Even Stranger Times

Here we are at the other end of summer and on the verge of another national lockdown. The world is definitely not having a good 2020. I’m still working from home which makes me feel safe and secure. My husband works in a Covid secure environment so I don’t worry about that (too much) and I know I will be staying here at home for the foreseeable future. Luckily my company hasn’t tried to make us go back into the office and with the Government U-turn (what, another one!) it looks unlikely that will happen this year.

So what exciting things have I been doing over the summer, I hear you ask. Well, surprisingly enough, not a lot. Not in comparison to other years it’s been a very quiet summer. No gigs, no eating out, no visiting friends, no festivals, no holidays, no day trips. That’s a lot of no’s. I have been enjoying my garden (more on that later), lots of cooking and baking, more reading than usual, a little less crafting than usual due to all the gardening, less “work” work than usual too.

That’s a strange one because I thought working from home permanently would make it hard for me to stop at the end of the “working” day but being at home has made me more conscious of “me” time. I stop working when I’m supposed to and I don’t find myself sneaking back online to check data or reports every time I walk past my computer. Being at home has made me very aware that I need to have definition between my working life and the rest of my life and I like it.

I’ve had issues with the tendons in my left hand this summer, I was in excruciating pain for weeks before I decided to deal with the issue. I spoke to an amazing OHT that I have access to at work and she has been helping me sort out the issues. I woke up one day in a lot of pain and for a little while was convinced I was having a reoccurrence of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that plagued me 10 years ago. Thankfully it looks like this time it was caused by very uncomfortable sleeping patterns that stretched the tendons in my hand. With lots of daily exercises and the use of a night brace I’m nearly out the other side of this. I’m learning to take more breaks and stop when it hurts. Now that sounds obvious doesn’t it, but it’s not. I need to consciously tell myself to stop.

Sunflower from July
Glorious sunflower from July

So onto the gardening news. Despite the shit the world is going through this year I have had a good summer. A productive summer. A joyful summer. How? My garden. I have poured every ounce of time, creativity and hard work into that space outside my living room window and the rewards have been immense. We started back in April with a few out of date seeds packs and a lot of time on our hands. Now we have this amazing space that is starting, very slowly, to feed us. We’ve had strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, coriander, spinach, lettuce, rocket. All in tiny quantities and barely enough for a whole meal apart from the spinach which threatened to overwhelm us but we grew it ourselves. We watched it growing, we watered it, we weeded it, we nurtured it.

It has been a huge positive impact on both our lives and something we are both so grateful for. Not only have we had a few tasty morsels we have had an abundance of colour and fragrance. A beautiful place to sit and share with the hundreds of garden birds that visit us every day. Well maybe not hundreds, it just feels like that when they all descend on the feeders.

So obsessed have we become that we now have three raised vegetable beds. Our summer bed still has the remnants of beans and spinach in it. The other two new beds are for over wintering our strawberry runner plants and some tender stem broccoli and onions. Hopefully these will be ready by Christmas. Then we put a cage up to the stop the pigeons and I tied little bits of tin foil to the netting to scare them off. Not sure this works but I like the way it sounds in the wind.

So in order to keep track of our garden adventures I’m going to add a new page to this blog and document month by month what we’ve done this year and then each month update it with our progress. It will act both as an incentive for me to keep this blog updated (I came back in less than 6 months this time – an all time record!) and also as an online calendar/journal of our garden so we can look back on what we planted, what successes we had, what we want more of etc etc. Basically I’m going to blog about my utter joy at growing even the tiniest thing because at this point it’s worth sharing every little tiny bit of positivity we have with the world.

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