This half term I've carved pumpkins, painted gravestones, strung up bats (card ones only - don't worry) and draped the house with fake cobwebs but sadly done little by way of gardening. In fact the only fork wielding I've done was weeding the village playground whilst trying not to dig up a dead cat.*
But if anyone has more energy than I can muster this weekend, you could try this easy project: making a mini wildlife pond.
It's one of a number of films I've made for intoGardens on Gardening with Children - you can see the others here.
Sadly these films have highlighted a few hitherto unacknowledged facts:
1) I say 'beautiful' and 'lovely' A LOT. And yes, that is as irritating as it sounds
2) I wear ridiculously short shorts. There is a MDAL** line that should not be crossed. I always knew I brushed this line more often than was seemly - I now realise I have not just crossed it but that, when I look back, I may need binoculars to see it.
3) When you turn on a camera you can guarantee that someone will ALWAYS start mowing the lawn, strimming the weeds or juggling with chainsaws - just, you know, to add a bit of audio ambience.
*I know one is there because I buried it. It's a long story. Feel free to opt out anytime you fancy...
I'm not in the habit of burying dead cats but this one looked very much like my own lovely tabby Eric. In fact, so like it that I picked up the body from the side of the road, took it home sobbing at my loss, only to be greeted by Eric, very much alive and now much perturbed to find his owner was obviously a cat-murdering fiend.
So Eric scarpers for the rest of the day and I'm left holding a dead cat. After, as police would put it, extensive door-to-door enquiries, a visit to the vet's to check for chips (the micro- type - not the fried fish accompaniment) and one unsuccessful identification a la SIlent Witness, I was still no nearer finding its owner.
As a very dear old lady once told me "fish and visitors - they're best got rid of after three days" - and I was beginning to think 'fish' might easily be substituted by 'dead cats' in these words of wisdom. So after another day of poor Cat (as I had unimaginatively christened it) lying in state in an old veg box in the log store, I took him down the village playing fields for a green burial. It was an emotional affair - I said nice things about chasing mice and sleeping by fires, and laid Cat to rest.
So there you have it. I now have to avoid inadvertent feline exhumation everytime I turn the soil.
**Mutton Dressed As Lamb