To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the return to 'work.' I'm a routine sort of a fellow & my focus always gets upset if I'm away from my regular work pattern for more than a few days. That's not to say I'm married to my work, I live for my family these days with I believe, a very healthy & positive attitude towards that work/life balance... Despite all the moans & groans, I'm fortunate to have opted for a career that completely envelopes my life. When I'm into my routine I love the dark gloomy mornings, the short winter days, the freezing temps. The 'closed' season as visitor attraction people say, does bring changes to the great outdoors that simply can't be appreciated from an office. Most gardeners will have heard the summertime "You've got the best job," shouted from a passing visitor, but rarely do we hear the same comment in the winter!
I'm a bit odd to be honest, but in quite a normal way - if that makes sense? I find beauty in the simplest things: tangled remains of a rusty iron fence post, hidden within a congested hedgerow; the network of veins throughout an autumn leaf; or the metallic sheen on a beetles shell. In defense of my weirdness, I can say that I've spent many a years employment basically looking after someone else's garden or grounds. Once the work has been discussed, the contracts long since signed & stored, the budgets (also) long since spent & gone; It usually comes down to me, out in the fresh air, with my own thoughts, a designed garden, the flora & fauna. It shouldn't come as a surprise then, that I've developed a simplistic view of life & its pleasures. I think that maybe I try to show this through my photography, as seen elsewhere. A psychic once told me I'd be rich in life's pleasures, not necessarily in monetary terms.....
It should go without saying, that a great degree of focus & concentration is required for most all of the jobs in a typical garden, especially where machinery (& deep water) is concerned... I'd hate for you to get the wrong idea as I wax lyrical about how beautiful it is to work outdoors - Its not all floating about a misty & romantic garden with Vivaldi playing through the trees! It can get a bit tough, messy, & very tiring at times. I wouldn't have it any other way now though.
2011 is well underway now, & after a few days planning & preparing for the season ahead, the work load is stacking up already, fortunate it is however, that I prefer to have plenty to do. The new challenge mentioned in the title is a small increase in hours, so I am effectively full time for my employer now. This having been arranged for six months initially, as maternity cover for my colleague. I shall have the benefit of a full time assistant from the start of February, & we're therefore in good shape to tackle that workload that is looming!
I'm getting lots of new ideas for blog posts over the coming weeks & months, I just need the time to get on here & get creative. Do pass on your thoughts & wishes for my blog, & I'll try to please all - as ever!
I hope you manage to get out & enjoy the outdoors this year, in whatever form it takes.
All the very best, Gary