Today would have been an Open day if we were in ‘Pre-Covid’ times. I would be concerned if we had been opening today because Easter is so early this year and there might not have been enough tulip bulbs open to make a good display. Also, the weather forecast was predicting snow and sleet! In fact, after some early flurries of snow/sleet and a chilly start to the morning, we ended up with a beautiful sunny day. Although the tulips were not at their peak, we do have a good tulip display on the mount, there are clumps of magnificent, giant, red tulips in the borders and other purple and cream tulips are coming out to join them. The tulip display beds are beginning to open as well, and as it is still so early, we have plenty of daffodils, hyacinths and grape hyacinths. Even the crocus terrace has a reasonable amount of yellow and white crocuses still blooming, although the more delicate Ruby Giants have faded. The wonderful mimosas are still blooming, the polyanthas are glorious and the auriculas are beginning to get going, so I think we would have had enough to show visitors.
Patrick, assisted by Aideen, carried on with Pecky’s run. I think Patrick was expecting this job to be relatively simple but it was very fiddly and took all day. However, the end result is brilliant and Pecky loves it. She seems happier in her new location, there is much more for her to see which is good because she is very nosey!
I decided to continue with preparing the pumpkin patch for gravel and Meave kindly barrowed some around for me. In the evening, when Meave and I were preparing dinner, (Roast beef with all the trimmings, including some of the last swedes from the garden) we were serenaded by Aideen. Aideen, amazingly, has got a gig playing a light classical/Disney recital on her harp and violin for a one-year-olds birthday partly and she wheeled the harp into the kitchen to play the programme through to us. This was a real treat and it was lovely to be on the receiving end of a mini concert.
Trying to Restart Teaching
I started today with administration. I sent emails to all of my pupils in the hope of going back to face-to-face teaching next week. Sadly, I fear that I will probably lose some of my students after such a long break because although I offered online lessons during lockdown, only a few took up this option. I was able to do about eight weeks of face-to-face teaching in the Autumn term but seven of my pre-covid pupils decided not to continue at that point and I suspect I will lose a few more after this lockdown. The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on all aspects of the music industry, including music tuition, and I fear it will take a long time to recover.
Aideen is outside very early this morning in her overalls, sanding the bottom of her boat…quite a contrast from playing Disney music! However, I admire her versatility, it has always been necessary for musicians to have more than one string to their bow and in today’s climate it could not be more true!