Thursday, April 02, 2020

Bit Fed Up

The Wood

Hannah has informed Nellybert that we no longer have to do food shopping. She will do it for us. It's a relief. We were in Lidls last week and it was an unnerving experience, too many people in the shop, and no social distancing possible. We were glad to get out of there.

London Sister phoned yesterday to talk plants among other things. She is working hard in her garden and is keen to start sowing but only has rocket and sunflower seeds and the local garden centres are all closed. I sent her some of my spare seed and stuck three first-class stamps on the envelope which is probably an overpayment but I didn't want to go to the post office. I'm not even sure she'll get them as I'm not sure about the postal service anymore. Maybe I'm just in a pessimistic mood these few days.

I really miss having a good supply of potting compost and those silly impulse plant buys I'm always making. And I miss not being able to buy bakers yeast. Who cares about toilet paper? I want yeast. I haven't been able to get any for over three weeks now.

Still. All small stuff. I could make my own potting compost if I wanted to and I've got the sourdough and soda bread options for baking.

Since this began I've been taking two walks a day. One government-sanctioned exercise period on our road where the traffic has eased quite a bit. There is a marked decrease in the number of fast-food wrappers that usually adorn our verges but around the same amount of empty energy drink cans and cigarette packets and now, far too many discarded disposable gloves. They are disgusting pigs, the people who throw their filthy crap out of car windows.

My other walk is at home so nobody's business but mine. We're lucky to have the wood and we all walk in it at some point during the day.

Bert just got me to watch a little short on iPlayer. It's called The Farm and the episode is entitled Dog. It really cheered me up, especially as we'd previously watched an episode of The Last Kingdom which was the opposite of cheerful with eye-gouging, torture and death in childbed. I might have to put Uhtred Ragnarson on hold for a while.

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Life

For two consecutive nights, my dreams have featured feral children.


In these dreams, I have tried and failed to contain the children. Which is a rather obvious analogy for Covid-19.

Earlier today, Bert and I were having a conversation about stupidity. We came to the (obvious) conclusion that the most dangerous people in the world are the stupid, those so stupid that they think they are clever. Can you think of anyone?

Someone called to our house this evening. He didn't get to come in and when I came to investigate I found him standing less than a metre away from Bert. I said (not joking)

You're too close.

(I know, it is so weird. We'll laugh about it afterwards.)

He said,

Ach. That's a lot of nonsense.

I said,

You might think so. But we don't. So respect our opinion.

He was stung. Not used to outspoken women. (I don't care.)

These are strange, strange days.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Quiet Saturday

 Crocus in the garden, with monkey puzzle in the background

I was awakened by the dogs at ten past six, then waited until seven before going to get my Saturday Guardian. I buy it once a week at my local garage, and the rest of the week I read it online. There were more people around than usual, one man doing a fairly big shop. I filled a basket too, milk, 4-pack of toilet roll, bleach, cheese, chocolate. Life's neccessities. I sidestepped the other customers as much as I could and kept a very decent distance from Hans.

The tightening of restrictions in the sensible part of Ireland was mentioned and it was said that it might be time for a proper lockdown here too. There are a lot of people who are flouting the advice/rules, whatever it is.

Bert has been ever so slightly getting on my nerves these past few days and I'm sure I've been getting on his. But I had a thought, this...

If I have to be closed up at home with one other human being, Bert is a good one. He is patient, kind, funny and so what if he doesn't put the milk back in the fridge or the lid on the tea caddy? To show my gratitude I baked him a cake and didn't use a recipe. I put apricot jam in it and plain yogurt and it was lovely.

 A patch of wood anemone in Bert's wood

The first few days of staying at home were unsettling. I spent far too much time online, scrolling through news sites, coronavirus updating and Twitter. I exhausted myself so much that I could barely read for pleasure. These past few days I've been spending less time online and more time gardening, walking and reading. And weird tasks like degunking the shower outlet.

And I've pulled a chair over to the window in my bedroom and sometimes I sit there, reading, or just watching the chickens. It's very peaceful especially as there are far fewer vehicles on our road.

