Sunday, 5th July, 2020

[Day 111]

We have a slightly different routine on a Sunday as I walk on my own to the newspaper shop aiming to get there by 8.30 so I can pick up my ration of Sunday newspapers and then be back in time for the Andrew Marr show at 9.00 am. Today was a day which was both cooler and yet brighter so walking even at speed was quite pleasant. We have come to expect Sunday morning in the park to be teeming with children and dogs and today was no exception – nonetheless, we managed to exchange a few words of greeting with some of the regulars. Sunday lunch was cooking in the slow cooker so there was no frantic last-minute preparation to be done. I had aimed to get several outdoor jobs done this afternoon but was somewhat thwarted by the weather. I managed to get the Weigela planted I had purchased recently but how exactly it will develop I am not sure. I wanted to buy a variety with deep red flowers but on the web, it stated that the flowers were clusters of creamy white – I went to check the label where it was stated that the flowers were indeed creamy white but ‘deep red in bud’ whatever that means. Both the nurseryman who sold it to me and I myself must have looked at the label hurriedly and saw the word ‘red’ and hence concluded the purchase. Too late now – I must look a bit more carefully next time. I also took the opportunity to get rid of a mass of creeping bindweed that was growing over a nearby plant and was so similar to it that you couldn’t tell which was which. I also dumped the two beech trees that I had tried to transplant from other parts of the garden and failed spectacularly – I ought to know by now that you really have to wait for trees to enter their dormant phase in the late autumn or really early spring before you attempt to transplant with any degree of success. I am also a bit worried about my Tilia Cordata (lime tree) that I relocated a month or so back – the leaves had suddenly started to turn yellow. However, the gardener who comes to do some routine maintenance once a month and is incredibly knowledgeable about plants thought the yellowing was not a virus (again!) but a reaction to the absence of water as it is planted on a slope and water runs off it very quickly. So another job I have to do is to creosote some more staves, cut them to length and create a kind of barrier which I can pile up with earth and/or compost to help to mitigate the effects of a slope. Anyway, it got a bit cold, blustery and miserable so I decided to cut my losses and come in for a cup of tea and a read of The Observer. There are always things to be done in a large garden and the gardening advice often starts off with a homily such as ‘Choose a nice day to ...’ – chance would be a fine thing. There’s probably better weather tomorrow.

An interesting political development is detailed in The Guardian scheduled for publication tomorrow. A group of health workers and relatives of coronavirus victims are requesting that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s special adviser, be investigated by the Met and if they take no further action, then it is possible that a private prosecution may be mounted, As one of the lawyers of the specialist legal firm which is backing the case has argued: ‘The broad consensus of public opinion is that he broke the law on public health, and the entire weight of the state has been deployed to prevent proper investigation and proper due process.’ The crux of the argument is that the Durham police only investigated Dominic Cummings behaviour whilst in Durham but the fact that a journey was inititaed in London means that the Met could well inestigate this case if it had a mind to. Probably nothing will come of this case – but it does add to public cynicism when those close to the centres of political power appear to be able to flout with impunity the laws with which the rest of us have complied.