Monday, 29 June 2020

Deliveries. Weather. Gardens. Invading fauna. And little bits of coronavirus news.

Well, we have a new washing machine, finally. After the initial delivery fiasco of a couple of weeks ago when the company sent just one delivery man who declared single person delivery impossible to our house, we were hoping for some efficiency this morning. Delivery was scheduled for between 9.00 and 1.00 but in fact they phoned at about 8.30 to tell us to expect them within the half hour.

They arrived promptly and my heart sank as I heard them muttering about the weather, the rain, the wet grass in the sloping side garden and possibly having to wait for a dry day to avoid possible slipping. And this after I had gone out yesterday and scrubbed the steps leading down from the side garden to the back garden, removing any of the sticky residue that collects from the overhanging tree. If they had to wait for a dry day we could be another week without a washing machine. We have had enough bags if washing trundling to and fro between our house and our daughter’s house over the last few weeks to keep us all satisfied for a while!

Fortunately they were able to transport the machine down the alleyway between our semi-detached and the next one, a firmer and relatively drier surface than the grassy path of our side garden.

My next fear was that it would prove to be too bulky with its packaging to go through the back door, which is stiff to open at the best of times. But all was well. The machine was eased into the kitchen, taking up an inordinate amount of space, and the old, dead machine was taken away. A binbag full of cardboard, plastic and expanded polystyrene later, all we needed to do was install the beast, following complicated instructions, give the thing a test drive and finally, maybe, catch up on some of the accumulated washing. Now all I need to is work out how the wash programme work!

Today is not an ideal washing day, however, as we have had slow drizzle all morning so far. It’s not even forecast to clear up later. On the whole I think I would have preferred one big thunderstorm and a good downpour, which is what we were promised! So it goes!

I don’t think I will be heading to my granddaughter’s house to do any gardening today. It will keep. My own garden is looking rather drab at the moment. The poor rose bushes will have been drowned once again by this continual drizzle but the ferns and the pampas grass have gone wild! The across the road neighbour’s garden puts mine to shame. He has large pots of exotic and brightly coloured lilies all over the place at the moment, a riot of yellows and oranges. I hope they withstand the onslaught of rain and wind.

Mind you, he spends a good deal more time titivating his garden than I do mine, so it always looks very good. At Christmas time he decorates the garden with baubles and fairy lights. My small southern-based granddaughter, who occupies the front bedroom when she comes to stay, says that he must do that simply because he knows there is a little girl who likes to look out at his Christmas finery.

Oh! The joy of being six years old and believing the world revolves around you!

One of the motivators for working on my granddaughter’s garden has been the fact that she saw rats in the tangled undergrowth of brambles and nettles creating a veritable jungle there. So we set out to remove their possible habitat. If nothing else, we may have frightened them away from that immediate area while we were busy but at quiet times she has seen them come and blatantly cross her garden, bold as you like, to eat seeds that have fallen from the bird-feeder. Then today I came across this article about the increased boldness of rats in this time of coronavirus. The closing of restaurants, fast food outlets and pubs and the consequent reduction in waste matter outside their premises has caused rats to seek alternative food sources. The situation is not helped by the old lady at the end of the row putting cat-food out in her open porch for local stray cats. We have had to speak to her care workers about that! Best intentions and all that sort of thing ....

Some places have increased presence of pleasanter wildlife: goats and deer are quite picturesque no doubt, although I should imagine that wild boar and wolves are a little threatening. Mostly what we have seen in our garden has been an increased variety of birdlife.

Out in the coronavirus world, there is discussion about Leicester is extending lockdown - the government and the local council have differing views about its hotspot status apparently.

The EU is discussing how much aid each member country should get from the Covid-19 fund.

And Boris Johnson has been doing press-ups for the press to prove how well he has recovered from Coronavirus. It’s not really his ability to do press-ups that bothers me.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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