Tuesday, 16th June, 2020

[Day 92]

Here we are in the second half of June and not too far off the longest day – it seems as though this year is really flying by (at least for us, if not for many others). Today was a rather muggy, humid kind of day in which as we walked to the park armed with an umbrella (in case of a sudden torrential downpour) but we had to divest ourselves of our outer clothing as it was so hot and sticky. On the way, we met with a couple of our friends so we felt cheered by this, as always. We were a little late back and subsequently had a rather delayed lunch but no matter. After lunch, I had set myself the task of using some leftover bits of timber from my fence/handrail construction to create some small barriers to help to mitigate the effects of the slope in the wilder parts of Mog’s Den. To do this, I have to utilise my well-established procedure of creating some long ‘pegs’ some 40cm (16″) in length – this generally entails some sawing in half of longer pieces of timber and then putting a pointed end on each. Then the barriers are put into position on the slope and held in place by four pegs (two on each side) hammered into the ground with the aid of my trusty sledgehammer – as you might gather, I have done this lots of time before. I then utilised some of the thicker and straighter portions of a branch and or trunk from the recently cut-down ceanothus tree to reinforce the barrier before putting the icing on the cake (pouring the contents of the sacks of forest bark into the desired location) This last bit is actually the easier bit of the lot and takes no time at all. I am pleased with the overall look as the sections of half-round poles look quite natural in this setting and I am pleased with the overall result (except that the presence of recently added forest bark shows I need to put a few more bags down into the upper reaches) This was all accomplished before we FaceTimed some of our oldest Waitrose friends that we have got into the routine of FaceTiming every Tuesday and Friday. We were aware that a storm and the long-awaited rains were coming and after an intensely black cloud passed overhead, we did actually get some 20 minutes or so of quite intense rain. The next day or so, we should anticipate even more and there is no more ‘smug’ feeling that you can have is to await the rains when you are truly ‘gardened up’.

More on the horseshoe shoe saga – I asked our Irish friend is she could lend me another three horseshoes and a horse to stand in them (she said she would see what she could do) I reproduce below a bit of my Google research which you can either believe or not as the spirit takes you.

The lucky horseshoe is a big part of Irish folklore and history (despite being typically associated with western cowboy culture). The story of Dunstan and the horseshoe varies greatly depending on where you look. But the gist of the story is that in the 10th century, St. Dunstan (a blacksmith at the time) was visited by the devil himself. The hoofed devil asked for a horseshoe for himself. So then, Dunstan nailed a red hot horseshoe tightly on one of his hooves, and the devil howled in pain. The devil begged for Dunstan to remove it. Dunstan agreed under one condition — the devil must respect the horseshoe and never enter any place where one was hung above the door.

Because of this, people believed that the horseshoe could keep evil spirits out of their homes, and thus bring in (or keep in) good fortune.

By the way, I am delighted that a well-paid footballer has not forgotten his roots. Marcus Rashford has almost single-handedly forced the government to change its mind and let children who are entitled to have free school meals to carry on receiving them during August (rather than starving!) So much for a majority of more than 80 MP’s!