So in the course of just over a week I feel like I have worked in most parts of my parents fairly large and quite complex garden.

Indeed I have been surprised and slightly taken aback at the scale of variation of the jobs I have had to do.  There is a large tarmaced drive that has become covered in moss. This has required me to hoe off the moss that has got quite deep, then to sweep that up, take care not to rip up the tarmac and gravel stones at each edge of the driveway and then, on my hands and knees, I have, with a wire brush, manually brushed the whole thing and methodically worked up the drive to clean it completely.
 
Herbs grow abundant here in the garden - and its one of my favourite sides of this garden.  But harvesting the different crops has been very laborious - partly because I'm doing it all by hand, and there is so much, and partly because I am learning on the job.  With the chives I am cutting and chopping them by hand and taking great care to make sure I haven't hooked up dead stem ends or any grass.  Rosemary is very fiddly and hard to ensure you don't end up with lots of torn bark strips and I have found myself with a black oil like film on my fingers to scrub off after.  Bay leaves are a curiously hard thing to sort, not least 'cos as they dry some curl, but also to exclude leaves that might have been munched by a visiting bug, slug or snail.
 
Then there was the lavender, which I ended up sorting into frond head sizes to make sure that they would go into the small draw string bags mother had ready for me to use.  That made 30 bags of lavender And a large jar for my own bedroom.
I also underestimated the quantities of the crops - I now have tubs of chives , a large chocolate tin full of rosemary and over 1,000 bay leaves.  I sure won't run out soon.
 
With regard to fruit I have almost cleared the garden of pears and apples - 7 large crumbles later, 3 massive jars of bungalow chutney (apples and pears!) and 7 smaller jars of apple sauce and still I have a crop of pears to make into poached pears in red wine.  Oh and I forget to mention the 3 bottles of apples juice and the 4 bottles of very thick pear juice.
 

Back in the garden I have excavated a few pathways that had shrunk under the overgrowth, liberated a pathway at the back of Mum's honeysuckle and bicycle garden wall.  That has also required a laying of a log border of which I'm especially proud. 

And in the course of this I am learning all the time.  Learning how little I have known about plant and flower names, realised how hardy and resilient herbs are, how quickly bricks, tiles and paving stones get eaten by garden growth and how much fun it can be.  
 
But more than anything else I have learnt which jobs and exercises strain which muscles.  And yes, I am bitten by flies, have blisters in places I didn't imagine and I have been able to exercise my OCD by clearing  and re-ordering Mum's tools in her tool shed.  And more than anything else I have a set of blog posts on topics I never ever imagined. Time for a drink and a snooze.