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Ship of fools


A lovely.June day after a few miserable damp ones. The garden is looking better since I stopped complaining to myself how awful and overcrowded it was and actually got stuck in and did something. I didn’t realise how invasive and tenacious lupins can be if you let them have their way and the same goes for fennel.

Now it is a bit more under control and I have the satisfaction of buying some new plants I might risk a trip to the garden centre. My friend Paul bought me some nicotania and cosmos so they’re in. I think about plants that are nice to paint. Echinacea is good and although I found some labels in the ground from last year there was no sign of any plants. I thought they were perennials in which case they may have been smothered by the invading lupins.

The vegetable plot is thickening ( ha ha); I have more lettuce than I can eat but nothing else ready to pick yet.

That’s enough before it becomes a gardening column. Has there been any excitement this week? No. I can’t possibly describe my new cleaning equipment as exciting but it did make the housework a bit easier. One product that does everything and a range of washable cloths for different surfaces. I think I’d be more excited by the one that supposedly smells divine with essential oils so may try some of that. There must be a way to make it enjoyable.

I have enjoyed going out to deliver some bread to friends. We are being a bit more relaxed about our shielding and M is now doing the bread run. I feel better that we can at least contribute something. So I take the bread and pick up our Waitrose shopping. Although this week for the first time since lockdown we have been able to get a delivery. So much for priority slots, it failed us. I also no longer get my meds automatically delivered.

If, according to the guidelines, we are expected to continue to strictly shield there should be more support in place not less, as arguably as people go back to work there are less available to run around doing our shopping etc. I also find it gives a bit of a mixed message about what we’re supposed to be doing. And I want to think that it’s safer as it’s good to get out even for a short excursion.

I’ve been really enjoying reading a book by Felicity Cloake - she does a food column in the Guardian- called One More Croissant for The Road. It’s about a cycling tour of France that she did based on regional dishes and takes me right back to times when I’ve been in France travelling around by bike (or motor home). She’s not a pretentious foodie at all and is entertaining and easy to read and I’ve been transported to places in a way that although no substitute for the real thing is gratifyingly pleasurable. Possibly the perfect book for lockdown.

I wonder when we’ll be able to go abroad again. Of course we weren’t planning a holiday this year (although M was due to go to Slovenia on a fly fishing jaunt with some friends which was sadly cancelled by Covid) as I’m not supposed to go away for a year after surgery. We do have a Christmas break booked in Scotland so hopefully we’ll be able to go to that assuming the Scots will let us in. Not joking.

We are becoming less and less well regarded. I recounted this on zoom drinks with friends on Saturday: that a diplomat (of unknown country) asked what had happened to us as we were like a ship of fools and a plague ship at that. No Covid rants this week but I am tempted to mention the BLM and statue issues.

Mainly that the govt. has seized on this issue threatening a new law and 10 years imprisonment for toppling a statue. Apparently Boris tweeted 8 times in one day about it, maybe due to his obsession with Churchill. Another distraction technique to focus anywhere but his terrible management of pretty much everything. And why has he not been called out for his own crass and racist comments on picanninies and letter boxes, not forgetting the ongoing Windrush scandal and the hostile environment they continue to nurture? All the while claiming support for BLM.

We had to call the vet again on Friday as Ralph had been fighting again and couldn’t put one of his front legs down. He wouldn’t let us near it to look. Anyway that small drama resulted in £100 expense for the telephone consultation and some painkillers and antibiotics, and Ralph was right as rain the following day. Next time we’ll wait before calling the vet. Here he is on his new sheepskin:

I’ve been painting some flowers mostly foraged from a friends garden:

Here are some colourful Chloe Lamb (no link this week, sorry)paintings. I am inspired by all sorts of artists and would love to do some more abstract works. Maybe when the time is right.

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