Lockdown diaries No:1


This is my diary – and hopefully it will encourage others to write about what they are doing during this difficult and sometimes depressing time.

My peas and courgettes are now 18cm high – which does not seem a lot, but I am growing them from seed on my windowsills – and I have now got some 57 plants growing on three windowsills (in two bedrooms and the kitchen) and in front of one of the big sitting room windows.

The other window never gets the sun – which starts in the early morning hopefully as a red blur behind the trees to the left of my bedroom window (somewhere over Dungeness) and proceeds round the house to end up at the very back in late afternoon shining down over the Valley Park rooftops in Rye from the direction of Peasmarsh into the right hand side of my sitting room.

And scattered around the small garden are gro-bags awaiting the arrival of the seedlings – but not yet, as I think they (the tiny plants) need to be a bit larger and stronger first – and night time warmer ! But it is amazing the energy and strength the minute plants have as they first germinate and spring into life.

Life does keep going onĀ 

The earth is forced up and sideways as a tiny shoot appears, and there is hope – and the knowledge that life (in all its forms) goes on. And these are worrying times when we need hope – and something to look forward to.

One of my daughters is a hospital consultant – usually working with people who’ve had strokes. So she is used to working with patients in intensive care – and I suspect (as I think she does) that she may may be called on, sooner or later, to help with the pandemic.

And my son works in a supermarket – and they now have screens between them and customers “and handwash and gloves and two metre distancing points on the floor”, he texts me.

So, keeping in touch with scattered family is another positive point at this difficult time, and my eldest daughter, a teacher working online, has been organising Zoom sessions so we can actually see each other. The third daughter is online working too as an IT specialist with a water company.

Finding ways to manage

But for much of the time I’m just suggesting, encouraging, chasing, nagging, checking, and thanking as editor of Rye News (which I have been in the past, and I am now back again) as nothing would appear without our regular volunteers and our contributors – all of whom, I am sure, are trying to find ways of managing themselves in these difficult times… and staying cheerful.

I do get out occasionally for exercise, which just happened in recent weeks to pass by certain roadworks, but on the whole I am confined to barracks as an ancient, lifetime asthmatic – so gardening is good for me . . . and so is looking forward.

There’s a photo of me on my bedroom wall as a toddler carrying a huge Union Jack on what I was told was VE (Victory in Europe Day at the end, in 1945, of the second world war which killed my father) and we will celebrate again after this is all over.

As that toddler I was standing by a peach tree which my grandmother (a First World War widow) grew from a stone and she lived into her 90s – as I plan to. So plant your seeds, and look forward.

PS. However, while new technology is a great help at present, I am drowning in e-mails – so my apologies to anyone whose e-mails to Rye News may have got temporarily buried. I try to keep up and use many odd moments to check and chase what I might have missed. Seeds however need watering too!

Image Credits: Heidi Foster .

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