I was going to just post images from my garden and my socially-distanced walks for April, because no words of mine can do justice to what has been going on in this new world we are inhabiting.
But that would be to fail to honour the fact that while many of us look forward to breaking free from some of these shackles and others are terrified at the thought, upwards of 25,000 people in the UK had died by the end of April. (I was shocked to discover that when I last posted on here, at the end of March, the number was 4,000 …) The latest figure is pretty much the size of the whole population of a nearby town (and will be beyond the size of it as May goes on). I try to imagine it and can’t.
It’s been a month where every day has been much like another for me – a walk, gardening, writing or editing, a massive spring clean, taking a deep breath and facing a trip to the shops alongside checking the news and, by the last week, being increasingly baffled by the statistics and the assertions. I had a lot of questions and no-one to answer them.
But there have been Zoom conversations with family and friends, yoga classes, an awful lot of memes, a belated discovery of the wonderful taste of potatoes, tomatoes and raspberries bought in the farm shop. And above all, an appreciation of nature unfolding and breathing all around. The trees have gone from bare branches to mostly full leaf, the blossom – never less than spectacular – has been and, in some cases gone, and the birdsong (skylark, blackbird, song thrush, robin, wren, goldfinch and, the biggest revelation of all, blackcap) continues to lift the spirits.
There’s also been the feeling of loss of six weeks gone by, of a grandson much missed as he changes every day, of inadequate conversations on over-stretched wi-fi links – yet this loss is barely worth mentioning compared to the grief that others have faced.
Onwards we go into May, wondering what lies at the end of it whilst also trying not to wonder too much. Life at the moment is best lived day by day.
I was surprised to discover just how many of my photos this month featured paths and tracks leading away into the distance.
The blossom everywhere – pear, cherry, ornamental – was fabulous.
The garden was glorious – tulips at the start of the month, then quince and Sun Disc narcissi. The weeds flourished and the grass needed a regular cut.
Clematis at the back, honeysuckle at the front …
Forget-me-nots, muscari and rosemary in mid-April, lily of the valley and bluebells at the end of the month.
The Easter weather was so beautiful. Like so many people, I missed seeing the family – particularly my favourite Easter bunny on his Easter egg hunt. I tried my hand at painting, and soon realised I was better off sticking to the writing.
Book Three of the latest trilogy is now up to 80,000 words. I’m determined to finish by 7th May – review day for the lockdown…