Perhaps it thrives on neglect, this climbing flower at our back door here in Sparty Lea. Or perhaps this season is just its time, but for whatever reason, the flowers are magnificent.
I have a little job today, to fix an errant trellis back to the wall where it’s gone awry. But mostly I expect we will sit quietly and try not to do too much physical labour; our first bona fide Covid-19 + tests yesterday morning have put rather a damper on our spirits. We’re blaming the bus ride we took to Dumfries, but really, who knows from where we became infected? Our immune systems, primed, boosted and boosted again, are working hard, we know. So we need to sit back and let the memory cells get on with things.
As we do, I hope we can enjoy the quiet perspective from our kitchen window, punctuated as it is with regular imprecations at the persistent jackdaws who arrive to eat the seeds and fat balls we put out for the little garden birds. They manage to get their long beaks through the extra barrier of wires to nibble away with aplomb, until we open the window and shout at them. I was bemused to discover, as I did more research on the doughty Florence yesterday, that she forbade any harm to the birds and animals of her gardens, in perpetuity, except for the ravens, which she cheerfully recommended shooting.
Of course, species-ism tends to place the rooks and jackdaws near the bottom of the garden popularity sweepstakes. And I know that they’re protected, that they must not be shot. But I shake my fist at them, yelling out all manner of warnings and fearsome threats, so that the little birds might get a fair chance of enjoying their feed. I would so love to acquire a bird feeder with another deeper layer of wire protection, through which the big birds cannot steal the morsels within. Until then, the current barriers manage to slow them down a little, and my shouts usually send them scattering.
It will be nice, too, to see the back of this cough, slight temperature, and general feeling of lethargy and tiredness. All in good time, we think, in good time.