Monday, April 13, 2020

As Days Go By


I'm beginning to lose track of days as one seems very much like another.  The weather has been warm enough to sit outside so the rather tatty gazebo has been erected on the side lawn so we can sit out of the direct sunlight but still be enjoying the fresh air.  It's a good vantage point for watching the birds flit around the feeders, the visiting cats sitting by the pond harassing the newts and the squirrels running up and down the trees, keeping out of the cats' way.


One of our many cat visitors


There is a cat in the Tamarisk tree looking down on the cat by the pond.


Paul has used some poles from an even older, tattier gazebo to create a make do and mend netting cage which covers two raised beds so we can try and be more successful at growing vegetables than we have been in previous years. 



So what have I been doing  apart from flipping a duster here and there, keeping on top of the washing and ironing and making sure both kitchen and bathroom are kept clean?

Observing - Nature all around us.



Blossom on the Amelanchier tree just outside the bedroom window.


Day time fox visitor, I was lucky to have my camera handy as I'd just been photographing the hot cross buns.



 Badgers on the wildlife camera. There are four badgers including the pale one I showed you on a previous post. Also three other foxes different to the one who came onto the garden in daylight.  We see many bats too as dark descends across the garden and also on the night camera flitting by so quickly.



Behind the shed where all the garden debris and bits and bobs are lurking is an old water butt.  On it is an old folded sheet of tarpaulin, weighed down by a brick, left and forgotten but once again in use.  Robins have made a little cup shaped nest in the curl of the sheet on the far side. 

Reading



The fourth in the Marwood and Lovett series of books by Andrew Taylor.  London 1668.  As many political intrigues and plots as the previous ones and a good escape from the present day.

 
I'm going to re-read two or three of my favorite books including my most favourite and most read one 'A Month in the Country' by J L Carr.

Watching 

I've been watching things on iplayer that I've missed when they have been on tv.  I think they have all been programmes shown in the afternoons.  All BBC programmes - 'Mallory Towers' a super adaptation of the Enid Blyton books. 'London Kills' a modern day detective series with twists and turns and 'Shakespeare and Hathaway' charming, funny and easy on the eye.

Eating


Hot cross buns on Good Friday, not home made but from the Co-op around the corner and very tasty they were too.



A dark chocolate egg for Easter Sunday, although not opened until today. 



We had quite a few carrotts and onions so we made Crecy Plate Pie from the Cranks recipe book.  It lasted three days, with green veg one day, salad the next and baked beans a third day.

Listening

Sitting in the garden listening to birds tweeting and bees buzzing. Blackbirds and robins sing, starlings whistle, magpies chatter and herring gulls fly overhead and remind me of the sea. Sometimes the gentle hum of a lawn mower or harsher hum of a hedge trimmer drifts over the hedges and fences from other houses.  No planes overhead for ages but one day last week two different air ambulances passed over within half an hour of each other and the next day a huge bulbous Chinook helicopter flew low overhead.  These sounds stand out now and seem unusual in this new, quieter world. 

Wild Garlic flowers are now coming out and the garden is covered in dandelions, yellow everywhere.  Soon buttercups will join them with their bright, sunny hue.  I've never seen so many.


Of course doing all these things distracts the mind for a while but rather like waking up the morning after you've heard about some tragic event and for a brief moment it seems as if it hasn't happend before reality sets in, so the awareness returns that beyond the garden gate the unseen enemy exists and it is undoubtedly real.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

39 comments:

  1. Lovely to read your post. Your life sounds very similar to ours. I have the Andrew Taylor on my list to read. Sadly no library van to order it from at the moment. The netting over your veg patch sounds like a good idea. I look forward to hearing how you get on with it. Take care. B x

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    1. Thank you Barbara, I've enjoyed all four of the Andrew Taylor Marwood and Lovett novels and many of his others too. I hope the netting works, as much as we love the wildlife in the garden we need to keep them away from the growing vegetables, especially the badgers:)

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  2. I always think your garden is almost like a wildlife park with your fox and badgers and squirrels. What a sanctuary. :) I love the photo of the cat in the tree observing the cat underneath or vice versa. Nice sounding pie! Glad you liked Mallory Towers. :) Watching a good Scandinavian drama/thriller on BBC I player called Twin and watched Killing Eve this Eve. :)

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    1. Thank you Shazza, there is a wild area full of trees which belongs to the school just over our top hedge and I think the animals live in there. I like the BBC4 Saturday series. I recently watched Hidden and Wisting. I elike the sub titles as I struggle with my hearing to catch what some of the actors say, which is why I watch on iplayer with headphones, I must catch up with Twin:)

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  3. Lovely post Rosie & like me, you seem to be finding all this rather surreal. I'm finding it hard to work out what day it is, even though we are retired, we do certain things on certain days & now we don't. We don't even do a weekly shop -- on-line about once a fortnight, which is unsettling in a way. Love those cats & your talk of dandelions made me laugh, as yesterday I spent about 1 1/2 hours weeding part of our so-called back lawn of them & a few other broadleaf weeds. Might do some more today if the weather is OK. I think I'd love to plant an Amelanchier as the are so pretty. Take care, stay safe & huggles.

