Saturday 16 May 2020

Six on Saturday mid-May

By my calendar it’s Lockdown Day 54 and, while social distancing, wearing masks and Zoom parties are the new normal, you can almost forget the virus when you’re in the garden.  Although garden centres and journeying further afield is now allowed, I shall wait until I feel safer to do so.  
My six are: 
Aquilegia William Guiness which I sowed from seed many years ago and isn’t as promiscuous as some others
London Pride
Variegate Weigela perhaps Florida

Allium Purple Sensation, a fascinating plant
I saw this cheerful container was outside our local park on an exercise spree

Geranium (never knew its name)
The Propagator generously hosts Six on Saturday.  Click on the link to his blog to see what he and his followers are growing and doing in their gardens this week.  Perhaps you feel you could add your own six too.
Stay well everyone.

Thursday 7 May 2020

Lockdown Journal: The first 6 weeks

If this journal reads: write, garden, read, eat, sleep, repeat, that’s exactly what has been happening in my life.  It is frightening how quickly we adapt to the new normal. 

Cicero wrote: If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.  Luckily I have a garden and plenty to read and I’ll add health to that list. It also makes us realise what we had and failed to fully appreciate.  Many of the things we worried about and the choices we had to make pre-Covid19 seem irrelevant just now.

I had never considered myself old and vulnerable, but for the first time my husband and I have been made to feel just that.  Forgotten are the army of workers, volunteers, childminders and the grey pound that this sector of the community represents.

21 March:   As other plans had been postponed due to the virus, we went to our caravan at the coast spend some time but were advised that the site was closing until further notice so home we came.

23rd March:  The UK public told they must stay at home

“People may only leave home to exercise once a day, travel to and from work when it is "absolutely necessary", shop for essential items and fulfil any medical or care needs.

Shops selling non-essential goods have been told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together will be prohibited.

The UK death toll has reached 335.

If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson

25th March:  The World Health Organization says the pandemic is "accelerating", with more than 360,000 cases globally and more than 16,000 deaths. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was still possible to "change the trajectory" with rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies.

26th March:  This would have been the date for our flight to Israel to attend a wedding and spend  a week’s holiday  with the family.  This was the date of my mother’s birth and death 1913 – 2003.  I wonder what she would have made of this.

27th March:  Boris Johnson tests positive for the virus.

28th March:  “Every citizen in the United Kingdom must play a part if the number of deaths from coronavirus are to be kept below 20,000.” National medical director.

The call for a national effort to reduce deaths came as the total who have died rose by 260 since Friday to 1,019. In total, 17,089 have tested positive in the UK.

At the daily press conference on Covid-19 at Downing Street, Prof Stephen Powis said: “If we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well in this epidemic.”
29th March: This would have been the wedding date so we messaged and dressed up for the bride and groom who cannot even make future plans at these uncertain times.

30th March:  Contributed to the site In a Vase on Monday to cheer myself up.

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden hosts this site, giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.
31st March:  Black bin day

1st April:  Yorkshire in Bloom Spring Judging, for which I am a judge, has been cancelled.  I would be surprised in Summer judging can go ahead with the difficulty that the working parties will find.
2nd April:  As this was the day I would have returned from my holidays, I had no activities planned until now. Good to see the neighbours and catch up as we applauded for the NHS.
3rd April:  Signed up for Davina McCall’s workouts.  No photos!
7th April:  Green Bin day and took delivery of this box of vegetables, fruit and salad

8th April:  First night of Passover when, together with the extended family, we would join together for a celebration.  We did manage a Zoom session where we made the blessings, told the story of Passover and sung songs with over 20 members from UK, Sweden and Argentina.  First time in my life that I hadn’t physically been with my family at this time, but we continued the tradition – without the mountains of washing up.

9th April:  Applause for the NHS
10th April:  I also keep a blog for my gardening group: It won't make up for what we have missed (garden visits,, talks and flower shows), but we can see what the gardens of our members are looking like.