Bert has just called me to watch the final episode of  This Country. Stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Life Interrupted

In the polytunnel, today. 

Going through my seed boxes today and found that I had no ordinary peas or spring onions. And all the gardening outlets are closed. The Range is open but they are only permitted to sell cleaning products and hardware. Montrose Garden Supplies have shut their doors. I suppose it makes sense. You know what gardeners are like. We'd be defying government advice and queuing up to purchase pansies and compost.

But there's always online. My favourites are Real Seeds and Chiltern but both companies are experiencing unprecedented demand and neither could deal with my order. I don't trust eBay for seeds and I try to avoid using Amazon so that's out. Eventually, after some trickiness with changing passwords, I managed to place an order with Mr Fothergill. And Zoe will be glad to hear that I've reserved a bag of multipurpose compost from the local garage. Only one per customer.

But these are small difficulties compared with what some people are going through in these awful times. We're observing social distancing, as are all our friends and family and we remain tremendously grateful to everyone out there on the front line, the carers, health workers, retail staff, community workers, police. You are all heroes. If I was having to go out there every day I'd be needing a big hoard of toilet paper which I haven't got. And if I had, I'd swap it for compost and seeds.

I was cross when I heard all the hoo-ha about Prince Charles and the Duchess in social isolation. Really? There is no way he'll be on his own. There is bound to be at least six flunkies running around after the pair of them. It's got to be quite an honour to be infected with a double-strength dose of the Royal virus that has already been through Prince Albert of Monaco. This will be a whole new level of six degrees of separation.

So who'd you catch it from? 
Idris Elba. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Zoom Lens

I got to see my two oldest grandchildren today. I didn't get to hug them or to come any closer than 4 metres, twice the recommended social distancing length, and they didn't come into the house. I took this film of them on their beloved trampoline.

Using the zoom on my camera. I stood well back.

It was odd.

This is our day for eating together as a family, We won't be able to do that for a while.

I made a fish pie and a steamed pudding this morning. They got their share to take home and eat in their own house. Miss Martha said, and I quote her mum, that

...everything (Granny) cooks is amazing. Even the things I don't like.

So I assume she doesn't like fish pie, except for mine* of course.

*Thanks also due to Mary Berry for the recipe.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Who Is It This Time?

Bert thought this might be a fox hole and maybe it once was. He said it's been around for years or since he was a wee lad. That's decades, half a century's worth.

Ziggy decided to investigate. That's the last picture I took as the noises that emanated from that tunnel were worrying. He was barking and something else was chittering. He emerged, arse first and the something else was right behind him making frantic chirping noises. It was a badger. Out Ziggy came and made then moves to go right back in again. We tried to discourage him and eventually had to pick him up and carry him away from the area.

Checked YouTube when I got back home to make sure that the chittering noises we heard were badger. I had no idea how many and varied are the sounds that badgers make.

And there was me always used to think that they spoke like this,

"Now, the very next time this happens," said a gruff and suspicious voice, "I shall be exceedingly angry. Who is it this time, disturbing people on such a night? Speak up!"

During these strange times, I'm feeling rather badger-like too. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


It occurred to me this morning that if I should slip this mortal coil long before my time, that there are still quite a few items in my wardrobe that I have yet to try out. So, why not use this time of 'cocooning' or to put it another way, 'social isolation' to experiment with 'looks'. After all, who is even going to see me?

Take this skirt, which belonged at some point to someone from Bodenland - then they flogged it on eBay and yours truly paid good pension money for it. It's never had an airing.

I teamed it with a wee linen matchy cardi from Alex &Co and a Fatface teeshirt I usually wear in bed. Then cowboy boots (what! cowboy boots?), which are years old  and a scarf I bought on Rathlin Island, back in the days when you could go places.

When he saw me, Bert said,

Are you going out?

And I said,

What! Looking like this?

And he said,

I dunno. Looks good to me. Though maybe not the teeshirt.


To anyone who reads Nelly's Garden. Like everyone else, I'm stressed by what is going on. A bit scared too. But I'm not going to use this blog to dwell on it. Instead, it will be a bit of distraction for me and for you.

Keep yourself safe and others too.