Completely different feel to the day from the outset on Wednesday as if the grey and the wet of the past weeks belonged somewhere else, to another time. Blue sky and cold air greeted me as I left the house early to take the grandchildren to school but thankfully not below freezing so no ice on the car as, unusually, I had left it parked outside overnight.
I generally park the car in the garage, one of only two people in street to do so and as I go most places on the bus or on foot I rarely take it out except on Sundays when for some reason, presumably rooted in the Lord’s Day observance of the Welsh non-conformist history, the local authority doesn’t subsidise routes and so the bus company doesn’t provide a service. Cyclical reasoning I guess: nobody uses the buses on Sundays so no point in providing them so there are no buses to use. As I’m digressing I’ll continue. Another practice rooted in the past is the planning requirement that when a new house is built it should have a garage even though probably less than 5% of householders use it for their car. More important to use it for keeping junk and the £200 lawn mower clean and dry rather than the £20,000 car.
The ground was very wet but blue sky and the sun still with a little warmth around the middle of the day, it was time to prepare the vegetable garden for winter. Most crops are harvested now except for parsnips and Brussels sprouts waiting for a frost to sweeten them, a few remaining beetroot waiting to be roasted or made into soup to give me a shock when I go to the loo (until I remember what I had the tea the evening before), and purple sprouting broccoli which has sufficiently survived the assault by giant caterpillars and will hopefully produce vast quantities of iron-rich veg in the Spring.
Beds in the terraced vegetable which I had protected with weed-suppressant fabric in early August after harvesting garlic, onions and potatoes needed to be uncovered and rough-dug to let the frost get at the soil to kill pests and break it up. Easier to let the frost do the work rather than using the fork.
By the end of the afternoon I had finished. All empty beds are now rough-dug and cleared of autumn leaves ready for the first frost of the winter forecast for tonight. Or more probably tomorrow night. With the amount of moisture which has leaked from the sky in the last few weeks the frost should do a good job this winter.
The car is back in the garage tonight.