Who needs to go to the gym when you've got a garden to work in? Or to be more precise a stream that needs tidying up?
The winds blowing in from the arctic blew away all the clouds leaving us with a bright but chilly day. Today was one of those rare mornings when I woke extremely early and got up before the sun had risen. My first task was to complete the taking down of all the Christmas bits and pieces and packing them all away. Now, apart from a poinsettia on the mantelpiece you wouldn't know that Christmas had even happened.
Much more fun was doing some work on the stream behind the house. I started by pulling up as many of the brambles as I could. A few had taken root on the house side in amongst the montbretia and on the far side there were brambles dangling down into the water. I try and get rid of as many as possible up to the top of the bank to stop them taking over everything. The clumps of daffodils that were flowering this time last year are just beginning to bud and hopefully I didn't squash any as I climbed up and down the bank. There were also some hawthorn and holly branches to cut back partly to keep the view clear and also to stop them poking your eye out if you decide to walk around in the stream. It's not often that I wander up the stream to the wilder part beyond our garden but sometimes, like today, I have to put back the rocks and concrete blocks that protect our water pipe. In the last few storms the force of the water managed to shift some of the very heavy blocks. I also raked and shovelled the smaller stones and gravel to straighten out the water flow. Any bend in the stream creates uneven flow which exaggerates the bend more and more. Water is a bit of an unstoppable force but hopefully I've created a clear run which should last for a while.
That was enough hard labour for one day so after a coffee break I fluffed up a fleece top which I washed using a round bristle type brush. I wonder what other people do when they wash their fluffy fleeces? They look so scruffy after washing, do other people brush or throw them out after a couple of washes? I've still got one side of the very large extra fluffy throw to do, maybe I'll get a bit more done today.
This afternoon I got the wood burner going for the fist time this winter as there's a lot of wrapping paper and cardboard from Christmas to get rid of. We haven't bothered up till now as with the central heating on to warm up the bedrooms we didn't need the extra heat. We might as well burn up some of the logs we've already got by the burner.