On the Friday (31st of January), we celebrated my Dad's birthday. Because both my parents' health has not been the best, there were only the nearest and dearest, a small group of seven around the dining table. Now our Dad is 78, and we are just so happy to have him still with us after all he went through since the spring of 2018 when his worst year so far in terms of health began with a severe bout of flu.
For Saturday, 1st of February, rain was forecast from the early afternoon onwards. It had been a mild week, and the sun was still out in the morning, making it feel much warmer than what you'd expect by a look at the calendar.
You have seen pictures of my parents' allotment on my blog many times; this one is a good example, as is this one, but there are many more.
Last year, my parents (mainly my Dad, as the allotment was always very much his 'baby') had to decide on what was going to become of it. Sadly, their health and our situation (my sister and I both working full time and the place being too far away from our town to allow for regular quick visits after work) makes a regular upkeep impossible, and so the allotment shall pass to someone who has the time and means to take over.
Six of us - my sister, O.K. and I plus three good friends - arranged to put in a few hours of work that day before the rain would hit.
My sister took some "before" and "after" pictures. Most gardens don't look their best this time of year, but of course it makes a difference when no regular work has been done in a long time. Together, we managed to get a lot of the overgrown shrubbery cleared, cut the roses, cleaned up the paths as best as we could and dragged much of the cut material to the front of the allotments, where the garden club has a common collecting place for shredding.
|View from patio to pond before...|
|Pond, before. You can just about spot its rim in the lower right quarter of the picture.|
|Pond, after. Surprisingly, the gold fish have survived without any regular additional food.|
|Flower and vegetable beds.|
|View from below pond to patio and hut (before)|
|Hector (the dog of one of our friends) came along, too.|
|Steps and path, with roses next to it - now cut.|
For sustenance, my sister brought sandwiches for everyone. We had tea and coffee in thermos flasks as well as water and soft drinks, and biscuits for dessert.
It certainly made a change to how I usually spend my Saturdays! I don't mind physical work at all, but I am not very good at it; I tire quickly and can not lift heavy stuff, and my arms are not as strong as I would like them to be. But I really made an effort and am very glad that O.K. made up for what I couldn't do.
On the Sunday (2nd of February), O.K. and I braved the wet weather again by going for a walk. Driving to the allotment the day before, O.K. had spotted a castle high above the river Neckar, one that he'd never noticed before. I suggested we walk there, and that's what we did.
After Christmas 2015, my sister and I had been there on a walk; that was the last time I'd gone that way. Now the weather was very different, as you can see if you compare these pictures with the ones on this post. On the 2015 post you can also read more about the castle, if you are interested.
Our Sunday walk comprised somewhere around 12-13 km, feeling more exhausting than usual after the gardening on Saturday.
It still has not rained here as much as the land would need, but it was at least something!