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I think I’ve said before how much difference a three day weekend can make. i definitely think we should have more of them, though I think this week I’ll be suffering as I’ve an even shorter week than the rest of you. Our weekend started off well with dinner in a relatively new local restaurant, Copper & Ink. It’s in Blackheath and describes itself as “a modern British restaurant with influences from classic French and Scandinavian cuisine” and is a great addition to the restaurants in our London village.
As ever looking for the easy option on the menu and when we’re spoilt for choice we opted for the tasting menu ,and it was a great choice. As well as the food, my favourite part about the restaurant was the bookcase, with real, proper books. And many recipe books which I have too. The other nice touch was that the Chef Patron, Tony Rudd, the Masterchef finalist who lives locally served the main course of the five course menu. That and the fact that there was two puddings, which is always a good thing in my book.
And with a start like that, the weekend could only get better. I’ve been trying to implement a new Bank Holiday rule, which includes cocktails each evening. MOH got on board with it two nights out of three, my favourite was the Aperol Spritz, which always tastes better in the sun. And in big glasses!
It was one of those weekends were we tackled lots of jobs, and many of the jobs that have been hanging around for a little while. Like finally getting the dead and dying box topiary balls out of our tall pots, though that was trickier than it sounds. Last year we’d chopped one back completely in the hope that we’d prevent the spread of the box caterpillar. Earlier this year we realised we hadn’t been so luck and the second of our boxes was under siege by the stripey foes.
Almost resigned to the fact, and seeing the state of the box in gardens around us, this weekend the third bush which was only part-nibbled was also sacrificed. It had quite the rootball, filling one of the larger trugs. We’ve had the plants a while, and were probably one of our first additions to the garden some fifteen or so years ago. So we’ve definitely had our money’s worth from them, and it’s sad to see them go - and so savagely - but it makes sense to move to something less attractive to the pesky nibblers, I’m not sure what yet, but I’ll know it when I see it.
We also made time to assemble the Copper Rim Fire Pit which Von Haus sent me to try. It was the perfect job for a grey Bank Holiday Monday. I’ll share more in a separate post, but of course the Bank Holiday weather got the better of us in the end and so we’ve still yet to try it out. The website says it’s easy to assemble, and that’s something I’d definitely agree with. MOH likes a good assembly job, and I’m sure had been itching to get started on this, and my role was quickly designated Chief-Hold-It-In-Place, which it seems I’m not that good at.
The solar lights that we bought recently at the garden centre made it out of the packet and onto the fence too. It really was the weekend for catching up on jobs. I’m always wary about solar lights, and placing them in a straight line along the fence, as I think quite often with our long thin garden it can make our garden appear narrower, and there’s always the concern that it might get mistaken for a runway, which wouldn’t be good. These however have been added to the fence posts and panels alongside the conservatory, so provide an element of light when sitting in the conservatory of an evening too, as well as hinting that there’s more to our garden.
As well as generally trying to tame parts of our garden - and making small inroads - one of the parts that really needed tackling was the area in front of our gabion basket seating area. The weeds had gone rampant here, despite our best efforts to keep it clear. I think there’s wasted effort in re-weeding areas when we don’t need to, and while it’s something we tackle this year, the weeds will probably be quicker than us so it called for drastic measures. Those drastic measures were empty compost bags pinned in place as a temporary weed prevention tool, let’s hope they work.
It wasn’t all toil and no glamour though - remember there were cocktails - and there were also highlights, these buttercups seem to have found themselves a new home jumping up into the sleeper bed. Many class these as a weed, but I’m applying the “it’s only a weed if it’s in the wrong place” principle to these, and they’re staying for at least a while.
The bug to get things done had truly bitten MOH as next thing I knew he was out on the conservatory roof clearing out the guttering - a novelty, as it’s the first time our conservatory has had guttering. Even just him being out there gives me the heebie jeebies, my role this time was to pull him back in through the window.
I’m really good to him, at times. I’ll remind him of that when I need to!