I have an awful confession to make. You may judge me for this. But prior to today, I had never once visited the Alnwick Garden.
It is not far from my abode and I love gardening, so how has this happened? The truth is, I did not want to spend £20-odd on looking at some flowers when I have ones that I have hand-reared myself on my own balcony. This is a skinflint approach, but today the admission price was a mere £2 for residents thanks to the epic resident's weekend where Northumbrians (or adopted Northumbrian residents in my case) get to go to all the nice places in the area for cheaper than what they would normally do like. I'm not really planning to cash in on any more activities because I have now done everything in Alnwick but cannot be bothered to leave town tomorrow meaning that it will be my fault when I start becoming even more insular and weird and referring to people I encounter on the street who I don't recognise as 'outsiders'.
Where was I? Oh yes, the garden.

It was certainly worth the long and arduous trip. Admittedly it wasn't the best time to go – it was only really the daffodils in bloom, along with the Siberian blue whatsits in the top left hand photo. But I'm not complaining, at that admission price. I think my favourite was the poison garden because obviously I'm twisted, but there were many nice things there for people of a less horrible mindset. I bought myself three more plants on the way out. I'm a bit concerned about my balcony now:
I say concerned about, obviously I mean 'proud of', because LOOK I DID THAT. Honestly, gardening is the BEST form of therapy after sanity snacks. I planted kale today, which I've never grown before so that will be exciting. The hessian hanger thing contains mostly herbs (chives inherited from little Alastair, mint, and possibly some dill I've grown from seed). The larger green things in the foreground are where I'm growing potatoes (drip-things attached to the water bottles to allow controlled watering), and the smaller green thing and the two blue things are where I'm growing cauliflowers. I honestly expected the cauliflower plants I bought back in September to die fairly quickly, but only one has, while the remaining five are thriving. One of them is large enough to warrant an entire blue thing.
I'm a wee bit scared of it, truth be told. Not visible on the pictures are my many strawberry plants – I have about 12 on the hanging planters (you can see one in the foreground, extreme left) and then 6 more just hanging out in pots (you can see 3 of them to the right of my foot on the above picture). I think for the ones in pots I'd like to add them to something like this, but woe to me, I can't spend any more money for the next couple of days because it has been an expensive month not made any easier by my habit of constantly buying plants.
I've revolutionised this precarious method of tying the plant pots to the balcony, which may backfire in the event of strong wind, but I have no other choice because there is NO MORE ROOM on my balcony. 'Stop buying plants you lunatic' is not a viable option.
Aside from gardening, I've been in a lot of pain due to the monthly flaring-up of my wisdom tooth. I've tried painkillers and that gel that numbs your mouth for a few minutes. It's not really helping. The closest thing I've found is Bonjela, which has taken me from 'OUCH THIS HURTS I CANNOT THING OF ANYTHING EXCEPT PAIN, I NEED TO TAKE THIS TOOTH OUT MYSELF, SLICING MY CHEEK OPEN TO GET AT IT IF NECESSARY' to 'This pain is a mild inconvenience'. I hope it cheers up soon because as it tends to, it's locked my jaw and in order to eat, I have to kind of push stuff past my front teeth, which looks like the actions of a crazy person.
Yeah, I haven't really done much except garden. I've been feeling content today. Things at work are the same as ever, but today I felt nice and far away, although that might be the catalogue of medication I'm on to manage a catalogue of different pains. I watched my beloved HBO's The Vikings, and my beloved Corrie, and I saw a film called The Purge, and I plan to just continue watching TV and relaxing, which is much-needed. Next weekend I'm HOME for my birthday, and I don't think I've looked forward to coming home ever since I was in my first year of uni and so suffused with misery that coming home was all I wanted to do. It's seemed basically like Ragnarok since Christmas (the actual one the Vikings talked about, not the one that Jorvik museum MADE UP to troll vulnerable Viking obsessives like me) and it will be nice to spend a bit more time relaxing.