It does now feel as if spring has arrived. JZ and Mr F, always the optimists, marked this by dancing about in a tub of cold muddy water with bare feet. In addition, they gave the slide a proper test drive, which for them means climbing up it the wrong way, seeing what happens if you go down head first and the like.
But here they are doing it the right way.
The area under the tree is now a mess of compacted clay soil. I’ve moved the compost heap and we’ll grow some box hedge to separate the play area from it, but rather than putting down lots of wood chips under and around the slide, we have in mind a more whimsical fern garden. This should make the most of the conditions, integrate play and garden and bring some of the habitat we have been pulling out of the garden back.
We were also given a cyclamen, which is apparently good for these conditions, by Mr Nasty Neighbour. Long story, but my wife protested after he celebrated the arrival of spring by burning armfuls of documents (“too many to shred”) brought round by his son, turning our Sunday into a choking ordeal of smoke and flying ash. He sought to make amends by leaving a bag of wilting leaves on our doorstep (which brings to mind the dead cat episode again), which it emerges we should be putting in the ground.