Some days, small stuff gives great pleasure.
We woke to extra special mist and sun this morning. While Tod walked just Smudge (Clara is convalescing her rheumaticky back legs) I wandered down past the derelict cottage in my two dressing gowns and wellington boots, camera in hand to take shots across the valley, trying close-ups of brown teasel heads halo-ed in mist and sunlight. No idea whether the photos worked (haven't bothered to look, no need) just immense pleasure in wandering around, camera in hand, looking for the perfect image.
It rained properly in the night for the first time in two months, so everything is sparkling fresh and the baby cabbages (we think) in Serge's field are bigger this evening than they were this morning.
It's been mild and sunny right from first thing. The thermometer on the veranda reads eighteen degrees almost as soon as I opened the shutters, so I left the kitchen range unlit, then decided to clean it properly. I took the hoover to its insides and removed great chunks of tarry soot and mounds of ash. Two hours later I emerged filthy, but triumphant.
Fred came to put up the shelves in the kitchen and suddenly we have a clean, empty white tiled worktop, with tidy piles of plates, mugs, glasses, utensils, tins of coffee and tea, the food mixer, the blender the first-aid kit, pots of jam and honey and bowls of fruit on the pine shelving above. One day, we will have a fitted kitchen. For the moment Fred's shelves are a joy to behold.
And while he was here, he put two hefty screws in the chimney breast in my study and my Amazon Indian snake picture is on the wall and no longer being heaved out the way every time I want to get at something.
And we ate tonight in our most favourite crêperie, where the dark brown galettes are crispy, paper-thin and the owner shakes our hands when we arrive and knows that I will always have the vegetarian option.
And in my French lesson today I talked about Peter, my brother, and how he died of cancer about this time last year and it was good to tell his story.