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I had a lovely day yesterday.  In preparation for my birthday (today) Husband and his Mother are over hauling the garden.  Given that I am as welcome to plants as Barrymore at a pool party, Shipman in a pension queue or a double glazing salesman at Josef Fritzl’s house, I’ve been taking a more hands off, advisory approach.  (I’m not allowed to touch anything.)
If there is a nuclear holocaust in the coming months, I have no doubt that my Mother in Law would be able to replant the planet with a packet of mixed seeds, some compost and a handheld trowel.  I am not worthy to hold her wellies.
The End of The World is something that weighs heavily on my mind- not just holocaust, anything that threatens life as we know it, Yellowstone’s caldera, the peak oil crisis or alien invasion to name but a few.  I am nothing if not prepared.  I have cupboards full of water purification tablets, tinned fish, vitamin supliments, freeze dried sundries, power supplies and batteries galore.
I’m not too stupid to realise that if I stopped watching end of the World films then I may have been able to buy something other than survival kits (for when zombies attack,) but I like the security that comes with a cupboard full of survival gear.  My friends think I’m mad.  I care very little, as when they’re picking the brains out of the caved skull of their next-door-but-one-neighbour, I will be eating nutritionally balanced tablets that taste like lasagne and watching Alan Partridge on a wind up telly.
Husband is knackered from digging and planting and I’m finding it hard to think of a way to torture him without just being cruel.  This is actually working in my favour, as he’s getting twitchy.
As we watched telly this evening he asked if I was alright- I’m fine I told him, but this is making him nervous.  There hasn’t been a major attack in nearly three days, and other than ‘yawn, interrupted’ he’s had a pretty easy time of it.

Are you sure there’s nothing wrong, you don’t seem yourself’he tells me

‘My knees really bad is all, and I’m tired from watching you work in the garden’

I think he thinks that something really bad is going to happen.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but for 6 weeks, Thursday night has been ‘art’ night.   I told Husband that I watched a documentary about relationships that suggested that couples who draw or paint together once a week communicate on a deeper level.  Husband, being the supportive spouse that he is, has been going along with this, despite not being able to draw as well as my eight year old, ginger niece.  Last night, when Mother-in-Law had retired for the evening, we broke out the paints.

‘I think we should draw some pictures of the garden, Husband, what do you think?’

‘How long do we have to keep the art thing up for then babe? Is this going to be a permanent thing, or do we do it for while and then stop?’

‘Well if you’re going to have that attitude about it then it won’t work, it’s about expressing our love for each other through the medium of art.’ I strop.

‘I didn’t mean it like that, I’m happy to do it if you think it’s good for us, and anyway, it’s nice to spend time together around the table isn’t it?’ Bless my Husband.

I decide to draw a lily with the legs of a ballerina and Husband does a picture of him and his Mother gardening.  My picture is weird, and his is inspired- I especially like the strip of blue he’s done across the top of the page for the sky.  I think maybe he should have joined the blue to the green for the grass instead of having a white gap between the two but I don’t tell him this because he’s super proud.
I think it’s fantastic that my Husband is willing to take part in weekly art sessions with me to improve our relationship, this is indicative of just how special a person he is.  Nothing is too much trouble for him when it comes to me and our marriage, and he’s too modest by far.  I feel that I should try and reward him in some way, as he definitely needs some form of recognition for all this hard work.

Dear Blue Peter,

My name is ###### and my special friend thinks I deserve a Blue Peter badge because I’ve been helping my Mummy in the garden for three days and I’ve been really good.  I have done lots of digging and lifting, and I cut my thumb on a spiky red bush but I didn’t cry once and everyone says I’m really brave.  It’s my special friend’s birthday tomorrow and we are doing the garden for her as a present and she’s really happy because she’s got a really bad knee and she makes plants die.  I think you should give me a badge because I’m a super brave helper and I want to be a gardener.  I’m a good drawer my friend says, so I have put some of my pictures in for you to see.  There’s a picture of a horse, one of the sea and two of me doing the garden with my Mummy.  I hope you like the pictures, me and my special friend draw them on a Thursday night when everyone’s gone to bed and it’s our little secret but my special friend says it makes us more closer. ’Thanks for reading my letter and please, please give me a Blue Peter badge.

Love from,

###### in Wales.