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Friday, 12 June 2020

More from the bunker

I went for a walk in the woods this morning as the sun was shining  but we were forecast to have rain this afternoon.  I waited for a man with a dog to pass me at the junction of the paths and we spoke a few words as you do.  He was carrying some sticks of rhubarb and I jokingly said that I was sure he hadn't foraged those in the wood to which he replied that there was a house nearby which often put the stuff outside with an honesty box for a local charity.  I said I would have to go and have a look sometime but not this morning as I had no money with me and a moment of two later as he departed he turned back and gave me a couple of sticks.  I refused but he was adamant and said he'd feel guilty if he kept it all for himself and so I continued my walk carrying not only my old stick (a piece of branch I found some years ago and got Mr M to cut to the correct length for me even though I do have a proper walking ploe) in one hand but the rhubarb in the other. We get to recognise each other in our little wood and all say hello or good morning and some of us stop for a chat too but we don't know each other's names.  I can imagine people referring to me as that eccentric old woman with the stick who wears tattered jeans and an old coat but now they'll think me even weirder as they can tell each other she was carrying two sticks of rhubarb the other morning!  I wonder if the man would have given them to me if I had been 40 and well dressed or did he think "poor old dear on her own" as he said "If you are on your own it might be enough for something".

Free Rhubarb Cliparts, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on ...

So I returned home with my bounty and the knowledge of where I might be able to get some more if I remembered my purse next time.  I cooked the rhubarb in the oven and it was plenty for me with some fresh yoghurt and Mr M had the remains of the Eve's pudding I'd made yesterday and there is enough rhubarb to make us both a rhubarb puff pastry tartlet tomorrow.  We get our foodstuff where we can these days!!  

I did wonder later what one of my friends who thinks I am not careful enough about sanitising things like the post or my shopping or books swapped with neighbours would have to say about my accepting the gift handled by someone I don't know who might not have washed his hands before collecting the rhubarb and then carrying it in my hand and bringing it into the house and cooking it with a just desultory wipe with a damp cloth beforehand. 

Not only did I not have a purse with me this morning but I didn't take my camera either so the photo at the top of this post is an old one of the spot where I was given the rhubarb and the other image is a clip art one and not the 2 sticks I was given!!

Monday, 1 June 2020


Where does the time go?  It has been 2 weeks since my last post and that time has flown by even though every day is much like the last here in the bunker.
So nothing much to report not having been far nor done anything much.  We continue well I am pleased to say although I must admit to being somewhat up and down mentally whilst I get to grips with this changed lifestyle.
Every day is like every other day and although one might think there'd be so much more time to do all the things one didn't have time to do before that certainly hasn't been the case here.  We spend time on the "painting of the Forth Bridge" which is our garden here and yet it never looks any different or cared for in spite of Mr M having taken 10 or 12 plastic bags filled with garden weeds and so on to the tip this weekend and yet there are already 3 or 4 more waiting to go.  I really can see the allure of a small yard with some pots in it!  Speaking of pots we have been finding our cuttings and seedlings which have been outside the back door to harden off a bit being scratched about by blackbirds and robins and left on the stones to dry out and die in the sun - why are they doing this is it the compost that interests them I wonder?  I had about 15 geraniums each in a small pot and then there were 10 and soon after just 5!  Mr. M's cosmos were tossed aside and some of them didn't recover either.  Then there's the squirrel who likes to come and munch on a half ripe strawberry now and again.  Ungrateful little beggars all of them as we make wildlife welcome and know that the Earth is to be shared with them and does not belong to us alone but this is getting too much!

This morning we went to the garden centre in Sherborne I wanted more geraniums and we decided to try some different compost.  The Castle Garden Centre is usually really good and the cafe excellent for a cup of tea and a slice of home made cake after a wander round but were a little disappointed with it today.  Cafe is closed of course and there were only a reduced number of staff who were not able to give face to face advice as usual and I couldn't get the gloves I wanted nor any parsley plants and nothing seemed to have any prices on due to the closure and reduced staff etc and so have no geraniums  no parsley and no gloves.   I do understand but it was quite frustrating although we did come home with a bag of seed compost, a couple of tomato plants, some kale and cabbage plants and some seeds. 
Interestingly though we parked face on to the wall of the car park which is an high old stone wall thickly covered with ivy and I could hear the cheep cheep of birds in the thick ivy covering and then a little sparrow appeared and stayed still long enough for me to recognise it as a sparrow - something I haven't seen for years here in the garden so a real treat.  A little further along there was a notice saying something along the lines of "Is this the largest sparrow hotel in the area?" and it was true that there must have been hundreds of them flitting back and forth to their nests - penthouse suites, doubles, singles with en suite and so on!!!  So that made up for the lack of things to buy!!
From there we drove a few hundred yards to Hunts Food Store which we discovered fairly recently.  I like it as there is free parking right outside, there are never that many people inside so it feels safe, the staff know their business and are helpful and friendly, they sell lots of different things and brands as well as the usual and it is the only store where I have found flour of all kinds when supermarkets had none, pasta when that too was not easily available and also toilet rolls when there were none to be had.

We had earlier walked down the main street as I had a package to post and so wanted to go to the post office.  I had stopped at the local post office en route for Sherborne but there was a queue of about a dozen or 15 people and I gave up on that idea - I don't do queues!!  Cheap Street in Sherborne was like a ghost town with hardly any shops open - I half expected a cowboy with a gun to appear for a shoot out on the street as if everyone was hiding out of harm's way like they do in films - although we were able to buy fresh bread at the bakers not going inside but over a table pulled across the doorway.  This is great in the summer sunshine but not sure how this kind of shopping will work in the rain or winter weather!  The Post Office was open and 3 counters were manned and only 2 customers inside including me!

It is very odd to find shopping streets closed and quiet like this and I wonder how it will eventually work out and whether people will in fact come back one day and whether there will be anything to come back to if they do.  So sorry for the traders who are all doing their best to provide their customers with what they want without even being able to open their doors!!

Anyway shopping all done we headed for home - I must say I love driving along quiet roads and not getting caught up in traffic as usual.  We do take our pleasures differently now and I felt much refreshed for having left home and gone somewhere even if it was for a bit of shopping which is not something I would normally think of as an outing! 

The photos are more my idea of an outing and somewhere I long to be able to go again.  But I think I will have to keep that idea till November as I really don't want to risk going at the mement and I like it better when the beaches are empty as shown here!  I can wait!