It is also supposed to be the year for planting but the grass is crackly dry and even the established trees are struggling - some are dying. With the days getting hotter and hotter, the dam now looks more like an open-cut mine than a water resource; even the ducks are getting a bit stressed.
So, where are we with garden plans ? and where are the writers?
The diggers and large scale machinery are becoming a permanent fixture in the paddock and the massive sandstone blocks that were to be a garden wall - along which crab apple trees would be planted - are all still sitting where the dump truck dumped them almost 3 months ago.
We had a small glitch, you might say. The people who live behind - Mr and Mrs Misery - felt an overwhelming urge to be nasty so they complained to Council about our landscaping. They didn't have an acutal complaint - apparently it's enough just to make the call - so Council having OK'd the job then decided that perhaps we needed more paperwork, more investigation, more money paid.
After much deliberation by Council - and some nervous conversations between departmental heads about being seen to do the right thing - the excavation for the proposed garden wall was deemed to be 100mm too deep and the job was shut down while papers were filled out, letters were written, and money was paid.
The excavator driver did offer (repeatedly) to dig a very large hole in which he would happily bury the troublemakers. Tempting as it was - and a lot of fun planning how it could be done - I remain resolute that honesty wins out in the end and that the pen will always be mightier than the sword. I am also quite naive sometimes
And then it was Christmas and all the workers disappeared while the Miseries settled into their illegal dwelling just over the fence (behind our sad pile of rocks) for a holiday season of horse riding and generally annoying behaviour.
On this side of the fence - the Writers Garden side - we patiently wait for digging to resume, walls to be built and some gentle prolonged rain. It will come. And then so will the writers.