Contrary to appearances – or non-appearances – I´m still here, at least in body if not entirely in spirit.
During the long, cold winter and the short, almost equally cold, spring which I spent mainly in the clinic I promised myself that when summer finally came I´d spend as much time as possible out of doors.
On holiday in Domburg Dora and I spent most days on the beach, sometimes despite rather than because of the weather which was variable to say the least. We both enjoyed it though, Dora probably more thoroughly than I did. Her mind was completely focused on either chasing her ball along the beach or chasing her cork toy into the sea while mine was at least partially distracted by thoughts of my garden at home in the not-so-tender care of The Infamous Marigold Murderer. On the few days the IMM managed to spend with us he assured me that he hadn´t neglected/killed/under-watered/over-watered or otherwise created any kind of havoc among either my pot plants or the garden itself. Amazingly enough, this turned out to be true. Well, apart from causing the early demise of one of my favourite orchids which, to give him his due, he later replaced.
Back home again I enjoyed lounging on the lawn in the shade of the rowan tree reading a book, not at all distracted by the thought that I´d only done the most necessary household tasks and was neglecting the ironing almost entirely. Actually it´s amazing how a short-sighted person like myself can convince herself that the house is immaculate simply by neglecting to wear either her contact lenses or her glasses indoors...
This garden idyll was pretty short-lived though because after a while in 38°C with a humidity of 90%, being out of doors becomes more of a curse than a pleasure and my mind kept wandering back to thoughts of the coast and cool sea breezes.
Today it´s overcast and raining, I´m stuck indoors, I´ve done all the idiot work I´ve been neglecting and I´ve been thinking rather sadly that I could only ever be completely happy in a more temperate climate where I could have access to both my garden and the beach. Then I remembered one of the many books I read during my out of doors days, namely Bill Bryson´s Neither Here Nor There, which inspired me to create this composite fantasy world where it´s always June, the peonies are always in bloom and I´m just about to put on my other flip flop, pick up her favourite blue ball, scramble down the cliff and join Dora on the beach.