4 MAY 2020
Today I woke up to a lovely surprise… when I looked out of our bedroom window (which overlooks the kitchen garden), I spotted a new bench at the end of the central path against the yew hedge (I did wonder why Patrick had trimmed the yew hedge). It was a decoratively shaped bench, painted blue to match other features in the kitchen garden. I had been saying for some time, that this type of bench would make an excellent focal point at the end of the central path, and obviously people had been listening. I went out to have a closer look and saw it had a plaque saying, “For Kay, thank you for creating this wonderful garden”. Well this obviously meant a great deal to me, the bench was from the family, but the plaque had been chosen by Patrick who is a man of few words, who doesn’t normally throw compliments around, so this was particularly significant and I was really touched. My birthday, like all birthdays in ‘lockdown’ was different to normal. I had to speak to the hospital before I could do anything, which was not an easy conversation, as they think Jean is likely to have to be discharged to a care home prior to coming home, if she can come home at all, because of her medical needs, which is obviously not what we want to hear.
Patrick, James, Aideen, Diane and myself then go out for a trip to a salvage yard, perhaps not the chosen birthday venue for everyone, (Meave is working, so had to stay at home and therefore would Grandad-sit). The salvage yard in Aylesbury, one we know, has recently changed location, and had little stock of any interest to us which was disappointing. We decided to try a new salvage yard which was another 45 minutes distant. This yard was quite ‘up market’, it had more stock, but was very expensive. We leave empty handed and return home, not a great birthday outing, but nice to get out for a drive. Although, I am finding it very hard to stop worrying about the situation with Jean.
It is incredible how much cooler the temperature is, luckily James seems to carry an inexhaustible supply of coats in his car, and was able to supply Aideen, Diane and myself with something warmer to wear when we were exploring the yards.
On returning home we took Grandad out to see the new bench and then attempted to play scrabble whilst drinking Aperol Spritz. I still felt it was necessary to water my newest planted veg – quinoa, turnips and sweetcorn – birthday or not, one’s horticultural responsibilities do not end, and there had still been no proper rain, unfortunately I also had to stake more sweetcorn that had been blown down by the wind. We then had Lebanese takeaway which was lovely. Before the meal my dear friend Anne called, and it was brilliant to catch up… I am terrible at phoning people and I have hardly spoken to anyone outside the family during lockdown. I am delighted to say I also got books for my birthday on grape and mushroom cultivation, medicinal forest gardening, gardening for wellbeing and Chinese medicinal plants all of which I’m sure will prove very useful if we remain in lockdown!