And, powered-on by this new and relaxed sense of completion, we took the Wonder Dog for a gallop round Osterley Park this morning, where we met this lovely chap:
I'm not sure why he's hauling that stick across the water. Maybe he's as confused as the flowers are by all this mild weather, and he's got it into his head that it's time to do some nest-building.
We also saw some of his babies from last time round, mooching around in the lake trying to look cool. They didn't much like the Wonder Dog, hissing and flapping their wings until they'd got him humbled into a hang-dog state of tail-between-the-legs total submission.
They've just reached that magical point at which they're metamorphosing from ugly ducklings into beautiful adult swans. Although I have to say that I thought they were adorable at the supposedly ugly duckling stage too.
It was nice to see some other folk sitting around admiring them as well:
The stillness of where the gardens meet the lake inspires a certain amount of introspection. And, having those glorious swans to watch, is a bit like singing a meditative chant: they help to empty the mind of stress and worries and panic about never having everything ready on time.
One of our going-for-a-walk rituals involves a pit-stop at the Stables Cafe, where we were really impressed by the garlanded trees festooned with Christmas tree baubles. I'll bet they took a while to put together.
All the best for now,