47TH DAY IN LOCKDOWN – SEEDS OF DISCONTENT

 

 

 

 

 

Forget toilet rolls and hand sanitiser. I can’t find bread flour anywhere. And as for gardening seeds – they are like gold dust.

Everyone now seems to be baking bread, experimenting with arts and crafts, painting and gardening. I’ve visited a number of online nurseries and even the B&Q website. All my favourite plants have sold out. And it’s only May 1st!  I wasn’t even able to buy seeds in the early days of lockdown.

I had a rummage in the garage and found a few old seed packets. Best planted by 2014.  I doubt if they will work but I’m going to give them a go and will let you know if I have any luck.

If you’re having the same experience, I can recommend seed sharing – something keen amateur gardeners have been doing for years.

A couple of years ago I shared seeds with a friend and I was so delighted with the outcome that I wrote this poem about it.

I’m sure you must know the poem by William Wordsworth which begins – “I wandered lonely as a cloud … ”

Here is my version – a lighthearted take on the original.

 

To Hollyhocks

I wandered barefoot in the sun

Having taken off my socks

And all at once I came upon

A clump of golden Hollyhocks

 

I pocketed some tiny seeds

They flew with me on EasyJet

I scattered them among my weeds

And with myself I had a bet

 

Could I get these seeds to grow

Among my dandelion clocks

And if they did how would I know

That these were truly Hollyhocks

 

A few months on a fabulous sight

Hollyhocks of every hue

It looks like I did something right

And then I gave some seeds to you

 

And then as quickly as they came

My flowers disappeared from sight

I looked for them but all in vain

They had just vanished overnight

 

I think my gardener was to blame

Mistook them for some flowering weeds

My garden didn’t look the same

And I hadn’t even kept the seeds

 

Then you and I met up for lunch

And I told you this tale of woe

Ah you said I have a hunch

That I still have some seeds you know

 

You kindly posted seeds to me

Just like the ones I once gave you

When you were here with friends for tea

Such a thoughtful thing to do

 

What goes around comes around they say

It looks like we will prove this true

And who knows maybe come next May

I’ll have more seeds to give to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been blogging every day for the past week and am going to take a break this weekend. Am not going anywhere special – just thought I would visit the sofa in my living room.

See you Monday. Have a good weekend. Stay safe and keep well.  Happy gardening!

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

 

 

COVID-19 -30 MARCH 2020

30 MARCH 2020 AC (AFTER COVID-19)

What are you going to be doing today?

I’m a late riser, late showerer, late dresser, late sitter at the computer so you may already have had your daily exercise, walked the dogs, done 50 sit-ups, knitted a scarf, climbed a mountain and baked a cake by the time you read this. But I’m also a late to-bedder. When you’re curling up to sleep, I am working on my novel, writing poetry, emailing and blogging. I might even be using the time to do some housework!

I was so proud of myself yesterday. I got up really early (for me) at 8 am – only to find that the clocks had gone forward and that it was actually 9 am!

People are turning to all manner of things to fill their time.  Take baking.  Many of the supermarkets have run out of flour as self-isolation brings out the need for some bread making. There is hardly anything in the world more satisfying than bashing away at the yeasty dough while you knead and pummel it into oblivion.  I am now the proud owner of a bread machine (recommended!) but when our kids were young I often baked a loaf just for the pure satisfaction of doing it – not to mention how yummy and delicious a newly baked loaf of bread is.  I would bash away vigorously at the dough imagining it was Margaret Thatcher or maybe – if it had been a bad day – even my other half.  Today my choice would be Trump or Corbyn.  My PC is underlining Corbyn as if it is a spelling mistake.  Corbyn is just a mistake. And soon to be erased, thank goodness. Oops – my political allegiances are showing. Best not to talk about religion, sex or politics on a blog.

Yesterday I mentioned that the sales of table tennis tables have gone through the roof. And last night I read an article which said that there has – not surprisingly – been a huge surge in the sales of fitness equipment such as exercise bikes, rowing machines and treadmills.

A surprising big seller has been flower seeds.  Many of the well known stockists have completely sold out of seed packets. So, if you were thinking of emulating the Good Life (an entertaining TV sit-com from the 70s) and starting your own veggie patch – you are too late. “Coronavirus lockdown: Seed companies struggle to cope as people turn to gardening” was the headline. “Online seed retailers are reporting demand for seeds this week spiking up to ten times normal levels for the time of year.” Some firms have been completely unable to cope and are turning away new orders!

One of the good things that’s hopefully going to come out of all this is more creativity worldwide. In the next six months (or is it going to be a year?) we are likely to see more books written, more pictures painted, more songs written, more plays scripted, more blogs started and so on. And more children born – but that’s a blog for another day.

Although it might be driving parents up the wall, I also think that many children are going to benefit from all the extra attention they are getting – from people who BC (Before Corona) often didn’t see their kids until bedtime.  Of course it’s a huge adjustment for parents having to teach their kids at home but I don’t believe these kids are going to be missing out on schooling. Whatever the capabilities of their parents, I think the majority of children will return to school brighter and better equipped to face the world – and with luck – they will be more eager to learn.

What did I do today?  I baked a delicious granary loaf. As you can see half of it has already been demolished!  And as for my French knitting, it is now higher than my head!

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day four and my French knitting is now taller than me!

 

Seeds of friendship

Most of us know the poem by William Wordsworth which begins –

“I wandered lonely as a cloud … ”

Here is my version – a lighthearted take on the original. I hope you like it.

 

To Hollyhocks

I wandered barefoot in the sun

Having taken off my socks

And all at once I came upon

A clump of golden Hollyhocks

 

I pocketed some tiny seeds

They flew with me on Easyjet

I scattered them among my weeds

And with myself I had a bet

 

Could I get these seeds to grow

Among my dandelion clocks

And if they did how would I know

That these were truly Hollyhocks

 

A few months on a fabulous sight

Hollyhocks of every hue

It looks like I did something right

And then I gave some seeds to you

 

And then as quickly as they came

My flowers disappeared from sight

I looked for them but all in vain

They had just vanished overnight

 

I think my gardener was to blame

Mistook them for some flowering weeds

My garden didn’t look the same

And I hadn’t even kept the seeds

 

Then you and I met up for lunch

And I told you this tale of woe

Ah you said I have a hunch

That I still have some seeds you know

 

You kindly posted seeds to me

Just like the ones I once gave you

When you were here with friends for tea

Such a thoughtful thing to do

 

What goes around comes around they say

It looks like we will prove this true

And who knows maybe come next May

I’ll have more seeds to give to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems