Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

late blip, for the best of reasons

We cycled home from Ann and Mats at midnight, after a fabulously lovely evening where we sat at a distance, ate simple but delicious food and wine. We contributed chutney that Mats loves, an extra matured-by-us cheddar cheese, and two different loaves made by both bakers in the family. We spent the evening in their massive greenhouse, where the tomatoes are looking a bit pale and wan, they haven't liked the cold spring much either. Ann knows they will be fine, she has been growing all her vegetables for decades and knows what she's doing. She grows in sand beds, nourished with grass cuttings and nettle water.

There's a fish pond in the greenhouse, and a fireplace which we needed once the sun in the blip had gone. Mats fed the fire with huge chunks of pine and we enjoyed hearing it crackle and heat up the air. We haven't had any time together since the Situation began, and they have been meeting no-one - even less contact that our minimal socialising. The conversation flowed as it so often does with established friends, however long the gaps have been. We have all stopped working full time, three of us are old enough to be real pensioners (my first pension arrives in June as I turn 65), and all absolutely love being free from the constraints of regular working life. Ann and I always say how we miss nothing much apart from each other - we spent the best part of 16 happy, creative, supportive years "in each other's pockets" five days a week. We really had a very good working life, and were pondering how it will be for the younger generations now, in the changed financial situation after Corona. We are all keen to avoid catching this virus, not in high risk groups but all with health concerns/age against us. And we were agreed that this time is peaceful and productive and we can carry on like this without too much trouble, but that all the people getting ill and dying is a very uncomfortable backdrop to this picture of calm.

We cycled to their place on our electric bikes, my first outing this year. The road there is all oiled grit, with the last bit being coarse gravel - all with many bumps and potholes that mean you have to keep your eye on the road. It was so beautiful cycling home in the light night, it feels like mid-summer light when the sky is clear, so bright and clear. The smaller birds were singing heartily, the big lake where we swim in the summer was flat calm - so peaceful, it made me wonder why we aren't out walking in the middle of the night more often. Complacency, I suppose. Living in the midst of such stunning beauty and just going to bed and sleeping through all the glory! 

Sometimes I play a mental game with myself, pretending I am a visitor that has never seen this place before. I allow my jaw to drop in amazement at the wonder of it all, and I feel the excitement of the new, the unexplored. When we have visitors we are careful to show them midnight moon on the frozen lake, and make sure they experience the light nights of summer that start to brighten up around 01.00 - much to their surprise! But it is too easy to take this lovely place we live in for granted, a bit anyway... It was a stunning reminder, cycling home in the bright, freezing cold air!

The clown's party, UK branch, continue with their slapstick political farce, and I really don't know what to hope for. The removal of what I consider to be a heartless, unelected influence from the corridors of power, or that he stays in post and brings more disgrace to an already disgraceful situation? The term morally bankrupt has a new poster boy or two, and some poster girls too. My hope is that this picnic will assist citizens in their thinking, and encourage a change of heart when the opportunity for political change presents itself. I live in hope.

In other news; I planted the geranium cuttings, three to a pot. All but three had developed lovely roots. I got less done in the garden than I had hoped for, since it kept raining on me. The cheek! We have been promised none of that nonsense for the next 10 days. Keith continued his digging project, and I pondered the mass of unwanted grassy rubbish all over my flower beds. 

In the evening Ann said - unprompted - that she thought we needed to put tarpaulin over it all and let everything die back, and put raised beds in a totally different place in the garden. I really hear what she's saying, I have been suggesting something similar for a while - perhaps Keith's ears were flapping and taking her wisdom in? We are not entirely in agreement about how to proceed in the garden. Mats suggested - with no prompting at all - that our huge area of lawn is pointless, and a meadow would be a lot easier to deal with. Another piece of wisdom that I haven't managed to get a hearing for! Mats thought it would be nice to let little trees grow there, and see what happens. At the word "tree" I thought it was time to close the conversation! I'm against trees taking over! And so we go round and round in these green circles...

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