Day 6 – Revitalised

Daffodil

I din’t have the heart to pull up this daffodil

The garden is my haven. I spent a good part of the day out there away from the news and troubling thoughts. It’s been great therapy.

Last year I planted the left hand bed with a variety of native wild flowers to provide for the birds and other wildlife all year round. Today, sadly, I have dug it up to plant a variety of vegetables to feed us.

The birds and insects won’t go hungry. I plan on setting aside part of the lawn and another border where it can go wild. I’ll get a couple of new bird feeders too. Everything will have to be mail order as we’re still self-isolating and for me at least, it could be the long haul.

So today has been about preparation and planning. One bed is clear and tomorrow I will clean the greenhouse ready for new planting. I’m looking at doing peas, lettuce and beetroot along with some rhubarb. I’d like some horseradish, but I’m not sure where I’ll get that as you can’t grow it from seed.

It has been a glorious day as far as the weather is concerned. Blue skies and brilliant sunshine. But the soil is very cold and my poor fingers were numb.

It’s a good time to clear though as the newly sprouting sycamore seeds have not developed a strong root yet.

One odd little thing. I mentioned a couple of days ago how the traffic seems much lighter on the main road outside. Yesterday was quieter still and today has been even quieter! (Apart from the ambulances – see video below). So I don’t know if that has had an impact on the air quality. While I was working in the garden the Air Ambulance helicopter flew over. I could smell the exhaust fumes. I’ve never smelt it before.

Stay safe and do let me know if you have any suggestions for other veg I should consider having a go at.

I’ve done a video of today to introduce you the the garden.

 

Day 5 – Downs and ups

Bluebell

We’ll soon be dancing to the sound of the bluebells

There’s always a day during the Christmas holidays when you think it’s Thursday but it is actually Monday.

Today feels like a Tuesday but it’s Friday. Which means that tomorrow is a Saturday. (Goes and checks calendar).

For the first time ever I’m not looking forward to the weekend as much as I normally would, even though I have things I’d like to do. Gardening mainly.

I’ve been at home for about 10 days now. I want the weekend to be the time when I do something different. Have a change of scenery, like going to the forest or to the coast or even to the shops. The furthest I will get tomorrow is the top shed.

So if the weather is good, and it is looking promising, I will be able to get out there and clear the borders. And hopefully my head.

News

I’ve limited my input of tea and coronavirus news today and really thrown myself into some work ideas. It’s good to have plans and something to look forward too, rather than spending the time cancelling trains and hotels and holidays.

So actually, thinking about it, be it garden or work, along with some personal study I’ve started, I think I’m feeling more positive than I did when I started writing today’s entry.

Tomorrow and Sunday I plan on introducing you to my garden. I may even put aside a little corner for reader’s suggestions of things to try.

Day 4 – burning questions

The Coronavirus updates have been mainly focussed on the school closures which take effect tomorrow afternoon and the fall out from that. There’s a number of stories circulating about whether or not London will be locked down. At the time of writing it looks unlikely. By the time the blog is published the whole country could be, that’s how fast things are changing at the moment.

I’m back at my home working desk today. Working on a few ideas on how we can provide people with interesting things to keep them occupied while at home.

Yeast

Mead, bread and beer yeast

I’m trying to keep busy with home stuff too in a way that keeps my body and mind active and less focussed on the news.

Some of the things occupying my mind include:

  • Can you use beer or mead yeast in bread?
    We’re down to the last few grains of the bread yeast and can’t seem to buy any at the moment.
  • Which are the quickest vegetables to grow?
    I remember growing mustard and cress at school which took days. But with the lack of eggs, cress sandwiches sound less appealing. It may have to be lettuce. Although having written that, lettuce sandwiches don’t sound any more appetising.
  • How many cars pass my house?
    It’s definitely been quieter these last few days. I wish I’d thought of counting in the past as any figures gathered now would have no relevance.
  • Did I hear my neighbour cough?
    No. It was a car door slamming outside.

Pizza

Finally, I was rather intrigued to see that one of the pizza places near me are offering no contact delivery. They are guaranteeing that no one so much as breaths on the pizza from the moment it comes out of the oven until it is in the box. Which is then sealed.

The driver, they tell me, will place the pizzas on a clean empty box on my doorstep and then ring to say the delivery is there and, at a safe distance, watch until I open the door and bring it in.

In the interests of research I tried this last night. The pizza box wasn’t sealed. The driver didn’t ring me, he knocked on the door and waited for me to open it. Give him his due, the pizzas were on the step as promised. I asked him where my two bottles of pop were. He said they were what the pizzas were sitting on.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on some or all of the things occupying my mind at the moment, although the numbers of cars outside my house may be a difficult one for you to judge.

Day 3 – Tea times

I actually had this day booked off as leave, so no home working today, but still waking up at the same time. I’m trying to keep to my usual routine as best I can, keeping elements of the day as normal as possible.

07.22 Breakfast tea

Although it’s not breakfast tea, it’s PG Tips. It washes down my toasted Hot Cross bun rather well. I find that anything that has some form of spice in it is perfectly matched by a cup of tea.

On advice I read somewhere, I’m trying to stick to just three news sources. The idea is that you can get a better sense of what is happening and not feel swamped by all sorts of differing opinion.

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Foxley Wood in the rain

I’ve been invited to help on a new project with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust which involves me creating four seasonal soundscapes.

For this first one, Spring, I wanted to get a backdrop of some early morning birdsong in a sunlit bluebell woodland. Sadly the weather Gods had other ideas and I spent a Saturday morning in Foxley Wood in Norfolk slowly being sucked into the rain sodden ground.

I will return when the weather promises to be a little more forgiving, but I thought I’d share my damp, nay sodden, visit with you. Please excuse all the crackles and thuds, it’s rain not static interference!

I also took some photographs to accompany the audio recording.

 

Holme Dunes – World Listening Day

The theme for this Year’s World Listening Day was all about listening to the ground.

I headed up to Holme Dunes on the North Norfolk coast to listen the sound of the ground where land meets sea.

I buried a hydrophone about 6 inches into a sand dune below some of the grass. The result, on what was a very windy day, was this amazing soundscape.

You can hear the grass rattling together as the wind rushes over the soft sand at ground level.

Recorded for World Listening Day 2017 at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Holme Dunes, Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk.

“World Listening Day 2017 is an opportunity to consider and engage one another in an ear-minded, soundscape approach to our environment, to understand our shared role in making and listening across cultures, generations, places, disciplines, and communities, and to reflect and honor the life and legacy of Pauline Oliveros, an influential woman pioneer of electronic music composition and improvisation, as well as a founder of the practice called Deep Listening. July 18, the birthday of R. Murray Schafer (b. 1933), Canadian composer and founder of the World Soundscape Project and acoustic ecology.”
worldlisteningproject.org