I seem to have developed an allergy to something, possibly the ferns which grow in our garden. The dog-owning lady from the basement flat next door has moved out and in no time at all the tracks left by the little dogs' constant to-and-fro-ing up and down the garden have been obliterated by tall grass. And finally we have had two days with minimal rain and have plucked up courage to sort out the garden.
While Phil has been cutting the grass, I have attacked the wilderness of the front garden, where some sort of pampas grass which began just in one corner had more or less taken over any space not filled with fern. This is what happens when you go away for a while and it rains a lot in your absence. So I spent a good part of yesterday uprooting grass from the bits of the garden where it is not supposed to be and cutting back enormous ferns.
And then I spent yesterday evening sneezing and sneezing and sneezing.
By this morning, all seemed to be well, so I attacked the undergrowth in the back garden, at the same time trimming back some bushes which had decided they want to be eight feet tall. And once more I have been attacked by fits of sneezing. There would seem to be a connection!
However, the garden now looks like our garden once again and if the sun manages to shine again tomorrow, maybe I will get the garden furniture out. But no barbecues. We don't do barbecues.
While we have been radically transforming our garden (ignoring the piles of rubbish left behind in next door's section by the dog-owning previous tenant) Theresa May has been doing some radical transforming of her own in the government. All change at Number 10! I wonder if she has rubbish left behind by the previous tenants!
Sackings and granting of new positions have gone on apace. Some of her appointments have been odd, to say the least. We found ourselves wondering if she came to some sort of deal with Boris Johnson before he dropped out of the race to be PM: "drop out and I'll make you Foreign Secretary"! And so we all wait to see what will become of our country and of us all.
The Labour Party are doing little to help matters. I have friends who joined the party so that they could support Corbyn when he was on the up and up. Now they find that they can't vote in the leadership election unless they pay an extra fee. When was that a left wing way of doing things?
I become disillusioned with the whole business and thank heavens for the Tour de France. We have been recording the programme of highlights of the day's events, which coincides with our evening meal time and, incidentally, the Archers on the radio. Yesterday I set it to record and accidentally managed to change channel at the last minute and recorded some nonsense in which we have no interest at all. Anthea defeated by technology!
But we managed to see it on catch-up so all was well.
The Tour has had its share of incidents this year: one of the inflatable portals collapsed on a bunch of riders; Contador fell off in the first two stages and seemed to be catching up but gave up altogether when he clearly was not making progress in the first mountain stage; Froome was fined for thumping a spectator who came too close and then was today involved in a crash caused by spectators. One of the Tour motorbikes had to stop suddenly to avoid running over a spectator, Richie Porte crashed into the motorbike and Froome crashed into him. Wow! No replacement bike was available for Froome immediately so he set off to finish the stage, up the Mont Ventoux, by running! I have been to the Mont Ventoux and would not fancy running, or indeed riding up there.
But there is a sense of fairness and justice in the Tour. The judges decided that Froome, sliding down into sixth place through no fault of his own and up there in the lead with Richie Porte when the crash happened, should keep his yellow jersey.
Now, that makes up for all the other rubbish going on in the world. Well, to some extent, anyway.