14th April: Had to offer condolences to a good friend of the phone on the death of her brother.  The funeral was in France but they managed to video the burial service which would give her some closure.
15th April: Spent much of the day trying to get refunds on cancelled flights and holiday accommodation.  No joy yet.
16th April:  Another week gone by.  Applause for the NHS
17th April:  Fortunately we have a beautiful park near our house



18th April:  Captain Tom Moore, A 99-year-old war veteran, who aimed to raise £1,000  for the NHS by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday has raised more than £23m!  

20th April:   Yom Hashoah.  Annual Jewish Remembrance day for victims of the Holocaust.  This year I joined a very moving local virtual Holocaust Commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Shoah and the liberation of Bergen Belsen.  This year I lit a virtual candle.
In blessed memory of Gennadi Vestfrid who died in the Holocaust aged 3 
20th April:  Walked to Park

This swan was sitting on 8 eggs.  Sadly she was attacked by two dogs days on 25th April and taken to the Swan centre to recover leaving Daddy swan to cope.  He has stepped up and turned the eggs but there are only two left.


21st April:   My day on the rota for the Foodbank.  Users hadn't been able to access their vouchers from the usual sources but we were able write out emergency ones.  Some families had no money coming in, especially those in the gig economy.  We had loads of donations from individuals and companies including top brand toiletries which were gratefully accepted.
The cost of a new battery for my car didn't feel so bad after that.
A Zoom planning meeting with the team for the monthly local radio programme I'm involved with went really well.  Not as good as the monthly meet up in the pub though.
I was thoroughly worn out after interacting with so many people.

22nd April:   Another Zoom meeting with my Nisa Nashim group (for Muslim/Jewish women) as we had to cancel the real one.  I was able to wish my friends Ramadan Mubarak.  It may be easier to fast while not at work but difficult for them without their families at the Iftars.
23rd April:  Highlights of the day - delivery of vegetable fruit and salad box and applause for the NHS
24th April:  Managed to source flour and yeast to bake my breads for the Sabbath table.  Although we are just two for Friday Night Dinner, it does separate the weekdays from the Sabbath for me.

25th April:  The injured swan is recovering

26th  April  To celebrate the birthday of one of my sisters, we held a Zoom party.  There was cake with candles, we sang Happy Birthday and everyone wrote a poem in honour of the birthday girl.
Rounded off the day with a free online showing of a Piet Oudolf film.
27th April:  Gave myself a pedicure using my new foot spa.
28th April:  One of my short stories was read out on Radio ELFM (94.6 fm) with which I am involved.  A couple of plays that I co-wrote have also been aired.
29th April:  Taxed my car, I know not why.
30th April: My groceries arrived from Tesco
 Boris says 'we're past the peak' and are 'on the downward slope' The prime minister said Britain has 'come under what could have been a vast peak'.
1st May: Brought in the Sabbath on Zoom with blessings.  Pity we couldn't join in the dinner.
2nd May: I had a go at painting pebbles and a sign saying "To the beach" for when we return to the caravan.
3rd May:  Nisa Nashim Zoom interactive event on Ramadan and fasting.  Women from many different groups joined in. Really interesting.

And that brings me to the end of the first six weeks ...... the new normal?

Saturday 2 May 2020

Six on Saturday

So now we’re into May and, on my calendar, Day 40 of the lockdown.  I hope everyone  is keeping well.  We are so blessed to have our gardens, the sunshine and even some rain.

My six are: 

I love these yellow and orange poppies.  Welsh?  Just wish they would stay where I put them.

Another wanderer is Aquilegia. 

This Cotinus is late to leaf and I always worry it won’t, but it doesn’t let me down and invaluable in flower arrangements
This euphorbia with its bright orange hue is becoming depleted.  Can cuttings be taken?

The Ajuga is a ground cover stalwart; its foliage is lovely and the blue flowers a bonus 
The Golden Elder with some Golden Hop growing through is now in full leaf

The Propagator generously hosts Six on Saturday.  Click on the link to his blog to see what he and his followers are growing and doing in their gardens this week.  Perhaps you feel you could add your own six too.

Stay well everyone.

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...