Time to look ahead

Spring is on its way as snowdrops appear

I see snowdrops when I pull back my downstairs curtains and look into my back garden – and just behind them (as they are in hanging baskets) are chaffinches and other small birds tucking into suet balls and seeds in feeders. So, even in the depths of winter, we can see signs of the spring to come.

But it does feel like, and still is, the dark days of winter as I wait to be told by doctors how they are going to tackle my “big C” which I saw on a hospital screen just before Christmas as a tiny, tiny camera wandered around my innards.

However my latest son-in-law (please don’t ask for details) started a new job – his first in the UK – and seemed to be settling in. My oldest grandson, though, in his last year at university, was less than happy at how much his very “practical” course had been disrupted, and diminished, by the effects of Covid – while another was hopefully applying to medical school.

So it feels like midwinter, and it is hard to see spring and summer ahead and, dug down in our protective hollows (like much wildlife), it is hard to see ahead. And your own newspaper, Rye News, is finding it hard to get news when so many people, and organisations, are hibernating.

…and a partridge

But life is still going on, and my occasional gardener took time off from his bingo duties (and those who’ve been to the Brewery Yard bingo will know exactly whom I mean) to deliver a pear tree – allegedly held up in some company’s warehouse for some nine months, and, if you believe that one, stop shopping online.

As a fan of the Twelve Days of Christmas, I naturally asked where the partridge was (cue for long silence) but it got me started thinking about seeds – and now is as good a time as any to check out what seeds you have, are they past their sell by date etc., and work out a plan for when to pot them up on the bedroom windowsills.

And, at that point, they may replace some plants that have been “wintering” inside, and also some bulbs which have helped to take the edge off winter.

Though, on a quick aside, my hyacinths have been a disaster. They grow, start flowering, and then the flowers and the centre of the plant turns into a squidgy mush – and so far, with various online searches I have not found what causes this. Does anybody know ?

Thinning out cupboards

Another chore I am working on as, following my grandma’s example whose dining room dresser was a mass of tins, my house has too much food stashed away – some of it ex-army from the big white tent that used to visit the market – but it’s still edible, though the box marked “Dunkirk” wasn’t brilliant. However I’m now on Falklands tins.

And I’m looking forward, as I suspect lots of you are, or are trying to, and we welcome your news… and your thoughts on the coming months, and what our priorities should be.

In the meantime I’m watching the news, because I was a journalist on newspapers and TV back in the 60s, and seeing what unfolds – and I’ve been in Number 10’s garden when I was welcomed by the cabinet secretary, along with others, as a newcomer to the senior civil service – and we had a drink.

And I once organised an Christmas party which later led to a senior politician getting some bad publicity, but as I am 80 this year I can waste too much time looking back.

Green shoots are appearing

I look instead round my garden, discovering the various places I had planted bulbs – usually at the very front of flower beds so veg can grow behind later in the season, and one of today’s or this week’s tasks must be checking out my seeds and planning out when to seed some veg pots to germinate on my bedroom windows.

In the meantime though, I need to see whether this week’s market is better than last’s when, for very good reasons, mainly temperature and weather, quite a few stallholders were missing – but then the market is always advertised as “weather dependent”!

And you could be writing an article for next week’s Rye News about what you are up to – and what your organisation / business / club etc. etc. is planning for the weeks and months ahead. And, if you are NOT planning ahead, why not? As I am, and the snowdrops are just a start.

Image Credits: Gillian Roder .


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