22 March 2020 (Sunday) - Gardening, Breakdown

I had a good night’s sleep; having Pogo doss down on the bedroom floor (for no reason that I could see) probably helped. It was only a shame that Fudge was sick when we all got up. Over a bowl of granola I watched an episode of “Uncle” then sparked up my lap-top.

Facebook was heaving with misunderstandings about coronageddon. Just reading it for five minutes this morning reaffirmed my honest conviction that allowing the masses to vote and do jury service is a *really* silly idea.
There was some voice clip circulating on Facebook messenger. It was spoken by someone who claimed to be a nurse (therefore it had to be true) claiming that the way to avoid infection was to drink hot beverages every half an hour to wash the virus into stomach acid.
There were quite a few pointed comments aimed at people (like me) who have actually dared to set foot outside the house. Not that I’m trying to justify myself, but from what I can work out, the virus has a two per cent death rate in those who are already very ill. For the well public (which is most of us) the disease is like having the flu. It makes sense to do the social distancing thing (to slow the spread), but unless you are going to live in a hermetically sealed space suit, sooner or later you are going to come into contact with the virus.
I’m taking the line that I’ll keep a decent distance as far as I can, and I can do that out in the countryside just as easily as I can in my living room. It might turn out that I am wrong, but at the moment this seems sensible (not that I’m any expert in human diseases….)
Ironically the same people who felt that I should stay in the house and not take the dogs out had no problem with me going to work in a hospital where I would come into close contact with over fifty people every day.

Seeing that the washing machine hadn’t gone west after last night’s hiccup I fed it a load of laundry, fed the dogs some chicken flavoured dog food, then took the dogs out. It was a rather bright (if cold) morning and bearing in mind how dry underfoot yesterday’s walk had been I thought we might try Orlestone woods.
As we drove the five miles to Ham Street we didn’t see another car on the road. Not one.
We got to the woods and found that my plan wasn’t that good; the woods were rather muddy. Not that bad that the dogs needed a bath, but still wet underfoot. We only met one other person in the woods. For some inexplicable reason this woman was in the depths of the forest but still had her dog on a lead. Why don’t these people let their dogs run? I greeted her with a cheery “hello”: she cowered behind her dog as if I were a combination of rapist, axe-murderer and escaped psychopath. I can understand how coronageddon has swept the nation; I made a point of keeping my distance, but would it have caused her physical pain to have said “good morning”?

Being mother’s day I had intended to go see my mum today. But what with her being over eighty, having half a lung missing, and having had a constant cough since Christmas, she is someone who should be self-isolating at the moment.
We came home, and with nothing better to do I did some gardening. Despite having been round with a trowel and bucket yesterday, I got another bumper crop of dog turds this morning. I then strimmed the edges of the lawn. I must admit I didn’t recognise the strimmer when I got it out of the shed, but looking at my diary I see I’ve had the thing for nearly a year. With strimming strimmed I then gave the lawn another mowing before spending seemingly ages pulling weeds out of the gravelled areas of the garden. I’m not sure what went wrong here; the whole point of having gravelled areas is so that I don’t have to do weeding.
I had a sandwich, watched the last episode of “Uncle”, then went back out into the garden. I got out the pressure washer and had a go at the patio. I say “patio”; I mean the concreted bit by the shed. It gets rather grubby and the pressure washer brings it up a treat. It makes a mess at the time, but after all the floods have subsided it looks “not too shabby” (to coin a phrase). I thought about pressure washing the front garden too, but decided against it. Instead I got out a pair of shears and trimmed back the jungle pouring over the fence from not-so-nice-next-door. Before he disappeared I once mentioned to “Nutty Noodle” that I’d appreciate his trimming back his plants. In all seriousness he told me that having roses and clematis pouring over the fence was a good thing as it would deter burglars, and that he would encourage it to grow over the fence as it would reduce my house contents insurance.

I then kicked the gravel around the pond to cover up the anti-weed membranes. There’s a bit of a problem with the shingle round the top of the pond. Being rather higher, all the shingle migrates down the slope from there and the bare membrane are rather obvious. I’m not sure what I can do about it. I did have an idea to pop to the garden centre to get more shingle, but what with coronageddon that wouldn’t be a good idea. I’ve got some rather large concrete cores that once held up fence posts; maybe I might do something with them?

By then it was well past three o’clock. I’d started in the garden shortly after ten o’clock, and I was worn out. I’d spent over five hours doing hard labour, and (in all honestly) the garden didn’t look *that* much different from when I’d started. Did I ever mention how much I hate gardening? I was just sitting on the loo planning a Netflix binge when my mobile phone beeped. "er indoors TM"’s car had broken down some twenty-five miles away. The RAC were on the way, but could I drive out, collect "Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM" and take him home?
As I drove I activated my phone so as to transmit my location. Smallest grandchild was (so I’m told) fascinated with following my progress. I collected him and left "er indoors TM" waiting for the recovery van. As we drove, SBOD ("Stormageddon - Bringer of Destruction TM") told me about his latest playstation game which feature goats with jet packs. He was also made up with the gauge on my car’s dashboard which showed how many miles I could drive before needing more petrol. He said that nanny needed one in her car because the reason she’s broken down was that she’d run out of petrol. If only…
Just as I dropped him off I got instruction to collect "er indoors TM" from the garage where the recovery chap was taking her car. We’ve got to go back in the morning to talk to the garage people; there is talk of “cam belts” and “warranties

In the meantime I’ve uncorked a bottle of the red stuff. This might get messy…

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