Marriage and Serial Monogamy

‘We’re always away when he gets married’

Baz left for his annual golf trip yesterday. We shared a cab to Slough Station, and along the way we reflected on, among other things, marriage

‘We’re always away when he gets married’ I said. A good friend has married several times, but he has very high expectations of a partner. We have failed so far to attend his weddings. ‘Don’t worry’ said Baz ‘There’s always the next one’

We are lucky to have just enjoyed our 19th wedding anniversary. C unashamedly used her cousin’s ID card at Waitrose to pick up a celebratory bottle of Cremant de Limoux(!), and Baz and I had a gorgeous meal in The Fox and Hounds at Bishopsgate. Our first ever meal there together was a Sunday lunchtime, we hadn’t booked and the restaurant was so full that we had to sit at an outside table. I was chilly in my halter-neck, and the owner at the time – a lovely man with a terrible wig – immediately whipped off his enormous cardigan and draped it over my shoulders

That was 22 years ago and we’d been together just a few days. Back then, we were love’s young dream. I remember the day so clearly

While Baz is gone, there’s plenty of stuff to do in the garden, and things to fiddle with in the shed and the garage, though robin chicks are chirping in the old wardrobe in the garage, so paint stripping has to stop. Work on the aluminium flying saucers will have to wait until the nest is empty

The first of the shades (above right) is ready and Baz asked if I will be taking it with me to France. He thinks that I should tilt it at a jaunty angle and tell Ryanair that it’s a hat

‘Little bird’ mornings

Saturday was one of those mornings at home when all the little birds were out in force – sparrows, tits and robins – flitting around in the dappled sunlight under the box tree. There must be plenty of seed heads in the garden for them to enjoy, and I was pleased to see that the grass is recovering after the neglect of a busy August, and that this year’s frogs are starting to look for winter hideouts

The chickens have finished the last few blackberries in the front garden. We haven’t eaten many of the berries ourselves, as the girls love them so much and it’s so much fun to watch them indulge in a healthy delicacy. They’ll enjoy some warm mash in the mornings this autumn as the temperature drops

Percy says Relax
Percy says Relax

Percy is happier now that it is not so hot. He picks his way over the pebbles at the pond’s edge to lap up the water, a proper tiger who doesn’t mind getting his feet wet. Charlotte and I watch him when he’s asleep on the sofa, snoring and dreaming, even though it makes us feel slightly stalker-like

The brick shed now has a new window and paintwork, though I still have the rotten door to replace. Baz says the cheerful green gloss on the windowsill (‘Garden’ by Little Green) reminds him of Granny Dale, his maternal great grandma who would from time to time choose to paint everything the same colour, an outrageously loud pink or a bright green like this. I think I would have liked her

Any more dry weekends will be used for mowing and tidying the garden, painting the windowsills and the front door and fixing guttering etc. There’s just nothing better than a borrowed autumn day spent getting the house and garden ready for winter …