Friday, 26th June, 2020

[Day 102]

Today was the day when I thought that the long-awaited and anticipated thunderstorms would roll across the country – however, it was not to be and we just had a few spatters of rain at about 10.00 followed by another hot, humid and sticky sort of day. We received our Waitrose order early in the morning and I must say that I rather like some aspects of their policy – for example, if vegetables are a bit near the end of their shelf life they supply them at no charge. Also, if they run out of something that is a small size they give you the large size for the same price (in our case, ice cream which is always welcome these days). On our way home from the home, we had a good gardening natter with two of our acquaintances who live down the hill. One is a Welshman who can talk for Wales and who very kindly gave me a supply of the tiles that used to face the front of his house (a very popular design in the mid to late 1960s but has subsequently gone out of fashion) This meant we had to have rather a lightning lunch before our chiropodist came and was able to resume normal services. Although she came with full PPE, we had our feet done outside which is nice and safe for all of us and exchanged news and gossip about our two families. I told her that one of the very few regrets that I had in life was if I had stayed on at the school I attended in Lancashire from 1956-1959, I would have received coaching from a young West Indian cricketer who was coming over to play (as many did) in one of the Lancashire leagues. His name was ..Gary Sobers! However, our chiropodist rather ‘shot my fox’ by saying ‘Oh yes, I know Gary Sobers well – he used to be my father’s next-door neighbour!‘ So who would have thought that?

Last night was very hot and sticky and I woke up just 5 am and sunrise was only ten minutes before. I then espied our adopted cat, Miggles, on her way up from Mog’s Den shortly followed by her enamorado (Spanish: literally ‘loved one‘) who I have christened Black Peter. When I gave the cat her breakfast (well, she was hanging around waiting for it) she seemed ravenously hungry so I supposed that is what a night on the tryst does for you. I questioned her closely on her nocturnal activities but only got a one-word reply (typical teenager) i.e. ‘Meow

This afternoon, I needed to repot some of the plants with which I was going to populate my new plant holder. (Incidentally, when I woke at 5.0am I realised that my new creation needed a drain hole as otherwise, it would flood so I rapidly make a hole in the centre lined with a rawlplug so it should function as a drain in the case of a downpour). I found that I had four plants that needed bigger pots, two of them being homegrown from own cuttings. One was a forsythia which is now about 1ft tall so I am encouraging it to grow tall by encasing it in four little bamboo canes plus encircling string. The other is a viburnum although it often flowers only in the early spring. The other two plants I have bought from outside our local Waitrose – an alstroemeria (although not in flower yet) and an absolutely superb hydrangea – but unfortunately I’m not actually sure what variety it is. So now, I have my little display complete so I had better talk to them nicely, water them regularly and feed them occasionally.

The coronavirus news is not at all encouraging. In the UK, the daily death total rose to 186 (up by a fifth from the day before) whilst in the USA, 37,000 new cases have been reported in the last day. In the USA, several states are attempting to end a lockdown whilst the infection rate is increasing – baffling, or a triumph of ideology over common sense.