It's time to begin ....
... to begin the outside work that will tidy up our little bit of this Welsh hillside, to make it ours and make it start to look after us as we will look after it.
The first job is to claim back a little bit of overgrown space behind the small shed on the hill and turn it into our main wood store. The shredder is in place and as I type this Lovely Hubby is on the hill with secateurs, machetes and loppers and is getting a head start on me. Once shredded this will be our mulch to go round the fruit trees that we have just ordered that will be planted on the paddock next week finally separating the grassed area from our food production area.
Hopefully one thing will lead to another and gradually bit by bit I will be heading towards the day when the hillside will be alive with the plants that will feed us.
I need to be outside at this time of year, to feel the soil beneath my boots and running through my fingers, to see life bursting through a layer of soil and to know that we are nurturing ourselves as much as the land.
I sometimes feel eyes upon me as I work and I talk to my Dad, who died two years ago today.
I apologise to him that I don't garden his way, that I occasionally uproot something that he would have held precious or plant something too close to it's neighbour that he would have given space to, and when it goes wrong I laugh as in my mind I can see 'that look', the look he gave me often when we worked outside together that said 'you're mad, you're too impetuous, too impatient, you infuriate me but it's okay I'll have a moan to your Mum later in private, it's a good job I love you'.
The knowledge in my fingers and the calmness in my head is down to him and my Mum, when I plant and tend I do it instinctively and that's the way I enjoy it. I read the books and make the plans and then once I'm outside actually doing I just do.
So we will set out today to start the slow and steady process that will change our hillside.
at last and make it really ours.
And it will be done in memory of my Dad, who is forever in our hearts.