Chapter Five

Hibernation – The Extension

If you were expecting monumental words & grandiose statements from me in this chapter regarding the current situation, I’m going to very much disappoint, I have none, not a squidge as it goes. It’s a rum do & no mistake. Basically it’s about getting on with things as best we can, with as much good grace as we can muster. Plus a modicum of humility, quite a lot of good sense, loads of initiative, a skip load of humour, being sensible – I know, patience, lots of patience, really quite a lot of patience, kindness- always & vast amounts of tea. That’s without the mention of home baking & I feel, good manners. Ok, gin & chocolate too. All on top of staying at home. Personally, I’m finding the endless hibernation in some ways quite liberating. Having my peace & quiet invaded however has been, er well, more difficult.

Montbretia Crocosmia

Cleaned three window frames on the outside, don’t want to overdue things. This is going to be a long haul. I’m hoping windows will get cleaned by a special soul. I really fail when it comes to cleaning windows. George Formby I’m not & neither can I sing.

I ‘ve no idea what this is!

And now we have morphed into one long long long looooonnnnnnng continuous ennnnnnnddddlesssssssssss weekend.

I’m currently finding excuses not to go out to the shops, the tipping point being down to the last loo roll, could we last another 24 hours… That was no… Queuing round the car park – which was novel. I used to like going food shopping. Not now. Can I just say, people behave in such peculiar ways… It’s all I can say on this point, my gasp is quite flabbered. I’m finding the whole experience deeply stressful, all the chocolate I buy to compensate is eaten within hours of my return home. I need to run a marathon or 10 at least to balance all this out. I don’t like running. I had to replace my trainers last year, unfortunate incident. I’d decided to power walk myself to an appointment at the hospital. It’s not that far. I was running or in this case power walking late, only a smidge mind but this was my downfall. One trainer started to disintegrate half way there. No time to go back, had to go on. Other trainer started. I was picking bits of trainer up as fast I was walking. Got to the hospital, entire soles of both trainers now in my bag, I was left effectively wearing laced up bags, which squeaked loudly, very loudly with each step on the long standard issue main corridor hospital flooring. It created quite a stir as I’m sure you can imagine I walked home following the trail of crumbs my trainers had left, randomly picking up the bits I’d missed, just in case i wasn’t sure of the way. Vowing to never ever to do a lot of things ever again…

Nor this – anyone know?

Anyhoo, made banana & chocolate bread cake loaf to cheers thing up & on a practical level there were some squishy bananas in the fruit bowl. So that’s Lock Down Baking No1 Ticked. Made bread (Lock Down Baking No2 – Ticked) Lemon drizzle – always a crowd pleaser, pizza – 3 times now – Yum & melting moments for the 70s throwback feel. And now the Team have eaten a fair few eggs we have a limited number – I mean come on – priorities folks! CAKE!

Another lovely shrub of unknown name

In the meantime, & on a much more positive note, the weather has been gorgeous. Spring has arrived, my eyes are as itchy as anything & it’s fab! The sun shines all the time, the blue, pollution free sky has never looked so glorious since – since well some considerable time ago. It’s almost like a Utopian dystopia… The little birds are back singing in the trees & visiting the garden on mass. We have two new permanent friends in the shape of magpies, taking up residence in the giant Christmas tree. Their constant chatter & squabbling with the pigeons is driving me nuts. They are definitely bossing it.

Not the best photo but its not yet fledged so not ready for posing just yet

Seeing lots of Blackbirds, wrens, blue tits, sparrows – loads of sparrows, bull finches, dunnocks, great tits, the bloomin pigeons of course & magpies. We get serenaded each evening at dust by the song thrush which is nice initially but oh so LOUD. Lovely though. There’s much enjoyment watching them all visit, take their fill from the feeders & nibbles of bread & sip of water but my most favourite moment so far has to be when Bobbin & his Mrs came to the back door to show off Baby Bobbin & for it to fledge. It was the most joyous of moments as Mama & Papa Bobbin encourage it to fly with them back to the nest. We watched & watched & listened & listened as it jumped back & too & then & then – off it went, making its funny little cheeps! A truly special few moments.

I’m really happy to be back in the garden though, the bog has dried up & the greenscape is once again an inviting place to be. Ok realistically it’s really not quite but I’ve made a start on reclaiming it, so good news – hurrah. Yes hurrah… It’s really quite a mess. Oh well, time on my hands.

You know all those fabulous plans I’d had. I’ve had a little rethink, mostly due to the monumental amount of weeds growing EVERYWHERE. It’s like this. I’ve spent the last week or so weeding the path/patio that runs along the back of the house. I’ve filled near enough two green bins & I’m not finished & there’s grass growing back already… It’s hard work given the permanence of some of the vegetation, however there has been some fabulous finds. New hawthorns for starters, I Love hawthorn, I’ve been training some in to ornamental style trees in pots, they look lovely. No idea where to plant them though. Found several horse chestnuts right close to the house which is a worry, several sycamore, rowan & not surprisingly quite a few goat willow. They really are prolific. Oh & a brand new holly bush that’s really quite big, Chives again everywhere & strawberries, they don’t even go together…Nature is fab or the neglect is big – take your pick.


It’s all good fun.

What’s also good fun is demolishing a wall with a sledge hammer, just if you have either handy. It’s enormously therapeutic & has quite practical benefits if you have a wall that needs removing. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t have a wall that in need of s removal & certainly don’t demolish you’re neighbours, they will get upset.

Had a few night time jaunts out in the garden too, to look at the amazing starlit sky. The lack of pollution has made it even more beautiful. We’ve been keeping an eye out for the Starlink satellites & the Lyriad Meteor shower for the past week when the shy has been clear. Partial success with seeing Starlink, tried to get a photo, not great. I won’t show you, nothing to be proud of & a proper crick in the neck for my pains & near frost bite in the process, it was fair nippy! I did go on a fab astrophotography event at Jodrell Bank earlier this year which was pretty cool (proper freezing it was), although cloudy skies on the night did stop play to a certain extent, but there’s lots you can learn in a inflatable planetarium!

Apple Blossom

We have very few proper flowers in our garden & those we do really only appear in Spring. So I’ve been out & about with my trusty camera taking pictures. I take them every year & it’s interesting to see the difference in the time when things first pop  year on year & how I’ve captured them, I like to think they’re a little less amateurish now.  Well that’s just a little bit cocky! Well you can have a look & see for yourself. I’ve dotted them throughout this post for you to mooch through.


Think that’s enough now. I’ve a new fruit & veg box to try out, more garden hacking to be getting on with, baking (it hasn’t been going well, slightly amateurish if I’m honest – school girl errors, shameful – tell you anther time, I’m not even going to mention the scones), & something about a long ladder going through a very small bathroom window, I mean what could go wrong there. I have a LONG list of vague DIY plans to keep me & therefore the Team Busy busy Busy! I’m rubbing my hands together with glee!!! (and not one mention of domestic choring – well apart from here which – before anyone utters a word – doesn’t count).

So to end proper, take care my munchkins, take care of yourselves & of your loved ones, look to the small things that make you happy, see the detail, take those moments to stand still………close your eyes…… feel everything…

All will be well.

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