It began with a shining sun; I saw Nancy Nightingale and Scooby the giant puppy for the first time since before Christmas (although no physical gardening, just pointing and planning); I went to a garden centre and didn’t buy a single plant although I did admire a few (honest guv); I bought a dozen of North Devon’s finest eggs; I went for a walk with my beloved and admired the catkins and blue sky, from afar we chatted with smiling friends and strangers alike; I discovered two baby slugs, as bold as you like, in my little greenhouse, they have been evicited with no notice; I gladly waved goodbye to our old oak bureau, on its way to a new home; I ate chilli and jacket spuds and soon there will be a couple of squares of sea salt dark chocolate to dunk into my cup of tea.
I can’t complain about my day, not this time anyway.
Today myself and Mrs Bun went for a socially distanced walk from Woolacombe to Putsborough and back, our last meet before she heads off with Mr B and Bobbie to the frozen north. A precis of our expedition is as follows: chat, semi-naked surfers, naughty puppies x 2, sinking mud, sandy paths, active springs, marram and mansions, more chat, conversation staunching viewpoints, wild primroses and euphorbia, a little rain, rosy cheeks, even more chat, several good mornings and dog greetings, Ice Cold in Alex, a bench, steps and dunes, wave watching, some chat and ultimately brave farewells.
Then, alone in the car, a few tears.
My industrious phase was short-lived, as I feared it would be. The slough of inertia has returned to weigh me down. Medals will not be returned.
Today, an effort was made. We mustered the wherewithal to venture out for a walk, enjoying what passed for sunshine and the swelling buds of magnolia and camelia. This witch hazel had passed the budding stage and its arachnoid flowers were in their prime. To think I might have missed the sight of these tiny buttercup yellow streamers. I must keep focused, it is all happening out there.
I may have posted this photo before, or perhaps something similar. The picture was taken on our, should be, daily walk. It is a view I anticipate. There is something about the way the coast and sea are glimpsed through the branches that makes me smile. A happy tease. Although I love the swaddling of a wood, to catch a tantalising sight of the great beyond is also to be relished. Sometimes we visit the beach below, tiptoeing down the steep wooden steps to gaze out to the horizon and think far away thoughts. Sometimes we circle back, cutting across the rec and the rugby pitch. It is a walk we have been taking regularly, with minor diversions and off-piste ventures, since the first lockdown. Each time a little different. Never the same, or indeed even similar.
After much deliberation, I’ve decided not to go down that route, although it is tempting. I’m not going to mention all the misery, conflict, despair, denial, the shock, the horror, the unrelentingness of it all, although it is hard to think of anything else at the moment.
Instead, I will share a photo from a few days ago. I took it whilst out walking with my friends Biddi, Bonnie, and Pickle. We stood here for a moment to catch our breath and silently gaze down to the harbour below. And I wanted to shout “Made it Ma! Top of the world!”, but I didn’t. It probably would have ruined the moment, but a sliver of me still wishes I had. Perhaps next time, when I’m all alone.
There is nothing like a strong north-westerly and a hike up a steep hill to blow the blues away. It also helps if you are accompanied by a good friend who listens patiently to your Moaning Minnie diatribe. Perhaps she had ear plugs in. It made no difference; either way, I felt much better by the end of our, often muddy, exploits. And she didn’t complain, or even sigh, when I admitted that I wasn’t absolutely sure where we were. By the time I was home, there was not a cobweb left.
Thanks Lady M, it was good, socially-distanced, fun. The Mantles are commencing their own, slightly less steep, adventure this weekend. This was a bit of a surprise. I had got the sequence of events and locations a little confused (moi?) and thought they would be living in the shire for a while longer. It had to happen eventually, so with a tear in my eye, I once again say “good luck my lovelies, I will see you in the gloaming”. x
After a “will she, won’t she” morning (she didn’t), and a good few hours making life or death decisions about my seed collection, the weather cleared. My mind and body needed some fresh, preferably dry, air so I ‘proofed up and headed out into the fray.
It was busier than I expected, although I suspect this was because my stroll co-incided with Walkies. I felt a bit conspicuous in my dog-less state. Perhaps I should have borrowed one.
In an attempt to avoid the canine tangle, and my obvious short-comings, I took a path that I hadn’t walked for several months, not since the first weeks of lockdown. At that time the trees were yet to leaf, today they were in the process of shedding their garb. A lot has passed since. Somehow it all seemed a lot simpler then.
Today I have been pursued by a black crow.
I am hoping he will abandon me tomorrow.
Today is shopping day, and for the past 4 weeks I have greeted it with trepidation. Shopping is not my job usually. As OH is on the endangered species list, now I do it. Quite why I feel nervous is hard to say. Generally it is had been a well-ordered affair. Perhaps that is why. I am not well ordered, it is not my natural state, but I realise that this is the way it has to be. So when someone goes the wrong way on the one-way system, or encroaches into my space, or I see young fit people shopping in pairs, it makes me anxious. Not because I am worried about my health, or indeed OH’s, but because these people are ignoring the rules. Generally I am no fan of rules, but these particular ones are in place to protect us. Does this flouting indicate arrogance, stupidity, ignorance or absentmindedness? Or am I becoming intolerant? Or perhaps a little paranoid? Hard to say.
Thanks for the inspiration Kevin.
Today we took separate Daily Walks. OH went one way this morning, I went the other way this afternoon. We haven’t fallen out, it is just the way it happened. There was an advantage to being on my own, I had more opportunity to be nosy. I peered over walls and around fences, I crossed the road when something caught my eye. I examined the ground, I looked into the sky, all the while retaining my best suspicion-free demeanour. There were several rather pink people sunbathing in their front gardens, I kept my camera far away. These were not my quarry, I was looking for flowers. And I found them; back-lit tulips in a state of disrobing, forget-me-nots growing from cracks in the tarmc, marigolds perched on walls. This was my favourite and, after first checking for bees in the buzzing bush, I buried my nose into the blossom to enjoy my first scent of lilac for the year.