Lock Down Part 2
As autumn moves towards winter and we find ourselves in a second lock down, I finally have a chance to sit and write. Having worked though lock-down one and then through the summer, I’m quite welcoming of a couple of weeks off!
This summer has been madness. At the end of July, when Mr. S and I went off for a long weekend on the Thames we heard that my dear daddy was being taken into hospital for tests. “No need to cancel or come home”, Mum told me, so off we went in the little boat we’d hired. It was Mr S’s first break since our last Thames break in Sept ’19… it wasn’t the perfect start but we soon unwound to river pace.
Over the next couple of days we had sun & rain, good news and bad, culminating in Dad telling me to hurry home as we were returning the boat. He was nearing the end and he knew it. We got to the hospital that lunchtime and spent a good few hours with Dad chatting away. He wasn’t up to saying much, which made a change!
The very next day we lost Dad, him having been poorly for some long while. At least I had a chance to make him proud by getting some professional qualifications in recent times. OK, he would have preferred me to be an accountant but RHS qualifications are Royally endorsed so were considered perfectly acceptable! Hopefully exams will go ahead in February and I can complete the diploma, and possibly do the next level in memorandum.
So now I have a couple of weeks off and I have a chance to process my feelings while catching up on the housework, the garden, the allotment autumn tidy and hopefully have some time left over to spend some time on these pages that have been hugely neglected in the past few months – even more neglected than the plot.
So since I last wrote, we had the most beautiful springtime and as I potted dahlias and worked on the nursery, I was part jealous of those enjoying spring on their plots in the sunshine, but more happy to have the routine and support from my work family. During these strange times, work and the allotment have helped me through.
It was a truly glorious spring and Mr S and I enjoyed so great chilled out BBQs down on the plot. Mr S is now the master of perfectly barbequed sausage!
While it was gloriously sunny by day, it turned chilly by night and in St Albans we were hit by a late May hard frost. Frosts are normal in this area up until late May but in recent years they have become less frequent. A mad rush around getting old net curtains out, building frameworks to keep the fleece off the seedling vegetables and putting a deep straw cover over the early potato leaves.
Possibly the late frost affected the bee colonies as I wasn’t the only one to notice fewer around, however other pollinators seemed to be out in force including many hoverflies.
The wildlife pond I installed with Mr S. last year has resident frogs! That was a major happy dance moment!! I’ve seen toads and slow worms again this year too. I spent many a happy hour in the sunshine in spring with my camera by the pond trying to capture damselflies. To me, a bio-diverse, healthy plot is my main aim.
One thing I have got now is a cheap trail camera. Something took a large chunk out of one of my pears – I’m suspecting a muntjac. I know we have them locally and my neighbour, Mr Plot 17, told me he saw one leaving a garden that backs onto the plots when he started early one morning. I haven’t caught it on camera yet but I have a regular foxy visitor.
Stay safe and look after yourselves, your family and your neighbours.