Monday, 5th July, 2021

[Day 476]

Today seemed quite a full day, what with one thing or another. We walked into town and collected our newspapers as per usual and then called in at Waitrose for our daily coffee. Whilst in the coffee shop we were were greeted by a couple of ladies who had been my yoga teachers in the days before the pandemic and when I was attending more or less regularly. The younger one had acquired a sixteen week old daughter since last we met (and a very good looking baby she was as well) Evidently she had been using lockdown time to good effect and I was very pleased for her (not least because I think she may have lost a baby before successfully rearing this one) We exchanged news of how we had both survived the pandemic and then one of our friendly Waitrose staff told me that another of our erstwhile Waitrose coffee drinkers had been seen in the store and although we did a quick reconnoitre of the shelves we did not coincide with her as we had hoped. Outside the store, we bumped into yet another of our regular crowd and exchanged a few words with her as well. So Meg and I started walking up the hill and noticed an ambulance with a blue flashing light parked outside a house whose occupant we know (as they are the next door neighbours of some of our best friends down the hill) Apparently he lady had got herself to the GP’s who immediately called an ambulance to have her admitted to deal with some incipient heart problems. The lady persuaded the doctor to let her go home (presumably so that she could pack a few things before a hospital stay) and when we arrived on the scene, here was the ambulance, blue light flashing, ready to whisk her away into hospital. We wish her well and hope she has a speedy recovery – not least because she is only just recovering from having nursed her husband thought the traumas of a stroke from which he subsequently died only about a month ago.

The weather was going to be fine all day which is just as well because I wanted a good session this afternoon to get a little section of Mog’s Den prettied up a bit. But my trip out into the garden was delayed when a neighbour called round who acts as the Treasurer to our local Residents Association (I am the Secretary so we have to collaborate over joint signatures on mutually agreed expenditures and the like) He had received a communication from the Bank who looks after our Business Account asking him to confirm his identity as part of their updating procedures. He had gone into the branch in person but there was no-one there who could deal with business accounts so he had to do it online or by telephone. Our neighbour had called round to see if I could assist him (as I am one of the two authorised to sign cheques) and I tried to get through by phone. Eventually after a wait of about half an hour and subject to the constant message ‘All of our advisers are busy at the moment but please hang on… Your business is important to us‘ (have I heard this before, I wonder) but eventually we decided to call it a day. In the next day or so, I will probably have to go down to the branch, take along some ID, be told none can deal with me but hopefully be connected to a telephone line where there is somebody at the other end) I cannot do any of this online as I have lost my log-on details and I know from bitter experience how fruitless these on-line sessions can be if you do not have the correct credentials to start off with.

Eventually, I started off with my little stint of gardening. This involved measuring and then laying the requisite shape of some weed control fabric – fortunately, I have a big roll purchased years ago and it’s aways useful when laying paths and the like.Then I covered the fabric with three bags of forest bark (fortunately, I happened to have some of the in stock as well) Then came the business of heaving some big tubs of existing plants around, clearing old tubs that had got waterlogged and generally rationing. I relocated a couple of foxgloves from a different part of the garden (they were self set but I now have three in a row) Pride of place had been granted to the nice looking young shrub/tree whose identity may be a bit of a mystery to me but our gardener seems to think if might be a variety of cherry. Then there is rather an untidy area that I use for odd bits of wood sawing, obscure one-off jobs like cleaning up old horseshoes and the like. I have a lot of useful but untidy bits of garden equipment lying around in here (such as some creosote) l housed in a mini greenhouse whose cover has long since ripped and been thrown here so I protect it with a variety of large plastic bags and the like. I have decided that the whole lot, complete with empty plant pots and the like is all looking a bit of a mess so I may clear it all away and replace it with tubs of flowers.