Day 54 – First sign of things returning to normal?

Teddy Bear’s Picnic

I was tidying up my various DIY bits when I heard something I didn’t realised I’d not heard for some time.

It was the the Teddy Bear’s Picnic drifting over from a street or two away.

Two things went through my mind. Firstly, gosh, I haven’t heard the ice cream van for ages. Secondly, gosh, should they be out selling ice cream?

As a child we were discouraged from buying from the ice cream man as Mother always said that he didn’t wash his hands after going to the toilet. How did she know?

Occasionally a different van would come round. It was the Walls Ice Cream van and we were allowed to buy from the elderly gentleman who was always smartly dressed. I did love a 99 with the Flake in it.

Stay cool and stay safe.

Day 24 – Gardener’s Block

09.35 and I’m staring at the garden wondering what to do. I need some inspiration. I need some motivation. At the moment it’s like staring at a blank lawn with plant borders round three sides.

One of the neighbour’s cats (that’s the one neighbour with two cats rather than multiple neighbours with varying numbers of cats) is sitting in the bed I have been preparing for squash (that’s the vegetable not the sport).

It looks at me and squints its eyes to let me know that it is comfortable with me being on her land.

New border

My new steps along with my new border.

To the right of the cat is the greenhouse, behind which are four pinkish paving slabs that I’ve never really found the right use for.

I get an overpowering urge to build some steps. Seriously, within just a few moments I become obsessed with the idea on a scale only previously seen on Close Encounters of the Third Kind with a guy and a pile of mashed potatoes.

I spend the rest of the day creating a new border. More sifting of soil and stones and sorting out of weeds.

The steps took about an hour and I will spend the rest of the evening looking to see what summer flowering plants like partial shade. Suggestions please on a postcard – or just use the comment box because it’s unlikely you know where I live exactly.

1 - 1 (4)

The garden, as seen from my pocket.

I took very few pictures today. Having said that, I’m rather pleased with this one that I took at 12.10. It’s a view of the garden I’ve never seen before.

It’s from my pocket.


As I write this I have half an eye on the daily news briefing from Downing Street. The lockdown it to continue for at least another three weeks.

I know I’m very lucky to have a garden to occupy my mind and body. Without it I really don’t know what I’d do. I’m also finding great pleasure writing this daily journal.

I hope I manage to plant a little pleasure into your lives by sharing my little world with you.

Stay safe.

Day 21 – Where the Deer and the Antelope play*

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

In the dry heat of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (1), early morning drinkers are gathering at the waterhole (2).

At first a lonely southern ground hornbil (3) looks around before taking a drink.

Within minutes it is joined by a pair of ostriches (4).

These huge flightless birds (5) bring a moment of light amusement to the proceedings as they try to manoeuvre their portly bodies in order to get their beaks into the water. These birds were not designed to have dignity.

But this is not the time or the place to be complacent as the gathering birds are unaware that in a nearby acacia tree (6) a Bengal tiger (7) is patiently watching their every move.


Serengeti waterhole* *May not actually be that

Here we can see how alert this predator is to the nervous creatures as they drink, what for one of them, could be their last.

Already the heat from the sun is starting to become unbearable (8). If this tiger is going to pounce he must do it soon before all his prey head to more sheltered areas behind the shed or up in the trees.

But there is some hope for these defenceless creatures, for soon the hunter will become the hunted.

Not known for it’s agility or courage in such dangerous situations, a white-bearded wildebeest (9) moves slowly across the barren landscape (10). The birds take flight while the feline rolls around a bit in the dusty soil wanting it’s belly rubbed.

By noon all is peaceful again, apart from the distant thud, thud, thud, of music from a treehouse (11) not too far away, along with the smoke and cooking smells from a nearby camp (12).

By nightfall, all will be still (13) as we await the start of another day in the Serengeti (14).


*Birds and a cat
1 My back garden in Norwich, England
2 The garden pond
3 A blackbird
4 A couple of wood pigeons
5 They actually flew down from the sycamore tree. I think they have a nest up there
6 A clump of daffodils. Is that the right word, Clump?
7 The neighbour’s cat – either Daisy or Maisie, I can never tell them apart
8 Actually it’s been rather cold and overcast today. The wind has changed direction and we’re getting a bit of a cold blast from the north
9 That’ll be me
10 That’s my lawn you’re talking about there
11 A neighbour’s garden
12 Another neighbours barbecue
13 Actually, that reminds me, I do need to do some watering this evening
14 Lockdown

Day 9 – Or should that be Day 1?

Yellow flowersI can go several minutes without seeing a car pass the window. It has never been this quiet, not even over Christmas. The buses are empty and again the majority of vehicles seem to be vans and lorries. It is quiet.

We were lucky that we had a food order in place ahead of the lockdown announcement as trying to get a delivery slot now is impossible this side of Easter. Everything was left in bags on the step with the delivery guy standing on the pavement waiting for us to take it all in. It is surreal.

I’ve been able to occupy myself with some work today which has kept me away from the rolling news. I actually feel better for that. There’s always a danger of RNI – repetitive news injury – where you become so overwhelmed by it all. It is stressful.

We had a vey emotional visit from our daughter and grandson this morning. We were exchanging food supplies. We left theirs on the doorstep and watched as they arrived. Waving at each other through the window. The little guy looked confused as to why we were not opening the door to let them in. I have no idea when I’ll get to kiss and hug them again. It is painful.

Outside, the bit of it we can venture into, the garden is calling. I need to disinfect the greenhouse and clear more borders. I am hoping that the delivery of my plants and compost will not have been effected but the new measures, but I’m seeing lots of delivery van driving past, so I’m optimistic. I also hope that this glorious weather lasts until Thursday and Friday when I have some time off work and I can crack on. It is Spring.