“A dreaded Sunny Day, So let’s go where we’re happy…Keats and Yeats are on your side”.
So sang Morrissey with The Smiths. I like the line (as I like the Smiths) but I have had to carefully edit the Smiths lyrics to take out all the pathos and depression.
Likewise one has to do the same this summer: carefully edit out the dreadful rainy days and think only of the sunny ones. And at last we have had just that: a sunny fortnight with which we have been blessed with sunshine. It was perfectly timed to coincide with our summer celebration for our Silver Wedding which we had ambitiously planned to have in the garden. Two days prior to the event, the rain stopped, the sun came out and we were able to get the garden looking spick and span. The edges were done, the lawn mown, the mole hills squashed and rabbit-proofing chicken wire taken down from around the cosmos and Nicotiana.
It was a fab evening with great friends and family. It was, to a great extent, what I had been working towards with the garden so I was pleased with the results, though a few more hours of sunshine might have got the potted sweet peas blooming and a little more colour around the garden.
To a great extent, though, gardening is about the process as much as the result. The repetition of planting, watering, hoeing, weeding and general maintenance becomes an end in itself. The final moment when you pick your flowers or vegetables is merely the ultimate stage in a succession of worthwhile activities.
Ultimately, though, the garden is there to be enjoyed, and the sunshine gives us the opportunity to relax and take in the sights, and sounds. So my obligatory morning coffee is taken on the grass, sitting on the wrought iron seats (purloined from my brother’s former bar – and built to be so heavy you would need a gold medal in weightlifting to be able to draw it to the table, let alone throw it across a crowded bar).
For me, making coffee has become a ritual in which process adds to the result. I use coffee beans – from my good friends at Azorie Blue – which I grind freshly for each cup with my Krupps grinder. I then make an espresso with our neat new Aero Press. While I am doing this I have put the milk in the microwave to heat, then I froth that and add to my espresso for the perfect latte. I have taken some stick from one of my more cynical brothers for the lengths to which I go for a home brewed latte, but it makes me happy and I definitely get a better cup of coffee.
And it tastes even better in the sunshine in my garden.
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever; coffee in the garden is a joy for now.