Sunday, 31st May, 2020

[Day 76]

We speculate how busy our local park is going to be in view of the weather and the release of the lockdown sentiment in the country – as it turned out, it was the most pleasant of days with a gentle breeze keeping the temperature a little cooler than in recent days and the numbers of people in the park being quite tolerable, A few days we watched whilst some of the local authority workers dredged the pond which only has about 8″ of water in it but acquires a certain amount of dead branches and other debris falling into the water. The park caretakers had carefully arranged for the detritus to dry out when no doubt it would easier to dispose of. Our enjoyment of the pond was marred somewhat by the sight of a couple of teenagers, evidently quite bored, who hunted some of the biggest sticks that could find and threw them back into the pond. In circumstances like this, does one intervene with a reprimand? Whilst contemplating what to do, the youths got bored and ran away. In the early afternoon, we got a text from our domestic help with the red-hot news that Asda was selling off 70-litre bags of Forest Bark at 3 for £10.00. Actually, this was very good news to us as we had engaged one of our neighbours in conversation who was giving his garden a makeover and he had unsuccessfully toured some of the local supermarkets (who typically have supplies of forest bark with their gardening requisites outside the store) Accordingly my daughter-in-law and I went down to Asda where they had a well-developed system – whilst I loaded up my trolley with the forest bark, my daughter-in-law went inside and paid for it with crisp £10.00 notes (which the staff preferred not to handle even though virus does not survive for about 11 weeks on crisp new notes) Nonetheless, this was a very welcome little venture as we had contemplated doing it a day or so ago but it all depends upon the local supply situation.

The afternoon was quite a busy one. The principal task was to plant the lilac tree that had been bought for me as a birthday present and I had a green 75-litre pot which certainly ought to be a sufficient size for a young tree. Fortunately, during my make-over of Mog’s Den I discovered that I already had a bag of topsoil as well as one of compost and already had some ‘normal’ soil put by ready for a large planting. As I am always running out of both bonemeal and Blood, Fish and Bone, I had recently bought from Amazon some 10kg bags of both so it was quite easy to make a nutritious mixture (bonemeal at the base, blood fish and bone as a general fertiliser) and planting was thus incredibly easy, I have decided to locate it against a wall of the house in the back garden so that all members of the family can see it from the kitchen window. To make space for it, I relocated the (pot-grown) Corylus avellana which is a hazel bush/tree. My final job of the afternoon was to relocate all of the dustbins, gardening impedimenta away from the sides of the hose so that our painter and decorator has a free run of the outside of the house when he starts off at 8.30 in the morning.

I might point out that in my various activities, throughout the day I have been assisted and supervised at times by Miggles the cat, who has variously supervised my hanging out of the washing, planting of the lilac tree, relocating the hazel tree and preparing for the decorator. At one stage when I had just planted the lilac the cat investigated the pot by standing on her hind legs and then jumped in to roll in the soil (a trait she has exhibited many times before!)