Since lockdown began, my only outings have been a drive in the car for the sake of its battery and walking up the road to the post. The only people I’ve seen have been the neighbours. Yesterday I decided to brave the garden centre. I was lucky to find no queue but confused by all the ‘No Entry’ signs. A nice young woman told me I was in the wrong place but as there was no queue, it didn’t matter. She then handed me a freshly wiped trolley and in I went. There was a robin in my way; apparently, they have a nest in the roof and have got used to having the place to themselves. I found the compost area somewhat bare, which was a nuisance as getting some was the main reason I’d gone there. I managed to get three bags; not quite what I wanted but it will have to do, and some tomato food, which I use for everything.
I’m a perfectly OK driver but a notoriously bad navigator. Now, it turns out I can’t even navigate a garden centre when there are arrows on the floor indicating the route. Like Alice trying to get into the garden, I could see the tills but not how to get there. I had to ask another customer, who said, rather patronisingly, ‘You’ll get used to it.’ It was a long way round with a wonky trolley containing heavy compost, but I made it to the appointed cross on the floor and again, didn’t have to wait. I certainly chose the right time of day to go. It was hard work getting everything into the car, unloading at home and making two trips up the garden with the wheelbarrow to the shed. That wouldn’t, surely, account for the extreme tiredness I felt after this brief outing. I think my brain suffered overload and couldn’t cope. How quickly one could become a recluse! I felt a little nervous, too, about my first real contact with the world for so long, and washed my hands raw.
I also bought a sprinkler. I feel guilty about this, as water is a precious commodity, but we’ve had no rain here for at least a month and the forecast is for weeks more of dry weather. Luckily, we’ve never had a hosepipe ban. Later in the day, when the sun had gone off my biggest flower bed, I set up the sprinkler and immediately got soaked to the skin. What a klutz. I had to get completely changed and dry my hair. I managed to adjust the wretched thing to a better position but found I was also watering the path, which is just a waste. I’ll have another go with it later on a different bed. At least then, when I’m standing by the tap, I’ll be too far away to get wet. Nor will the water come in the kitchen door. Duh. Another chore I could do without but better than watching my plants shrivel up.
It's a good job I get up early enough to garden before it gets hot. I'd moved a lot of pots about, potted on my tomato plants and washed up all the emptied pots by nine o'clock.