Saturday 13th June 2020, 3.50pm (day 3,215)
The redcurrants are getting there. Not that we get more than about two dozen of them annually, these days.
What are we losing at the moment? There is no sport that is meaningful (meaning, played in front of spectators). I’m assuming that very little music is being performed or created; if it is, it’s not happening round me. Maybe some great novels are being born in all this crap but we won’t be seeing them for a while. There is only this endless banality, and if my blog is itself banal under lockdown, that’s the way of it. But the hedge on the allotment still needed strimming, and that’s Joe’s job.
The plum tree in the garden is warming up for one of its summers of abundance. It has hundreds of these little plumlets happily soaking up the sunshine. If you want fresh plums, come see us in August. Hell, you might even be able to travel by then.
One thing to be thankful for at the moment is that we have a garden, and now, the fact that it is a few minutes’ walk from the house is a boon rather than a burden. The plum tree has blossomed well: maybe this will be one of its glut years.
The media narrative is that however safely we behave, we are not to be allowed outdoors. Like this new sprig of kale we are condemned to watch spring unfold outside, from behind glass. On the other hand this plant is probably more likely than us to get out before May: assuming we are permitted to take it up to the garden and transplant it, anyway.
I’m trying on here not to sound too bitter, but it’s not easy. These are bad times. If anyone in the future feels like looking back on this last month (and the month, at least, which is surely to come) with any kind of nostalgia or wistfulness then they will deserve all the contempt they receive.
The Greatest Media Panic of All Time does not change the turn of the seasons, at least, not yet. it was time for the little potato people to get into the ground today, where (if past experience is any guide) they will stay in a kind of stasis until this time next year, when we will hopefully dig up about the same number and volume of potatoes to eat. If we get to the other side of this rupture, anyway. Here, Clare and Joe do the work, while I laze in the sun and document it.
So, it’s happened then. Britain is in a state of lockdown. Except maybe it isn’t, maybe it’s all voluntary, because with this government, remember that they don’t really have a clue about anything very much.
Either way I suspect I will be seeing a lot more of Hebden Bridge and home in the next few weeks. Or possibly months. For now I will do my best to keep this blog going, why should it become another victim of this pandemic? But how long I will sustain any creative juices in a world with greatly reduced horizons, I don’t know.
I must already be going slightly crazy, anyway. In these sprouting potatoes (for life, and the garden, must go on) I see little people, sitting in their boxes having a pre-planting natter. Or in the case of the couple to bottom right, a gentle cuddle.
This year’s crop of baby leeks emerges from the soil in the seed tray on our window sill. I like this shot because though they each started out as the same configuration — a seed — they have all grown up in slightly different ways, each an individual. They all liked the burst of sunshine that came around 3pm but I hope they drank it in well, because about five minutes of sun was all we got today. The JPG file you are looking at has loaded properly, by the way. The bottom strip is the tray.
Having eulogised the plums and blackberries already this year — and for good reason — let us also add the glorious amount, and richness, of 2018’s apples as well — not to mention a second good crop of rhubarb. In this aspect, no one can complain about the year.
Plums. We are drowning in them. Possibly not as many as the all-time Bumper Plum Year that was 2015, but after a final harvest this morning, the now-empty tree has given up at least 30 lbs this year (14 kg). Want plums? We have them.