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    1. Thank you Susan, I think I have found this week harder than the first three I don't know why. There are so many things I want to do but don't have the impetus to do any of them. I miss our cats so I'm always glad to see those that visit the garden. One day the dandelions didn't seem too bad then the next they were all over the garden. Take care:)

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  4. Your last paragraph says it all. Everything seems so unreal until something happens to bring it sharply into focus. How lovely to see a fox in your garden. Stay well.

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    1. Thank you Lorrie, it is good for just a while to forget what it happening but it all comes flooding back so quickly. I think the foxes are feedig cubs at the moment so outand about looking for food. Take care:)

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  5. A lovely post, Rosie. I've been finding it difficult to settle down to read or watch TV. Luckily there is crafting. And eating. Stay safe.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you Amalia. I'm glad you have your crafting to keep you going. It is hard to settle to anything at the moment. You too stay safe:)

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  6. Your garden is a haven for wild life. We have covered up the vegetable seedlings in the raised beds as the thought of a good crop seems even more necessary come Summer. I think we will be the last to be allowed out whenever the government measures to contain the virus are lifted. My husband's hip replacement surgery that took place in January would have been cancelled now due to the pressing needs of the NHS so that's something to focus on and be thankful.

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    1. Thank you Linda and thank goodness Mr P had his operation in January. Potatoes are being put in and seeds have been set in the greenhouse ready for planting out later. Tomatoes are coming on well in the conservatory ready to go in the greenhouse later. Even when we are 'free' to go out I think I will still stay in for a while longer just to be safe:)

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  7. You have been busy! Doing all the most important things in life. The best of the world is on your doorstep. I look forward to seeing all your vegetables, won't they be tasty! 😊

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    1. Thank you Karen, I hope we can manage to grow some vegetables this year without them either being eaten by slugs or dug up by the badgers:)

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  8. How wonderful to see so much wildlife in your garden. Hopefully the net cage will help protect the vegetables this year. Strange times we live in at the moment it is hard to define our new normal. Take care and stay safe.

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    1. Thank you mm, yes very strange times and I'm sure things will be very different when we come out of this. I hope we can get some good vegetables this year:)

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  9. A comment received this morning by e-mail from my friend Robert who is having difficulties leaving a comment on my blog:-

    I have just finished reading all the Wexford titles in Nottinghamshire's online e-library and discovered why I love them so. Put simply, they are full of references to buses, not that I realised this before but it does explain my love of Wexford. Like you, I'm about to re-read A Month in thr Country, followed by The Dig, both perfect novels, and as for Enchanted April what can one say? Does love get any better? And the pie! I took delivery of 12 (freezable) leek pasties on Saturday and ordered a Spinach, goats cheese and egg pie for my birthday next month. Pies make a perfect comfort food in these times and as for your garden, how I agree with Shazza. A great post. Take care. Love Robert xx

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    1. Thank you Robert, I have e-mailed you back. I've nearly finished A Month in the Country on to The Dig next:)

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  10. There's still plenty to see even when our worlds are made smaller isn't there. How lovely to have the Robins nesting and very nice to be able to see Foxes in daylight! I must admit I have been buying hot cross buns every week for the past month - the one constant item in my local supermarket - i'm beginning to get a bit sick of eating them now though!

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    1. Thank you Pam, it's great to have the robins nesting I just hope they stay safe from the cats. We had the hot cross buns in the freezer, just a pack of four, in case we couldn't get any closer to Easter,we also bought the Easter egg quite early on too. I was thrilled to see the fox and glad I had my camera handy:)

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  11. It's not so bad being a well-fed hermit in the countryside, certainly preferable to being in solitary confinement in a tower block - which must be the fate of many. I observed an amusing stand-off between my neighbours cat and a grey squirrel the other evening; the cat had climbed the tree and wanted to come down, while the squirrel clearly wanted to ascend but there was a cat in the way. Neither was going to give way and were swearing heartily at each other for some minutes before my neighbour came out and chased the squirrel away.

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    1. Thank you John, yes not so bad, I think I'll find it hard to venture out and about again. I feel for people who don't have a garden or small patch where they can take the air. Love the cat and squirrel story, squirrels do make a strange noise don't they, I wonder which one would have given way first?:)

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  12. A lovely post Rosie and great to see and hear what you have been doing. Like you I am having trouble remembering which day of the week it is! Life just seems so surreal at the moment and I still keep thinking I am going to wake up from this awful nightmare :( I seem to be doing similar things to you too - a bit of housework, washing and ironing, baking and reading and watching i-player. Everything seems so very unreal at the moment. Great news about the robin nesting and lovely to see the foxes and badgers.

