Friday, July 24, 2020

The plan

The Autumn/Winter clothes catalogues have started to arrive in the post with all the items being in the usual muted tones. Why don't they just come out and say it - "dull, dark colours" ? I probably moan about this every year but I can't understand why they think that in shorter darker days we want dark coloured clothes. Wouldn't bright and vivid make more sense?

Several friends have told me they are OK-ish now but dreading the autumn and winter, and I feel pretty much the same.

We're still being strict at Hepworth Towers as far as socialising and social distancing goes. We're not going away. No-one's coming in the house. Friends stay in the garden for coffee and chat or the occasional lunch, and when I go for walks with them I keep six feet away from them. Dave continues in his usual hermit persona. We stay away from shops and anywhere that might be busy. Three miles away, Bakewell is swarming with tourists as in any normal summer. And having had my first fish and chips in four months ten days ago I might just have to wait for the holiday season to be over before I venture down again.

You might think all this is pretty extreme but if you had a friend as ill from Covid as my young friend is, three months after having it, you might be the same.  

I've done a lot in lockdown: published an ebook and a paperback, made a cot quilt and got halfway through a full-sized one, begun to paint and draw, read several books and got past the halfway mark in the 800 pages of Anna Karenina. I've kept on blogging. 

I need to find a long term project to tide me through the six months of dark muddy days that are coming up. I can paint and draw but I need a thing to get my teeth into. Any suggestions? I told Chrissie I was thinking of finally sorting out my parents' papers and letters but she pointed out that such a task can be emotionally draining, and perhaps it wasn't a good idea. She's right. These days my emotions are always near the surface. 

I don't think I'm odd in this. I think many people have lost their emotional resilience. Dave keeps asking me if I'm OK and I say "Yes, yes. I'm just trying to concentrate on the task in hand" - cooking, weeding, sewing, picking blackcurrants, whatever - "and to persuade myself I'm feeling OK." 

As for having something to look forward to, I've decided it will probably be safe to fly to Colorado to see the chundies in September 2021, so that's my guiding light. OMG, this takes me back to hearing Two Way Forces Favourites on the radio on Sundays in the early 1950s. "And it's not long until February 1956." 
Do any of you know what I'm talking about??

I harvested one of my potato pots this week because the leaves were looking manky. Here's what I got: enough for two hearty servings. 

Lovely healthy spuds, but was it really worth three months of watering and worrying about the frost? Nah.

And I had my first tomato this week:

Slightly more worthwhile.

Flowers and fruit are definitely worth the bother. I had 9 lbs of gooseberries off my one small bush, and now the blackcurrants are ripening.

I've been trying to find a poem that encapsulates my state of mind, but I've failed. The nearest I've come is way off beam but I'm going to post it anyway  because it's a great poem and reminds me of my friend Chrissie (another one) who died in 2006 and to whom I dedicated my book Plotting for Beginners

Ridge Walking is by Char March and she has given me permission to publish it on the blog.

Ridge Walking
is my life
out here on the edge
windy here
-a narrow ridge
often I am scared
have to squeeze my eyes shut
hug myself to the rock
crawl along on all fours
mumbling mantras
but sometimes I dance the thin line
whirling in the sun
shouting in an arms-up
head-back laugh
this is my life out here
a slim chance
with steep drops on either side
but Christ the views
are bloody marvellous.

© Char March    Ridge walking is published by Indigo Dreams in Char March’s latest poetry collection The Thousand Natural Shocks  and is available direct from her, or through Amazon.

I'm off on my bike now at 8.05 a.m. for an early bike ride on the Trail before the hordes arrive.

I hope you have a good weekend. 

p.s. I've just got back from a ride, and a climb down to the river below the Trail and have got the perfect image for where we are. 

These stepping stones are usable now but when the rains come in the autumn they will be submerged.

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