I have to admit that I have taken it personally.
For a start, the Government guidelines for the gradual easing of Lockdown
make it clear that no more than six people should gather in my back garden - not counting Mr B and me. I would love to have welcomed the whole family chez nous last Saturday to celebrate my birthday - but, no, we were very good. The four members of the Baldwin
Family represented the whole tribe and sat shivering in the garden all afternoon without so much as a whimper or a “why don’t we just sit inside, nobody will know...” I have brought my family up to be law-abiding, you can tell.
What’s more the sudden invaders of my precious piece of England haven’t heard about social distancing, oh, dear me, no! They are clustered together like the race-goers
at the Cheltenham Festival before we moved into the Lockdown Days. And, honestly, I haven’t seen one of them obeying the orders about hand-washing...
wouldn’t mind but they have taken a particular and unhealthy interest in the sunflowers which I am growing for my Tremendous Ten grandchildren. If you are a regular reader of the Daily Blog - or, indeed, if you occasionally dip into my Random Ramblings
when you have nothing better to do - you will know that each of those sunflowers represents one of my grandchildren whom, like every other distant grandparent, I long to see. I even chat to them (the sunflowers, not the grandchildren, don’t be fanciful)
when I water them every evening; they don’t generally have much to say but I am convinced that they are listening attentively. Possibly more so that in real life....
You have always imagined, haven’t you, that I am a hospitable kind of person, one who would welcome anyone over my threshold, thrust a glass of wine / beer in their hand, and invite them to join in a quick rendition of the Macarena. I need to
reassure you, therefore, that I have given a warm welcome in the past to the many plants which have decided, of their own volition, to take up residence in our garden. Indeed without their advances, our flower beds would be distinctly barer. Matt-Next-Door,
who kindly comes round this afternoon to put together the Really Rather Beautiful bird table which Mr B has bought me for my birthday, tells me that he is pretty sure some of the newer inhabitants of my flower bed may well have emigrated from his garden to
ours. Fortunately he doesn’t seem to want them back.
Another new resident, also a birthday present, is a woodcutter whirligig - exactly the same as one which
graced my dear Dad’s garden many moons ago. When the sails turn in the wind, the woodcutter wields his axe with considerable gusto as he chops away at a tree stump. My Little Sister (for it is she and her fella who bought it for me) has been wanting
to present me with my very own woodcutter ever since her younger son gifted her one. My Dad called his woodcutter John Willy (a source of great hilarity to his grandchildren) and was often heard to remark that “he’s been chopping that same piece
of wood for ages and still hasn’t got through it....”
I am delighted to find my very own woodcutter a place in my garden - but as for the other pesky
visitors, well, they have it coming to them. I fill my trusty watering can with warm, soapy water and head out to the sunflowers....
Have you guessed yet? Black
fly are swarming all over three of the sunflowers and, for all I know, they are eyeing up the other seven being as they don’t seem to give a fig about social distancing. I tip the soapy water all over them, informing them as I do so that they had it
coming. I am quite prepared, I threaten, to repeat their soapy soaking until they give up and depart.
In the meantime, they will have absolutely no excuse
for not washing their hands...