September, 10th: Our garden is after the long holiday not the prettiest in Ireland (anymore)… As you may know Mrs. McFarlin, our riding teacher, loves perfections and perfect gardens, so she decided to get the garden ship-shape! 
If you want to participate come at 8:30am in the garden and help! Be in time, otherwise Mrs. McFarlin may not be the nicest person to you. 
A participation will bring you 30 worth points.

“Remind me why I volunteered to help with this again?” I groaned as my alarm clock went off for a third time; I couldn’t bear hitting snooze once more.
Marie laughed, covering her head with her pillow. “To get into Mrs McFarlin’s good books? Well, I think that was why, anyway. I don’t know what my reason was though…”
That was what I thought she said at least; her voice was fairly muffled, but whatever reasons either of us had had, nothing seemed to justify having to get up at half past seven on a Saturday morning when we wouldn’t normally have needed to be awake until quarter to nine, at least if Mr Darling had been nice enough to reschedule our music lessons for a later time, as we had begged him to at the start of term. But if we didn’t get up, Mrs McFarlin would never let us hear the end of it, and as she’d always scared me a little, reluctant as I was, I had to admit that early-morning gardening was going to be the way I started my day. 

The one good thing about the fact that we were going to be working in the gardens, it occurred to me as we traipsed down the staircase, sure we would wake up at some point soon, was that Mrs McFarlin had been slightly more lenient with regard to uniform. It was surprising, considering her love of perfection and having everything around her immaculate which I could never normally abide, but at least I’d been able to wear my boots rather than my brogues; they were hardly suitable for anything more than walking really, and I did really like my boots. They wouldn’t help me win any gardening awards but, I hoped, might just disguise the fact that I didn’t know the difference between a trowel and a spade.
We reached the garden where a group of other students were already congregated, looking equally bleary-eyed and unenthusiastic to be awake at this time. Catching sight of Beth, probably the only person who didn’t fit this description, we squeezed in next to her. 
“Good morning!” she beamed, characteristically bright and chirpy. “So are you looking forward to it? I’ve already got some ideas about how we can make this look amazing.”
“Well no, actually,” I responded mock-sulkily, “I would be quite happy being in bed right now. So this had better be worthwhile!”
Beth laughed. “It will be, Miss Grumpy! Just think of it like one of your compositions – you have a blank canvas to do pretty much what you like. Oh!” she exclaimed suddenly, glancing down, “Amazing boots!” 
“Thank you,” I smiled proudly, “They are rather nice, aren’t they?”

Once Mrs McFarlin had given us our briefing, which was essentially that we could divide up into smaller groups and each work on “transforming” one area of the garden as we wished, providing no one was irresponsible with the tools, we got to work on our designated section. Me, Beth and Marie had the rockery around the pond – to be honest, me and Marie had never even noticed it was there before, we’d spent such little time in that part of the garden, but Beth was rushing around firing ideas at us, stopping every now and then when she was hit by inspiration which, it turned out, was quite often. But in the end, the three of us came up with what we felt was a pretty good plan of what to do with the rockery. We decided that a sort of fairy grotto would be nice, with lots of little plants around the edge, and thankfully it didn’t look as though we would need to do too much tidying up first.

As it turned out, we were wrong. It took us much longer than we’d expected to get started, but once we had, our plan went very smoothly and none of us failed to notice Mrs McFarlin’s look of surprise as she tried to hide the fact that she was impressed with us - well, that was what we assumed it must have been. It wasn’t as if she’d have been able to tell that Beth had accidentally dropped a trowel in the pond…but we had to admit that we were all very pleased with our handiwork, and it was all finished by half past twelve, so I couldn’t complain too much.
“See, it was worth it!” Beth grinned as we headed back indoors. “I told you it would be! I suppose we should go and get changed now-”
It suddenly hit me that I was starving hungry, so, grabbing her and Marie’s hands, I broke into a run. “Yes, we will,” I assured her, “but first, I want my lunch!”
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