Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The Window Washer
We're having a party on Saturday. Have I mentioned this? Probably not, because until yesterday I've sort of had my head in the sand. I'm not feeling hugely enthusiastic about it, I must say.
I didn't grow up around parties. Generally speaking, my parents would sooner die than host anything, although occasionally my mom would allow our house to be used as the site of a potluck gathering for people from work. I don't come by party-hosting naturally.
Dave is more excited about it, and in fact the party was kind of his idea -- initially it was going to be our wedding party, back when we thought we could marry in England. (Now, in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling, we're thinking we'll get married in Florida later this year.)
So, anyway, yesterday I finally got motivated and began preparing for this shindig. Most dramatically, I cleaned all the windows in the house, which was a long, hard job! At one point I had to stand in a hedge, holding a bucket of soapy water, leaves dropping down my shirt, to squeegee the front windows. They all look great now, though.
It was a beautiful day, so Dave and I had lunch on the high street -- we sat out in a little cafe and watched the passers-by -- and then went to a local garden center. It was a peculiar little place we'd never been before, tucked behind the parking lot for a construction site. I wanted to buy a hanging basket for a forlorn-looking vacant hook near our front door, but they didn't sell finished baskets -- so I bought some petunias and bargained for an old, slightly rusty empty basket, which I brought home and planted. The hook is no longer forlorn!
We also bought a few more plants for the garden -- because if there's one thing I've learned from Dave it's that you can never have too many.
I know you're probably sick to death of me writing about ladybirds/ladybugs, but check this out -- yesterday afternoon several of the pupae were standing on their heads (or tails?) in this fashion. I'm not sure what was happening. I tried to find the answer online, and one commenter in a thread on a gardening site said it's a defensive posture to keep away predatory wasps. That seems unlikely to me -- why would a wasp be any less likely to attack a "standing" pupa? The standing ones all seemed to be in direct sun, so my theory is it has something to do with heat.
If that's the case, they'll all be standing today -- it's supposed to get up to 92º F!
(Top photo: A cafe in Kilburn.)