We are just over six months into this year. It's been quite a year so far, and we are tired, very tired. We haven't had a break from work for six months. The whole Covid thing has posed some seriously complicated logistical problems. When did gardening become so serious? For the last three months we have had to implement social distancing, masks, gloves, risk assessments, method statements, and on, and on, and on. Most people got it, but a lot simply haven't since day one. We work for a LOT of elderly people, and one place being a dementia care home, which, as you can imagine, brings a whole new meaning to social distancing. We have had to threaten to walk off site and lose some contracts if people didn't take the distancing thing seriously, not just for our own health, but also because those same properties had insisted on us signing various forms declaring that we would adhere to the 'Covid rules'. But we are still here, and although tensions between us and a very few customers have been raised, we haven't lost one thankfully.
Restrictions are being lifted at a ridiculous rate now. Far too quickly. People aren't social distancing because they are just bored with it all. Beaches are packed. groups are meeting up and hugging. The pressure is on for those of us who still take the threat seriously, and first and foremost don't want to kill our friends and family because we are just 'bored with it all'. Even some of those same friends and family are pushing to 'get back to normal' far sooner than they should. Throw in the customers doing the same, and that idiot at the supermarket who just simply won't bother to move over to one side to create a two meter...ish distance, and we are worried. People are stupid, and are creating a society in which those of us who don't agree with the restrictions being lifted, and actually care about this whole thing coming to an end at the earliest possible time, are becoming more and more alien.
The three of us, Amanda, myself and Bex are fried. We are shutting the business down for a week, in a couple of weeks. Some customers won't like the fact that there is no cover, if only to keep their grass cut at this point of the year, but if they don't care for us, then they can go. It's turned out that Bex is headed to Cornwall, and although in a different place, so are we. It's the place to get some R&R.
During these last six months I have also re-connected with three friends from my distant past. We have talked gardening, one has lent me her saxophone to learn to play, and I have had a taster lesson, and disturb the neighbours with my very bad practising. Another has lent me a book to read, which I am, but like the sax, finding 'head time' difficult at the moment. The third goes way back to my early school days, was a dear friend, and I look forward to meeting up with him, hopefully this year.
Foxes have a den that has an entrance in our neighbours garden, and the actual den under 'The Shack', which is the chalet at the end of our garden that is part art studio, and part meditation space. They come most years. Last time both the parents and five cubs developed mange, and it was so sad to see them deteriorate, and some become blind. This year things were/are so different thankfully. The parents were large and healthy, and again, five cubs were raised. They use are garden as a play run, because it is so full of plants, shrubs and trees to make them feel safe. Over time the parents disappeared, then most of the cubs (presumably because that's what they do), and we have had just the one beautiful cub left behind and visit for the last couple of weeks. It come onto the patio many times a day, and likes meat scraps, Bonio biscuits, and sausages. I was rewarded yesterday with him/her on one side of the patio window, eating our strawberries, while I was a few inches away on the other side, just staring intently. They are beautiful.
It's Saturday, and today will be spent firstly doing this, then a little breakfast and some good black coffee. Later some time at the end of the garden reading that book. This afternoon I must plant up the runner beans and tomatoes that have been sat where they were plonked a couple of weeks ago, and see what else needs doing in the garden.