tell. We will continue to care for our trees, mulch, trim and stabilise and hopefully they will recover in spring and the years to come.
As it is the first in the month, I have counted my assets and divided the total sum with my annual budget. The result is a financial independence number of 61,52. Paying for the summer house was followed by a slight dip in the financial market where most of my assets are held. Nothing to worry about though. It is still more than enough to last me my expected lifetime.
The man and I have also taken financial advice (free of course) from numerous different companies in the past month. Winding down a company, placing pension rights, ensuring access to each others assets, updating wills and other generally boring things are being administrated. Stressful and boring, and we are not done yet, but it feels good on the other side.
It has truly been a very adult month. Not entirely pleasant in all aspects but almost manageable.
I commented to a friend of thirty years that we both have changed. We used to talk about important things, but as we get older, our interests turns more and more to gardening and cats.
It feels OK, all changes are in line with plans and preparations for the future, but I look forward to the winter rest of the garden so I can rest too.