Sunday, 25 October 2015

Dirt feels good

You know how some days you feel like you can't do anything right? Today was one of those days. I missed a call, let someone down, and then it was far too late to do anything but apologise.
The reason I missed the call? It wasn't raining today. I was hanging washing out, then working in the garden, and didn't hear the phone. All very understandable, but I still feel bad about it. Today I woke with pain in my neck and shoulder, having not slept well, and confused with the clocks change. Maybe confused is too strong, but it leaves me out of sorts for a day or 2. I'm out at work tomorrow and Tuesday, then busy Wednesday, so garden work had to be today or next Thursday. With the location, and time of year, I have to take advantage of the lack of rain whenever it happens. There is no, maybe later in the week, here!
The pain in my neck and shoulder is an old thing that happens now and then, a cramping/spasming muscle, which if left unchecked becomes really painful and affects my entire back. Out with the exercises I used to use to ease it and then make it all work some more by digging and building things in the garden. It aches now, but is moving a lot better. Exercise really does help sometimes.
The mission for the garden today was to tidy up the compost, dig some more of the pond, and stop the cat digging my bulbs! The cat issue was simple - put some sticks in and across the bed where the digging is happening. Deter them and they'll go and dig somewhere else. It worked for the garlic, that's why they started elsewhere: in the bulb bed. Hopefully that'll sort it out until the bulbs poke green through the soil.
Tidying up the compost was more of a problem. I've been using one of those black plastic "dalek" style bins. Fabulous invention, easy to place, move, fill, absolutely brilliant. Until you get rats move in and live in it. The neck is great for filling, and keeps it all nice and warm, but you can't really get a fork in there to stir the compost properly. So the rats love it. The rats have to go, so the dalek has to go. But I still have compost....
Three pallets and a few screws later, and my compost is mostly contained, and I can get in there and turn it regularly to deter the rats.It's uneven because I didn't bother trimming the pallets to size. I don't care really, it's just to contain a sprawling pile of rotting vegetation and to provide a space for me to throw more. It works, and there's plenty of space for more to be added.
I dug the pond hole a bit deeper before deciding that my shoulder wasn't going to like that for too long. So it's still not finished but it's a bit more done than it was. I also added 3 more pallets to the growing hen run. Again, it's not finished but it's a bit more done than it was.
Through all of that I realised I'd forgotten something. Dirt feels good, and helps me to feel better. I'd lost the time and head space to just work on my own, in my garden, breathing in that special earth smell, feeling the mud dry on my hands, the wind through my hair, hearing the birds and insects around the place. It's healing.

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