Chapter Six

Lockdown Hockey Cokey

Had a chat with my Editor, she’s a very important person, has many roles not just editorial. Sisterling, chief Giant Scone Maker, Head of Drama, The Aunt, & many more. I suggested a hat to denote her job title of Editor, I was thinking along the lines of the Editor character in Superman or Spiderman, but she’s going for the intellectual Lois Lane glasses look, which is why she’s Head of Drama.

Anyways, she has suggested I write more. So I am. I’m certainly spending more time in the garden, I’m not sure it’s terribly exciting to write about but I’m sure I can make it noteworthy. The Hazard Counter resets itself to zero almost every time I go out, I’m definitely going to need new antihistamine cream next time at the shops, I wear my Wish wellies even on the sunniest days for safety & I’m leaving the first aid box out just by the back door, in easy reach. There are reasons for all of that.

So, continued cocooning then with added crispy bits. Another new norm. Less said the better there I think other than that I’m fine with staying in at the mo thank you very much. I’ll need a really, really long run up to what’s potentially going to be the next ‘new norm’ which inevitably will lead to another ‘new norm’…. I mean, I need to iron normal going out the house clothes for a start , I need to dye my hair for goodness sake. I’ve taken to wearing my beany hat going to the shop in case I see anyone I know. But with us all having to wear a face mask, no one is going recognise me, maybe I could get away with it.

Mahonia (Thanks Rachel!!) the ‘grapes’ (not to be eaten’ are changing colour – lovely!

Shopping is still a very stressful jaunt for necessities, chocolate obviously, wine – a given, I may need gin soon, hunter/gathering the usual array, except I need Cheshire Cheese. I live in Cheshire, home of Cheshire Cheese, you’d expect there to be aisles overflowing with the delicious life-giving stuff but no. Our local Sainsburys deli counter sells it in quarter truckles in normal times, it’s almost like the proper stuff. I’d settle for the average wet, plastic covered slabs, that’ll do if there’s nothing & I’m desperate. I’ve been brought up on Cheshire Cheese, I dare say it’s possible it runs in my veins, it’s probably why I’m bit grumpy at the moment – Cheshire cheese withdrawal… which is a thing.

I once received a huge, lovely chunk as a birthday pressie…. Of Cheshire Cheese. Heaven.

Anyways, put a call out on Facebook for acquisition ideas, there were many lovely responses so let’s hope by the end of this chapter, I’ve located some or there could be a universe inversion. It’s been 5 weeks now.

I’ve updated the weeding activity to mass clearing. I feel a bit bad about this, I have guilt. I’ve been chopping down perfectly good shrubs & trees with some gusto I might add (who knows what I’d do with a hatchet or an axe). It’s been, at the same time an extraordinarily satisfying experience but I do have guilt. There was a truly mad moment when the Team got involved to remove a Goat Willow, we’ve got plenty, don’t worry, almost a small woodland. Oooo look no guilt about the goat willow – really there’s plenty! I’ve bought a new pruning saw, it’s wonderful, so sharp. So sharp saw, full Team, rope, big tree – 3,2,1 timber! & down it came. It was quite tall as it turned out, missed the house luckily & only a small bump on the head & two scrawped arms to show for it. Not bad really… Could’ve been worse. Hazard Counter back to zero.

Plus points are that there’s plenty of wood for potential projects or kindling for evening campfires & marshmallows when it’s all seasoned come Autumn & for that I can not wait!

Meanwhile it’s seed season for the Goat Willow, if you didn’t know, the reason for pruning in some ways. That’s Spring for you. We have a magnificent old thing in the front garden then several smaller younger tall saplings (plus a million more dotted about). They give out seeds a little like dandelions but in a huge cloud. It’s a noteworthy event it seems, liken to snow falling or confetti at a wedding, nice, positive comments others not so much. Which just goes to show you can’t please everyone. I’ll have one of my infamous chats with the trees & tell them to behave. Hug one or two while I’m at it.

Goat Willow – catkins complete with falling snow

I’ve started a list of things we have growing in the wasteland as I discover them, practical, informative & useful I thought. If I’m really, really bored & having a proper OCD moment I could set up an excel spreadsheet, you know – columns of info, website links even photos, It could also lead to a place of nerdiness even I couldn’t return from. But you know it’s an idea when I have a moment. Using the handy little app PlantNet – it’s really useful, could almost be a life saver. Which is just as well, having nearly made elder-flower cordial out of viburnum tinus laurustinus flowers – slightly poisonous as it turns out. That would’ve sent the Hazard Checker through the floor. So double check folks.

This week’s task was to move the hostas. I’m not sure if I’m a fan or not of hostas. They’re not currently presenting themselves at their best. They wouldn’t get in at RHS Tatton Park. They wouldn’t get through Knutsford, let alone the gate or into the show tent. There’s a bunch of reeds growing in the middle for starters, yes you read that right – reeds, another thing I’m proficient at growing without trying. Well, that’s because of the boggy bog of course. I’ve haven’t touched them yet. So far, my excuses are lining up like this, it was too windy. It rained. I was thinking of doing the ironing (this was true). I’ve actually been doing my college homework – I know – shocker!!! And I made cake.

Vicki Victorious

So no hostas on the move but I got some interesting ‘still life’ photos, just need to submit it all now, the tricky bit. Topic was Still Life, you can see one at the very top – ‘Shelf Friend’. Everyone should have at least one kitchen Shelf Friend. It’s some kind of law. Gives you someone to talk to who doesn’t answer back.


So we draw to the end & I’m pleased to say I got some Cheshire Cheese, hurrah!!! From the Co-op no less, plastic covered sweaty stuff but better than nothing, result! I’ve heard on the grape vine there’s finally some at Sainsbo too, so back to one stop shop. I’m hopeful.

Still not sure what day it is, I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Lots of other things I could mention but I’ll leave that till next time. Don’t forget always here, there & about for a chat. And – blatant plug – I have a new Facebook Page – CocoaNoko Images, go have a look & maybe a cheeky follow. In the meantime & till next time, keep safe, look after one another, be kind – always & send chocolate,

Much love.

PS. Sold out of Cheshire Cheese at Sainsbo on weeks nightmare trip, rationing in play. Sad times.

Still Life – A Glimpse into the twinkly cake plate stash

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