Have been down sitting on the bench at the bottom of the garden - just as you used to do so often.
Today has probably been the sunniest day we have had so far since you went away. It's breezy but warm enough to sit out wearing a fleece. So I got some fruit for my lunch and went down and sat on the bench. After a while Cali joined me. As I ate my lunch I sat and thought.
It was like the way it used to be. Above my head, the eucalyptus tree rattled in the breeze. Somewhere in its branches a bird sang, as if limbering up for summer. The fence behnd me flexed and creaked in the wind. Overhead, a couple of planes made their measured approach to Heathrow. Higher still, others traced their contrails across the sky on their way to wherever.
Just the way you liked it - except you are no longer here to sit beside me on the bench to enjoy it. Remember the day we bought it with all the 20p pieces you had saved up? It will last us for years you said.
Well, the bench - like the rest of the garden - has not had all the attention it should have had in the last two years. But there were reasons for that. For one thing it missed your expert touch. And taking care of my lovely girl was what mattered most to me.
I know how much you enjoyed the garden so I am determined to get it back in shape, even if I'll never be as good at it as you.
A week or so ago, the clocks went forward so, taking that as a sign that Spring might be on its way, I started. Until then, there had not been the weather to think about it. Or the inclination, either.
I tied up the honeysuckle, the one on the fence behind the bench. The other honeysuckle is dead, so will need removing. The cold also did for several of our terracotta pots. Although the plants in them survived the pots didn't. So there is re-potting to be done. Luckily there are several empty glazed pots.
Thje rest of the pots have been weeded and freshened up. The odd sprouting acorn has been removed at the same time. Saw the grey squirrel probing at them one morning a few days later. Well, he's on meagre rations this spring.
The two main flower beds have been turned over. The roses are looking healthy, the two flowering cherry trees are in blossom and the Pieris is too.
There is still work to be done - the pond needs cleaning out and the patio hosing down. I must buy plants for the window boxes at the front. There are some gaps in the flower beds at the back too that need filling. Lavenders and dahlias were always your favourites, I remember, so they head the shopping list.
The blue fence needs painting as it is several years since it was done. Think it was you who painted it last, one Saturday while I was at work. It must be all of three years ago. I have bought the paint so am just waiting for a day when there is no threat of rain.
I will enjoy getting on with all this gardening, but will miss the two of us doing it together as we used to. Or having you sitting close by me in the garden while I worked, as you did during the last two summers when you were unwell.
Summer, or any other time of year for that matter, will never be the same again without you.
Do miss you so.