Last night I stayed up late, planning what to plant in my garden. I drew up a list of things that me and the bees would like to eat and based all the new sections on rotary crop systems and companion gardening. I even incorporated a fertiliser crop of comfrey in order to make use of the otherwise dead space beneath the trees. I was very excited.

Of course, the following day we get a letter through saying that our rent is due to go up. Don’t get me wrong, I know people have got to make a living, and I know that we’ve just had our bathroom fixed, but it’s hardly fair that a watertight room which should have been habitable in the first place constitutes increased rent.

I want to stay here. I mean, I really want to stay here, but what if we could get a mortgage with cheaper monthly payments? Suddenly the house doesn’t feel like mine any more and I find myself clicking on estate agent websites. I don’t suppose it’s about the money at the end of the day, it’s just a reminder that this wonderful field and the hedgerows around are all transient. Everything is though, right? Maybe this wonderfully idyllic part of our lives isn’t meant to last.

In other news, I filtered off the first bottle of our very own homemade schnapps today.

No one else had a hand in making this lavender concoction, so I’m more than a little proud of how it’s turned out. Well, aesthetically anyways. I filtered it out at 9am this morning so couldn’t bring myself to try any. It smells clean and heavily perfumed though – reminds me of fresh washing. I’d expected something purple, but I really love the amber colour and look forward to trying it – as the book suggests – ‘diluted’ with champagne.

I also shelled some walnuts, however didn’t realise that the innocent-looking green husks create an immovable black dye. My fingers now look like I’ve dunked them in a vat of filthy engine oil. Coincidentally, I have another job interview today. Neat bleach won’t remove this much though – I’ll just have to hide my thumbs somehow.

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