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HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR SO FAR

24 MARCH 2020

Today the weather is beautiful and there is no cold wind so the temperature rises to 18 or 19 degrees. Back in the “old world” – pre Coronavirus- I would have had my Grade exams for my students today. I think about this and I have difficulty remembering when I stopped teaching and I am shocked when I realise that I was still teaching this day last week! It feels so long ago. I have noticed that every day now seems like a much longer piece of time than normal – so much happens in a day and it is all new and different and quite frankly, very scary. But for some unaccountable reason, perhaps it is the sunshine, I feel much more positive about things today.

Today, a variety of deliveries arrive. Patrick had ordered a load of building materials to enable us to try and keep going with some work over the coming weeks but early in the morning the Builders Merchants rang to say there were closing and could not deliver. Fortunately, James managed to find another local Merchants who were still operating and amazingly, the person on the phone remembered delivering to us at Church Gardens in the past, when we had three little children. Well they are not little now! They said they should be able to deliver in the next couple of days (which Patrick was not very hopeful about) but they actually came in the afternoon and we all watched in delight as the materials were unloaded. This is probably the most excitement that we will have for months and we were probably the most enthusiastic audience that the driver has ever had for a delivery. Patrick’s biggest fear with this crisis, other than the virus getting him, is that he will have nothing to do, as the majority of his normal work will dry up, so this delivery will go a long way to keeping him occupied. His plan is to work outside most days, weather permitting and then work in the office in the evenings which should do him the world of good and take his mind off the dreaded virus.

I do eventually get outside into the garden -there still seems to be lots of things delaying me earlier in the mornings. Aideen films me trying to plant my ground cover perennials on the vine mount to put on Instagram. We hope it might make people smile – it certainly was funny trying to film it (see yesterdays blog for video). The mount is starting to look really beautiful with lots of daffodils open and tulips starting to add more splashes of colour.

Mounts were very popular in Tudor gardens because although people of that period liked to enclose their garden with a wall, they also liked to be able to see what was happening outside the wall. This is proving to be the case for us as well, by climbing onto the mount, we can now see into the field beyond the garden. This is quite useful at the moment as there are definitely more people passing through the field just now to say hello to, and they are probably going for their daily “permitted” exercise.

I manage to finish planting out the edges of the terraces and Diane comes out to do some more pointing on the footpath running alongside the mount. Out in the Orchard, Patrick is preparing the newly levelled area of ground for putting down some grass seed before it all gets to dry. Aideen and James helps him get this all done and Patrick gets the tractor out to roll the ground.

Earlier in the day, I make some mint tea using the Moroccan mint- this is supposed to be the best for tea – thinking this might be a soothing thing to do and it was certainly very refreshing. I also made a very healthy salad of leaves from the garden, lettuce from the polytunnel and radiccio and corn salad from the vegetable garden which we had for lunch with pizza. I tried to get Patrick to eat some leaves but he refused; not good behaviour for someone on the Government’s “at risk” list! He has given up chocolate for Lent though so I can’t ask for too much I suppose.


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