Wednesday, 2 September 2020

The best of the day. Celebrations in a time of crisis. Gardening therapy. Systems falling apart.

Once again the weather favoured me for my Wednesday cycle ride to the market, confirming my belief that the early(ish) morning is the best time of the day at the moment. As I unlocked it, unshackled it, more likely, from the fence outside the delicatessen somebody stopped and asked me if this was an electric bike. Not at all. It’s probably a matter of stubborn pride that I can tackle the hills around here a little better every time I go out. Rain is forecast for later and certainly by lunchtime the sun had disappeared again, we shall see.

Today is our granddaughter’s fourth birthday. For the last few years we have made her birthday an occasion for a family reunion, our son and his family coming up from the London area to join us briefly before their little one goes back to school. Two years ago we took over a local Italian restaurant, taking our own home-made birthday cake with us. Last year we celebrated at home and the two little girls, birthday girl and her slightly older cousin, put on a show for us in the living room: a medley of nursery rhymes, counting songs and selected songs from Disney films such as Frozen. This year is a much more subdued affair but the birthday girl seems to have been happy with a restricted immediate family visit to a local farm cum petting zoo. We might be able to join in festivities with an “adventure” walk later, provided the rain hold off.

Out and about on my travels, I have admired allotments here and there. And our next door neighbours have worked hard to develop a bit of a raised flower bed in the back garden, cultivating kale, impressive sunflowers and even pumpkins! Apparently this has been a common escape-activity during lockdown. Here is a sample from an article in the newspaper:

“A week after lockdown, we were offered an allotment. The previous week, our wedding had been cancelled the night before it was due to take place, when Boris Johnson announced the closure of pubs and restaurants.

We jumped at the chance. We were desperate for something to distract us from the escalating madness. We had no gardening experience and it’s been a steep learning curve, helped along by more experienced plot holders.

The allotment has been the silver lining to the big, black cloud that’s been over us.”

There you go! One of the odd consequences of the virus!

Personally I have done very little gardening apart from trimming overgrown bushes and pulling up a few weeds. I have completed a number of art and craft projects but the garden has not been one of my escapes.

On the radio news, I have just heard that a group of singers will perform Land of Hope and Glory on the Last Night of the Proms after all. Will there be another outcry? Comments about storms in teacups spring to mind.

Over in he USA I understand that one big fear is that if Mr. Trump loses the presidential election he will refuse to concede. 75% of Joe Biden supporters believe this to be the case as do an alarming 47% of the country as a whole. At the same time 41% of Trump supporters apparently believe that Biden will lose but refuse to concede. This stems from ongoing rumours about the lack of security in the voting system, some of the rumours encouraged by Mr Trump himself. Good grief! Democracy is falling apart in the USA! We shall see!

And now the rain has arrived!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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