19 APRIL 2020
Last night Meave very kindly slept in the Annexe to give me a break, ironically I woke up with a stiff shoulder – obviously not used to sleeping in a bed!
Whilst getting Jean and dad up to face the day, I sense a change in Jean’s mood, and not in a good way. Looking after my aunt I feel is like looking after Queen Victoria in her later years, or maybe a dowager duchess from a P.G Wodehouse book. The contrast between brother and sister could not be more stark. My dad is quiet, gentle and easy going whereas my aunt is imperious, stubborn and can be quite rude. Some days feel like a battle of wills from start to finish, as she attempts to thwart every effort we make to stop her scratching, picking etc. Unfortunately she appears to be convinced that she is smoothing out lumps and bumps on herself with her actions, and seems oblivious of her legs, chin, chest etc bleeding and becoming inflamed.
I take a deep breath and resolve to keep calm whatever the day brings. Luckily the sun is shining and it is impossible to not feel better when you go out into the garden. Patrick decides it will be a good day to continue with the trench because the soil will be softer after the rain and it will be easier for the turf to recover as it is replaced on top. He wants everyone (except me – someone has to do the actual gardening!) to help him to speed up the job – Diane, Meave and James – Aideen is practising all day but comes out in the late afternoon. By the end of the day they reach the bees which is quite an achievement probably about 60m!
I decide to finish adding the new sweet peas to the existing ones around the fruit cage. It is a harder job that it sounds, as it is necessary to balance delicately amongst the plants in the border without treading on anything, which is made trickier by my sore shoulder. However, it is a lovely job to do in the sun and it is hard to believe that there is so much trouble in the world under such a clear blue sky.