Oh, clay, how I loathe thee in thou's dry state... thou cements thyself to the root systems of all plants and makes it impossible for a soul to dislodge anything living from thy clutches. And whilst wet, thou ist mucky and slimy and heavy, sticking to everything and leaving a mess wherever thou ist shovelled.
The above sentence pretty much explains my morning; I am working on clearing out a garden patch on the hill in the backyard that hasn't seen some TLC for quite a long time, and as such is full of tall grasses with considerable root systems. Unfortunately, these roots are embedded in clay, which at the top of the hill is dry as a bone, and at the bottom wet and heavy and sticky. Either way, it's nearly impossible to weed, and my back, neck, and arms are not particularly happy with me.
I suppose I shouldn't complain too much... poor Skye had a dentist appointment today, and she came home feeling sluggish from the anaesthetic (she had a tooth pulled). I brought her her computer and a cup of tea so she could sit outside and do some work, and then later this evening she went to bed early, and I made dinner for Finn and me.
This afternoon I went to St. Peter's again with the intention of simply playing the piano, but I ended up singing Christmas carols as well. I found a couple books of carols in the church, including one I have at home that I got from my Grandma Taylor, which made me smile. The book I ended up playing and singing the most out of was The Treasury of Christmas Music, Ed. W. L. Reed, from 1961. It had some of my favourite carols to sing, including God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen", "Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen", "I Saw Three Ships", "Lullay, Thou Little Tiny Child", "Once in Royal David's City", "Past Three a Clock", "The Boar's Head Carol", "The Holly and the Ivy", "We Three Kings", "In the Bleak Midwinter", and "Lullay My Liking". (Too bad it was missing "Il est né" and "The Keeper".) I also sang the Vaughn Williams version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" for the first time, and decided I like its melody better than the tune I have grown up hearing. There's nothing quite like singing in a church, and hearing one's voice echo back from the far corners and rafters high above. The book even had a piano arrangement of "Pifa" pastoral symphony from Handel's Messiah, so I had a go at that as well (it's gorgeous; my favourite piece in the whole oratorio, save for the Hallelujah chorus).
Before dinner I sewed a few more quilt squares and listened to a Frasier episode on my iPod, then made dinner for Finn and myself. We had rice with seaweed, hummus, tomatoes, mackerel (from a can), and broccoli. I had never cooked broccoli before (I don't like it cooked, so I've never had a reason to cook it myself), so I just put it in some boiling water for a few minutes and hoped that was satisfactory. Finn didn't complain, at any rate.
All the gardening and singing wore me out, so I am off to bed now. Night!