When I first met the woman who would become my mother-in-law, I was ninteen and she was forty-five. As I got to know her, she seemed to spend most of her time wondering where “the time has gone” as she never seemed to achieve anything. (I very rarely sat down in her house because every surface was covered with clothes waiting to be ironed, sewing projects that she hadn’t finished, and mending that she never got around to doing). But on days like today, when I’m probably not the first person to say “February already?“, I now know exactly what she meant (though I do have a fairly tidy house and any visitors would have their choice of chair – inside and out). Time does seem to past faster with each birthday, weeks speed by, yet a few minutes can seem to last for hours. Events in the past are either five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago – never eight or fourteen. Last Monday (31st January) we celebrated thirty-five years in this house! Thirty-five-years!! But neither of us remembered.

But enough of this nonsense – time to share my Six on Saturday contribution to our favourite weekend event chaired by The Propagator.

The sun enticed me into the front garden earlier this week, but I could only manage to clear half the dead iris foliage, completing the remainder the next day. My weapon of choice in this situation is a cheap breadknife rather than secateurs, though a machete might be handy. With everything cleared, it allows me to see areas where grasses and other plants (astilbes) might be removed to make room for my new dahlia and chrysanthemum purchases when they arrive. I will only have three of each, so do I mix and match in two clumps of three, or go for my usual linear planting method – alternating each variety?

A lovely surprise – the crocuses appeared with the sun.

. . . and there are more!

. . . and three snowdrops in pots

I was trying to photograph the moss on our front wall. It was recycling day and I ended up scurrying about on the road picking up several recycling bags which had blown onto the road. Who knows if I gave them back to their correct owners? Who cares??

The cactus that keeps on giving – aka Thanksgiving cactus schlumbergera truncata – research reveals its flowering period as November to late January! There are a few branches that look ripe for taking cuttings.

IN other news:

I’ve received my marks and feedback for my second Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA) – increasing my score to 75% on TMA01 and plenty of positive comments and suggestions for a way forward.

Every now and then, though I am studying fiction writing, we have the chance to delve into another genre, so this week I am studying a chapter for Creative Nonfiction and researching the first complete circumnavigation of the world (1519-1522) begun by Ferdinand Magellan (who was killed in 1521) so completed by Juan Sebastian Elcano and the crew of the Victoria, a three-masted sailing ship. Amazing!

I intend to fictionalise the final part of their journey for my writing group submission this month – on the theme of ‘Lost Day(s)’ as, when the ship reached Europe, the crew discovered they had ‘lost’ a day.*

*Now, as a ship travels west, the clocks go back one hour each 15 degrees of latitude until it crosses the international date line, when they begin adding an hour.