Dear Readers, there is something a little ironic about having gotten through 18 months of a pandemic without even being pinged by the NHS app, only to catch something and end up self-isolating when ‘Freedom Day’ is today, 19th July. On the other hand, ‘Freedom Day’ won’t be freedom for vulnerable people, people who have compromised immune systems because of chemotherapy, elderly people or anyone else who has reason to fear the devastating potential effects of this virus. With only 50% of the country double-vaccinated, would it really have hurt to keep things on an even keel for another month or so? I don’t doubt that most people will continue to be sensible, but there has been a leadership vacuum of colossal proportions in this country. My heart goes out to people working in the NHS who are seeing the numbers of the hospitalized rising inexorably. We have been abandoned. No wonder so many people are filled not with joy at the unlocking, but with trepidation.
Anyhow, I have done my Covid test and posted it, and now I wait to see if what I have is something known or something unknown. I feel a bit tired, but basically much better, so I will just have to be a patient patient. Thank you for all the good wishes, and in particular to the person who reminded me that even if it’s not Covid it doesn’t mean that I should rush headlong back into my usual frantic round of activity – I think the phrase was ‘other viruses are available’, which made me hoot. That is excellent advice. I feel tired to my bones somehow: it’s sometimes a struggle just putting one foot in front of another. But then, there’s always the garden, and it’s too blooming hot to do any actual work so I just sat in the shade and tried to pay attention, as that is the cure for most ills.
If you look very carefully at the picture below, you can just see a tiny plane about to enter the clouds. Who remembers that feeling when you’re on a flight and the plane starts to judder as you enter the clouds, as if it’s flying through something viscous? Or that extraordinary sensation when you get above the clouds and there’s the sun and that perfect blue? It always reminds me of that Buddhist sense that behind all our nonsense there is that clear, vast ‘mind’ that is available to all of us if only we could put other things aside.
I wouldn’t want you all to think that I was being too lazy, so I actually got up and wandered over to the pot of ‘wild flowers’ that we planted about a month ago. It’s fair to say that they haven’t been a stunning success, but what’s with the brassica? It looks like oilseed rape to me.
But all is not lost, because I did notice a small white butterfly hanging around earlier this morning, and when I bent down for a closer look, she has laid a single egg. Now, if you’re a gardener I can imagine you not being that impressed, but at least Small Whites only lay one egg, as opposed to 50 like a Large White. I shall have to see if this one survives, and shall have to remind my poor long-suffering husband not to water too enthusiastically this evening when he gets the hosepipe out.
In other news, the Great Willowherb is just opening. Every year the buds are parasitized by some little moth, and every year it seems to make not a jot of difference to the flowering.
And the collared doves are huddled in the whitebeam for shade. I think these birds are underestimated on the looks front, with their subtle shades of cinnamon and fawn and dusty grey.
And so, there you have it. I expect a few more garden posts in the next few days, but the weather looks gorgeous. Stay safe out there, UK people, and avoid any idiots….