It's been a wild and woolly summer here in Melbourne. From hail to the hottest day on record to snow all in a couple of months, it hasn't exactly been your average pleasant summer, weather-wise.
Add to that the impact of the bushfires in the Victorian countryside. There have been days when I've stepped outside, only to smell the thick layers of smoke in the air and go straight back in. This is hundreds of kilometres from the bushfires, so I can only sympathise for those living nearby.
I expect that all of this has had an impact on the quality of the lettuce and greens available locally. Certainly what I've found at the market has been limp and drab, not up to the usual summer standards. I'm therefore very lucky to have F, who adores gardening and can be found pottering around in the garden most evenings after work, delighting in daylight saving.
From my seat at the kitchen table, I can hear him and the Little One chattering, as they taste mint and basil and pull out a few weeds. Then they move on to the hand watering of pots and pots of herbs, lettuce and tomatoes. By now the Little One is shouting determinedly "My do it! MY DO IT!!" as he lifts a watering can and tips the contents over a plant. It's so sweet to watch, even sweeter than fresh greens from the garden on a summer evening.