16 APRIL 2020
Unfortunately, last night was very disturbed, it will be interesting to see how little sleep I can manage on… it reminds me of when the girls were babies, none of them were good sleepers! Jean and I had a long talk at 4:30am when I endeavoured to explain for the hundredth time that despite her many serious conditions, the issues that really seem to cause her grief are the self-inflicted problems - soreness caused by scratching and lurching in her chair. In the morning to my amazement she seems to remember our chat, which apparently she really appreciated and now seems in a much better mood… although she still continues to scratch! (You can’t have everything!) Poor dad is really tired, disturbed no doubt by Jean and I talking ( she is quite deaf) and he complains of lower back pain. I have a quick panic as he is finishing antibiotics after a UTI - is it his kidneys? We then had our first video consultation with the doctor who instructs me where to press on dad’s back to check his kidneys - very clever! I now know where the kidneys are situated (higher than I thought) and they seemed to be okay!
I start to organise my potatoes for planting and I trundle outside with the first three batches of ‘first earlies’ Casablanca, Red Duke of York and Arran Pilot in a wheelbarrow.
Patrick has started grouting tiles on the mount assisted by Aideen, James and Diane. I pop up to see how they are getting on and I am alarmed to see Patrick sweeping the dark grey grout all over the beautiful tiles whilst the three youngsters were frantically trying to clean it off where it shouldn’t be. I was quite concerned - we have had bad experiences with tiling grout before, where it has been left too long on the tiles and then has refused to come off. I join in with the cleaning operation, but I am quite cross (an understatement) with Patrick who I felt should slow down and apply less grout. Patrick says in his usual laid-back way, “don’t worry, it will come off”. I am not so sure, and it certainly is impregnating the porous tiny cream/white stone mosaic tiles. In the end I decide it is best to return to my potatoes before I say something I regret. I continue laying out the potatoes to get the spacing correct – the second earlies – Orla and Vivaldi, the early main crop – Sunset , Record and Maris Piper, and late main crop – Rooster, Sarpo Mira, Setanta and Cara. I then returned to the mount to see how they are getting on. Thank goodness the grout is coming off and the colour is a perfect match with the base colour of the larger tiles which links in with the mosaic tiles very successfully. Even the grey grout in the porous cream mosaic tiles has a similar effect. Patrick says this is obviously what he had planned all along - I give him a look - when you’ve been married for 30 years you know when your partner is bluffing! Anyway he is forgiven now!
I then planted all the seed potatoes, which I expect to be a quick job but actually it takes some time, as there are probably at least 160 potatoes.
During the day I notice a little dandelion blooming in the Alpine beds trying to be small, like the other alpines. I am convinced that weeds attempt to mimic the appearance of adjacent plants, and on this occasion it is size that is being copied - it’s allowed to stay for now because it looks quite cute! At 8pm we all get up on the mount and clap for the NHS and Diane adds some blasts from one of her antique bugles.