You have to excuse me if I make no sense, I’m delirious with Christmas fever, end-of-year-ism and due to a complicated and entirely unsuccessful attempt to juggle the phone, the door handle and the spray pump, I just sprayed myself in the face with caterpillar killer. Yes, ’tis the season for me to be a dickhead. Actually, that season is eternal.

I’m very reluctant to use insecticide in the garden; and with good reason, as it turns out, as I’m not to be trusted with it. But I’m a desperate woman. There are hundreds, literally hundreds, of hungry caterpillars eating the Virginia Creeper. It looks like lace now and soon there will be not a leaf left. So I bought a bio-friendly spray derived from plants that will hopefully KILL THEM AND ALL THEIR KIND.

Weeding called on the weekend and I worked on the rise that leads up to the garage, opposite the pond. My weeding muscles are now huge. Like a condom stuffed with walnuts, as someone famously described our favourite governor of California.

In 2007, this was the view up to the garage;

Today, this is the view;

Time is the extra ingredient in gardening. You put in your ideas and your dreams, your soil and plants and stir and wait. Years later, the pay-off comes. That’s why you should always take photos of the ugly stuff, so you can realise how far you’ve come.

We converted half the garage into a room for the boys to chill and play their wondrously loud music in. Second-hand windows and the old front door were recycled and a year later, I have only just finished painting the pergola.

Any-hoo, I’m off to wash my face. Again. I’ll let you know if I come out in a hideous rash, or go blind. But I’m sure there’s NO REASON TO PANIC, OK?