Friday morning was a beautiful one. We sat in the garden with a cup of coffee, watched four tiny birds chasing each other in and out of the various trees and bushes, and forgot for a few moments that which exists outside our enforced, shrunken world. I am so grateful that we have the little haven. This is the view from my seat looking up to the second level in the garden. Husband has worked in the garden for part of almost every day, the pile of waste ready be taken to the tip once it re-opens, ever growing. The rhubarb has already provided enough for a crumble, the runner beans are planted, the radishes sown, and the beds are prepared for the leeks and tomatoes.
We ordered some new garden dining chairs but the company has informed me that there has been ‘an unprecedented demand’ and we are unlikely to get them before June. By dismantling one of the original wooden chairs, Husband has been able to repair the two benches and second chair, so at least we are still able to enjoy the sunshine. It was cooler yesterday and coffee outside required us to wear an extra layer of clothing, but today is beautiful again. Husband went for a walk with his camera whilst I made cake and almond crunch biscuits. The recipe called for tapioca flour which I didn’t have. I did have rice flour though and read that it can be substituted – half the quantity of rice flour to tapioca. I really liked them, but having tried recipes for three different types of biscuits over these past few weeks, I just don’t think the result is worth the effort.
Unwilling to go to the shop to pick up the newspaper (something Husband has done every day for the 23 years that we have lived here), we have paid to read it online. Confusingly, this is not the same as the online newspaper, but an online version of the actual paper. Acceptable, but in no way enjoyed as much as the physical folding and holding. Nevertheless I have enjoyed being able to read the daily political comment, and the opinion page penned by my favourite journalist (Tom Uttley – it’s you – if by the most unlikely of chances you read my blog)! John Humphreys is usually ok too, but has annoyed me by suggesting that the empty Nightingale hospitals have become a national embarrassment. Really? Would he rather that they were full? Somewhat more of an embarrassment, not to mention tragic, if we had not had enough hospital beds had we needed them, I’d have thought. Like some others, he criticises as excessive the shielding and distancing measures along with the “endless repetition of the order to stay at home and protect the NHS.” There’s no doubt that the Government have got some of the decisions wrong but they’d be equally criticised in other quarters if they had not locked-down. A case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Managing this crisis is not a job that anyone would want.
Spot the difference: On a very much lighter note, have you heard that Cadbury has spent a million pounds on redesigning its logo. Here are both the old one and the new one. A spokesman says that the new lettering “puts the humanity back.” What meaningless twaddle!
I awoke yesterday morning with a distinct ache in my right foot. Thinking that it must be about a year since I broke it, I looked at the date (without the weekly structures that I’m so used to, the days morph into one long approximation such as ‘the last bit of April) and discovered that it was exactly one year ago to the day that I fell down the stairs and unwittingly set myself up for several months of discomfort. The early morning ache bears witness to the fact that, although I can go for days at a time with it being no particular problem, the long-lasting effects of my carelessness are always there. I have an appointment at the end of July but I expect that I will again be offered the previously discussed operation …to which I will say ‘thank you but no’. It’s a bother, but nowhere near enough to subject myself to surgery.
I spoke to the little grandsons on a video call yesterday morning. It’s hard to have a logical, coherent conversation when two excitable small children (3 & 4 years old) are both falling over themselves to impart the news, but I did catch lots of snippets. They are growing carrots, spring onions and ‘turnips’. Mummy explained that they are actually not turnips but radish. “Oh yes,” said Grandson, as if it was the easiest of mistakes to to confuse the two! I learned that they spent time in the paddling pool on Friday and were having a barbeque for tea. The elder one told me that there is a behaviour chart, a photo of which was sent. I said that I’d like to see a few more smiley faces on it next time and was assured that their parents would like that too! According to the newspaper the first easing of the lockdown rules may include allowing small family groups to get together, but I’m not sure whether that would mean ones who live nearby or whether we’d be allowed to travel. For now, we continue to sit it out in our shrunken world.