June 2020: Still here.

It’s June 2020. It has been 13 weeks since the last Instagram update. That was when we were in the early throes of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic. Since then, the world has changed. Our country approached the lockdown reluctantly, and haphazardly. 13 weeks ago I came to work from home, with Theo following a week or so afterwards. Robin’s school closed to all except the children of key workers.

As we were able to be safely at home, the sensible thing to do was keep her with us. As key workers, our jobs are safe and we didn’t get furloughed. However it did mean that we now had other things to handle as well. Full time parenting. Attempting to oversee home schooling. Trying to help Robin understand how to deal with rapid changes in life. We supported others when panic buying and food chain wobbles emptied some supermarket shelves. We shared what we had with those who struggled, and helped them shop too.

We’ve had a lot to do.

So in mid-March this year, I furloughed the blog and associated social media feeds, to focus on what was happening.

June 2020: The Front Garden

The front garden looks like this today, June 2020, and that’s okay right now.

Bet the neighbours are totally judging us for this.

While we were in lockdown, we adopted a third dog from a local rescue kennels. Not a whim. We’ve been thinking about it since our oldest dog started having intermittent seizures. She’s 10, and if we’re lucky we’ll have her for a few more years, but her age is showing now. Our other, younger dog, didn’t deal well with her slowing down. He needed a more active companion.

What the heck has this got to do with the front garden?

Be patient. It’s related, trust me.

So. The third dog. The third dog is a delight. At a year and a half she is two thirds the size of our old greyhound. She is a lurcher, which means she is a part sighthound, part some other breed of dog. In her case, we robustly all agree part Alsatian. So she has big long legs, is lightly built, clever, and rear haunches that are made out of springs.

Being a rescue, she has little to no effective recall. And can jump.

Yeah, you’re seeing it now, aren’t you?

That low wall, facing out onto the street where dozens of dogs are walked past every day.

So the front garden is now out of bounds for dog business. I’ve got a local landscaper problem solving it for me. More updates when we know more.

June 2020: The Back Garden.

I could play ‘spot the changes’ with you from earlier photographs, but this post is long enough already. Therefore, just the highlights up to June 2020. We’ll talk about more detail another time.

Pond has settled in well, and the hen coop has moved.

We’ve demolished the brick wall around that old patio. The debris took up a skip and a half (all gone for recycling). In its place, the hen run and coop, which fits snugly inside the mature cotoneaster boundary. The hen run has been fortified, with a safety porch to prevent unplanned exit, and green windbreak for weather protection. Izzy Chicken, the Henscapist, died. There was an unfortunate incident. We think she hid on a secret nest to brood some eggs rather than returning to safety at night. So we have 7 chickens, but plans soon to hopefully hatch more.

Currently we only have onions and potatoes in the ground as food crop. The work described above took a lot of time and effort. But on order right this darned minute is a polytunnel! I know! Very exciting! It’s going to go on the right, covering where the existing raised beds are. The willow will be moved. Plan is to have new pallet compost bays behind the tunnel. And when we’ve recovered financially from everything else, there will be a corner summerhouse on that concrete pad at the back.

Final word

Ragnar, the avocado plant, is doing well.

Thank you, Melissa, I’m pleased to share that Ragnar is doing well. Look at all that lovely new growth!