Mainly, all I want to do is to be at home, lie on the bed, read my book and possibly take a nap! However, that doesn’t happen too often. There have been pockets of activity – usually when the sun has been shining or when ‘big’ things have been in the diary.
I spent a weekend in Manchester visiting my niece and starting the next lot of accommodation moves! She will be moving closer to the family mid-April – so moving to Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire or thereabouts. Paul and I have joked that we could set up our own removals service as we have done so much of this over the past few years! My niece and I also managed to catch-up with some of my friends – who coincidentally had also just moved house and that had encompassed over 200 boxes apparently (gulp) - so that was good. It’s great that after two-and-a-half years, because of lockdown and restrictions, that we were able to slip into ‘normal’ chit-chat as though we had seen each other just a few weeks ago.
My neighbour and I enjoyed something a bit different one evening – taking part in a cookery class and “Pan Asian 'small plates", making dim sum, summer rolls, bao buns and other Asian small bites. Different influences from Vietnam, Korea, Japan and a nod to China too. The course we attended was a mid-week evening between 7pm – 9.30pm, but they also run day courses, and corporate events. Check out: https://www.foodworkscookeryschool.co.uk/
I have made a few changes recently in a bid to balance my time better:
Without going into details (boring as) I have handed in my notice for one of the Clerk positions that I hold. Basically, for this particular site, there’s too much work expected for too few contracted hours and the possibility of additional work and travel with no option to even claim for those additional hours or petrol! It is just not worth the hassle; let alone the very limited income it brings in! Subsequently I have spoken with the other schools about what is expected / contracted and – happily – slowly but surely - the hours are being increased, as well as the rates of pay.
Outside of official [paid] work, I have told the powers-that-be within the local church community that I am unable to run the Winchcombe Open Gardens event this year....as I am in effect a "committee of one" and there is too much to do and I can't do it by myself! I am also not in the right frame of mind to 'chivvy' people along to get them to either open their gardens and get involved or bake cakes for teas and coffees on the day (in June) or provide plants for sale (on the day). I am fed-up of trying to be bright and cheery and a nice person and doing the 'right thing'. I am admitting that there is too much on my plate but, moreover, the past two years have caught up with me. And I am giving in.... or giving up!
I have spent as much time in the garden as possible – and there have been some absolutely beautiful days – but February and the beginning of March have been a mixture of grey and dull. There are plenty of seedlings bravely doing their thing but now I am begiing to run out room So, yesterday, Paul and I have managed to create some space in GH2 by moving a lot of inherited (as it were) belongings into the storage unit we now rent in a local village. It is a marvellous set-up - although it is another farm having to diversify in order to keep going. Isn't it shocking that the people who ultimately feed us cannot make a decent standard of living as farmers for all their knowledge, skills, hard work and time that is involved without having to also operate as B&Bs, party or glamping / camping venues and suchlike. What'll happen when the price of food rockets even more or we don't have the farming ability to provide it...? Hmmm. Worrying.
Anyway, I am doing my very small bit and the veg patch is looking good (for this time of year) and there are plenty more packets of seeds to be sown. I am champing-at-the-bit to get on with it but reluctantly am mindful of the advice from Gotherinton Nurseries (our local go-to) to be patient as it is not warm enough yet and neither is there enough light for decent growth. It is not easy as I'm not particularly patient. Still, just a couple more weeks and then it'll be a case of not seeing me for dust - or John Innes No1 Potting Compost!?*