    A month in the country looks a really good book and I love The Enchanted April - I read it as a teenager and in recent years have bought the same version as you. The pie looks really tasty :)

    Stay safe and well and take care.

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    1. Thank you RR, sometimes it does seem like a bad nightmare, I think this will go on a lot longer, possibly into summer and even then I don't want to go out and about too soon - we were going to do so much this year too. Reading is keeping me going as there isn't much of interest on tv at the moment,just the odd programme. I loved the films made from both A Month in the Country and The Enchanted April the first one has never been put on DVD for some reason. I read somewhere that they were making a film of The Dig at Sutton Hoo a place I want to visit when all this is over. Take care:)

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    2. I know exactly what you mean about it being like a nightmare - sometimes I think I am going to wake up and this is all a dream. I suspect it will go on for months too and I agree about not wanting to go out and about or anywhere there might be people. I can empathise with you about plans for the year - I had so many plans for Herefordshire and the caravan!! I am reading a lot too but avoiding tv - apart from re-watching Line of Duty on i-player although I had forgotten how violent it is. I will check out the book A Month in the Country. That sounds interesting about the film of the Sutton Hoo dig - by coincidence my son and I would love to visit too - did you know you can now stay in the house there - there are apartments! Take care both of you too.

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  13. You have beautiful, beautiful things, to distract your mind, for pieces of time.

    You will like the Rachel Carson quote, with which I closed my post of today...

    Wonderful that you are determined to grow veggies this year, as well as flowers.

    Stay safe.
    🌱🌺🌹🌸🌱

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    1. Thank you WoW, I did like the quote, very apt. More veg seeds have been set today and raspberries are in situ too:)

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  14. A wonderful post Rosie full of things to enjoy in the moment and of things to come. How marvelous to have a Robin's nest in the garden! I have noticed more Robin's than usual and think I may have a Robin's nest in the laurel tree at the end of the garden. I am glad that you managed to get some hot cross buns and a chocolate Easter egg. We have to be thankful for the little joys don't we? x

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    1. Thank you Simone, we bought the hot cross buns early and put them in the freezer and the eggs were bought a couple of weeks before lock down, I'm glad I got them. There do seem to be more Robins about this year and Magpies too:)

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  15. Really enjoyed reading this lovely post. Like you, I am finding things very surreal, its like a movie on TV that you are taking part in. I've only nipped to the surgery for a blood test in the last 32 days. Never bored at home though, plenty to keep busy with, reading, knitting, crochet, garden, birdwatching and lots more. I spotted the ginger/white cat visitor in the tree. We didn't have choccie eggs this year, but we did have hot cross buns, wholemeal ones at that from Sainsburys that DS dropped off to us.
    Take care x

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    1. Thank you Julie,all does seem very weird at the moment, this week seems harder than the last three for some reason, I'm glad you have plenty to occupy yourself at home, I think we are in for a long haul - it's always fun to watch the birds and animals in the garden:)

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  16. Flowers are so pretty. Looks like you've been busy with all those books plus the cleaning. Our weather is not yet warm enough to even think about planting anything. We had frost again last night and it was only 24F this am when we got up. Groan....it doesn't feel or look like spring. Take care and stay well.
    Sandy's Space

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    1. Thank you Sandy, I find I can lose myself in a book and shut out the world for a while. It has been unusually warm here so many plants are coming up earlier than usual, I remember it being warm around Easter last year too, I expect it will go cold again before long. I hope your frosts disappear soon and that Spring comesyour way:)

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  17. Back again...

    Put on your thinking cap,
    I have a question for you tomorrow.

    πŸŒΈπŸ’œπŸŒΈ πŸŒΈπŸ’œπŸŒΈ πŸŒΈπŸ’œπŸŒΈ πŸŒΈπŸ’œπŸŒΈ πŸŒΈπŸ’œπŸŒΈ

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    1. Sounds intriguing, WoW, I'll look out for it:)

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  18. Although it's a strange situation we're in and there's lots we can't do, I think some of us are vert fortunate - with books, gardens and this happening in spring ... it's not all bad and it sounds like you're making the most of the good things!

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    1. Thank you Louise, am trying to make the most of things but so many of the things we wanted to do this year can't now happen. Getting the house ready for sale, selling it and etc. Special plans for my 70th birthday all gone, never mind it could be far worse. I'm so glad we have a garden, good neighbours and as far as I know good health. It must be awful for those in city centres and blocks of flats and appartments. I hope you are both staying safe and well:)

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  19. And I am back, with link to my Pertinent Question.

    Link to my latest post, is in Sig. Line, below...

    So.... What happens AFTER??????

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    1. I'd like to think that after we will be kinder and more considerate to others, care more for our local community and for nature and wildlife and think local rather than global when both travelling and purchasing goods. We'll see perhaps it's all too late, I hope people will change and greed will become unacceptable:)

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