It's been a tricky few weeks. First our car died, then the washing machine spluttered its last. In fact, with that dreadful superstition of things happening in threes, I was starting to feel a little nervous for the cat.
But then, what do you know, things picked up. A lot.
Firstly, I was given a greenhouse.
Yes, that's right, given; free, gratis and even delivered to our door. It belonged to a friend's father and he no longer had need of it, so it was offered to me. Apparently, they were surprised I was interested. To quote my friend "I thought you'd want something bigger, fancier and Victorian-looking". To be fair, I am disgustingly shallow when it comes to buying garden items, but I am also frugal to the point of cheap, and to misquote from Jerry Macguire "you had me at free".
So, I now have a wealth of plans for this fabulous new garden addition - starting with erecting it of course - and the kids are almost as excited as I am. Well, that, or they're just humouring me... again.
Secondly, I won something.
At this year's Garden Media Guild Awards, I was joint winner in the New Talent category for my pieces in The Guardian. Obviously, I am particularly excited about the 'New' part, given that I'm 18 months off hitting 40 and being called 'New' anything is a novelty. It also felt like an added bonus because the big achievement for me was getting published in the first place. For this I am hugely grateful to Jane Perrone who gave me the chance and didn't hang up the phone when I called (which, let's face it, would have been the far more reasonable response).
I'll admit I was probably even more shocked to have Little Green Fingers named as a finalist in the Blog of the Year awards. When you consider that the list included Mark Diacono's Otter Farm, James Alexander-Sinclair's award-winning Blogging from Blackpitts and, this year's winner, Lia Leendertz' Midnight Brambling you will understand my reaction.
Unlike those Hollywood types, I can honestly say it was an honour just to be nominated.
Then of course, it all got a bit messy.
This was my first ever GMG Awards, and also the only time I had left the house on a non school-run related trip for 24 days. Yes, that's right 24 days! I was wearing a dress, surrounded by some very entertaining people and there was a lot of alcohol around. I'm not sure when I said to myself "this is kind of my work's Christmas do", but from then on my fate was sealed.
Amongst other things:
Andy Sturgeon stole my axe (actually, I think I gave it to him, but there is something very "Freddie Star ate my hamster" about that headline, so I'm sticking to it)
I decided to tell the Producer of Gardener's Question Time how I began my love affair with Radio 4 whilst on a summer job grading daffodil bulbs (she was, as you might expect, fascinated by this anecdote...)
I had a long conversation with Mark Diacono about his friend's piles
For some reason I was left in charge of the RHS Director of Shows' briefcase (I think he may have mistaken me for a cloakroom assistant)
I may have challenged a few people to a lager drinking contest (in fairness, I wasn't even drinking lager but by this point reality was a stranger to me)
I also lost a glove, smashed the pot in my goodie bag, and gave an impromtu garden design consultation to a lady I met on the 11.15 to Bedford.
In my defence, I would remind you that 24 days is quite a long time... and at least there wasn't a photocopier involved.