Since then, she emigrated to Australia and unfriended me on Facebook. Which is OK. I'm not quite sure of the reasons for the latter, but I'm certainly not going to try and read anything into it. Like I said, she's quite sensitive and I almost certainly offended at some point. It wouldn't be the first time. And it's not like I haven't unfriended people on Facebook before (or more commonly, ignored their friend requests for, like, years.)
Anyway, six years later, and I have just spent the best part of four glorious sunny May holiday days trying to eradicate the mystery grass from our front garden. It had spread across an area of about two square metres, forming a dense mat of roots so strong I've broken several garden implements, and done something moderately worrying to my back. It's killed every plant that used to live in its orbit. My fifty beautiful pink tulips, which used to grow a foot high and stopped passers-by in the street, have been reduced to eleven slightly stunted specimens.
I've ripped up border edging, shovelled gravel, cursed, sweated, gone a bit swirly behind the eyes and had to have wee sit down, and dissected some of my more precious plants to tease out the roots of this thug. It had spread under, over, through and between everything. A quick Google search and I think I've found the name of it; variegated ribbon grass. Or bastard freaking variegated effing ribbon grass (if you happened to be within earshot).
Now I'm not sure what the moral of this story is; beware gardeners bearing gifts maybe. Especially if they flee the country and sever all ties. So listen here people, do as I say and not as I do: never ever, ever plant something called variegated ribbon grass. Don't even think about it. If it's grassy and stripy, WALK AWAY.
I know I haven't got rid of it all, it'll be back. And one of the websites I read said it could live for up to twenty years. So while she may have forgotten me, I suspect our connascent babies will have long left home before I forget her.
So that's what it's all been about round here. Beautiful sunny days and gardening. But in the evenings, as I prop my naggingly niggling lumbar discs against a pile of cushions and wait for two ibuprofen and one cold Tiger beer to work their magic, I've been knitting and reading. And like all the best knitting and reading, they're colour coordinated, natch.
Every Spring I try to read The Jewel Garden by Monty and Sarah Don. It's beautiful and inspiring and makes me excited for Summer. (As an aside, it also briefly includes the most accurate description of depression I have ever read.) On my kindle I'm also reading Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver for our book group. I'm not even going to be half way finished it by the time we meet, but it's good so far. Not a keeper, but maybe it's yet to peak.
The Varjo for my MIL's friend is really taking shape - it's beautiful. That woman is a genius designer. Did you know she has a new pattern out? I want to make it more than anything I've ever made. But the trouble is I want to make it in EXACTLY her colours. I think that pink she used is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in "Pop Rocks". I searched for anywhere online that has it in stock, and eventually found one place in the States. The total bill to make this garment was going to come to $120 by the time the wool was shipped to the UK. So I guess Happy Street will have to wait!