Lessons from #2022


As civilised as we think we are, man’s inhumanity to man, never ceases to to amaze me. But just as we are exposed to callousness and barbarity on a daily basis, so too are we reminded of the resilience and courage that we have within us.

The human spirit is indomitable 

War returned to Europe on February 24. From the comfort of our sofas, we cheered as the defenders of Snake Island told the Russian navy where to go and we then welcomed Ukrainian refugees onto those same sofas. As the months have rolled on, we’ve marvelled at cruelty and bravery in equal measure. It’s a biblical David and Goliath struggle, as well as the first major war of the internet age.

In Iran, the people’s revolution led initially by women, has also elated and distressed us. A regime in a country which was once a cradle of civilisation is systematically removing the flower of their youth. And again, despite restrictions and prohibitions, these heinous acts are broadcast to the world and they are remembered through the pathos of Instagram posts or TikTok videos. The crackdown has been as severe as it is possible to get. But still they protest…

#cookforukraine #breadbasketofeurope #mahsaamini #womanlifefreedom #opiran #cookforiran

No one puts on a show like the Brits

Within the space of four months, we gathered for the spectacle of the platinum jubilee and the state funeral of a much admired monarch.

Although Her Majesty acceded to the throne in the month of February, the celebrations of her 70 year reign were held in June, over a four day holiday weekend. This being the UK, the chance of fine weather was equally difficult to predict in either month. But we were determined to celebrate and under umbrellas, gazebos and macs, we did. Beacons were lit, picnics were held, the nation rejoiced and our great Queen still managed to surprise us, as she took tea with Paddington Bear.

And then in September, the mood changed dramatically. As I wrote on September 15 in my article, ‘WWTQD’: “The foundations of our islands have been tested over the years and rocked quite considerably on many occasions, but this feels a lot more visceral.”

Her Majesty was mourned, saluted, remembered and laid to rest with all the love and respect a grieving family and a grateful nation could muster. In the gaze of the eyes of the world, we showed that although we too can sometimes fall victim to the peripeteia of trends, hubris and populism, at our core we are still solid. With her final act, she put the “Great” back into Britain.

#platijubes #queenelizabeth #QEII #endofanera #King

This year was a tomato year

We planted out our tomatoes in mid May. 2021 had been a bad year for us. We got a poor crop and blight. Sergio, from strong northern Italian farming stock, had previously been able to grow bowls of fruit, from balconies in London, to his kitchen garden in East Sussex. We prefer the sweeter, more flavoursome small tomatoes and went with Tigerella, Black Opal, Gardener’s Delight and Golden Sunrise. It proved to be such a good year that we were still collecting, eating and cooking with them in November.

Of course the other side to this is that 2022 was an unprecedentedly hot year. It became officially the hottest year ever, as the mercury hit 40 degrees. And then we had a hosepipe ban, only just recently lifted. We had to get creative with saving water and reusing waste water. Climate change, previously the domain of extremists and radicals like Sir David Attenborough and our new monarch, became an accepted reality. Hippies, celebrities, eccentrics, doom mongers and Swedish schoolgirls were finally joined in their ranks, by us the general public. 2023 is predicted to be even hotter.

#tomatoyear #heatwave #drought #hosepipeban #climatechange

We will adapt. Just as the people of Ukraine have dug in and the youth of Iran carry on their protests. We have moved seamlessly from a queen to a king. And we will change our planting and growing habits to cope with drought. Because


Image Credits: Natasha Robinson .

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