Easter Harvest

Two open dandelion flowers on grassy ground, bright sunny yellow

16/4/22 Saturday
Wake achy. Scrabble for coffee, ponder irrigation, set off for work, making a detour for chicken sitting. I also check and water the pots in Middle Daughter's little polytunnel- trays and trays of greenery; beanstalks twisting, carrot leaves flickering, reptilian, ready to bask.
Continue on my journey - there is blossom and new leaves on hedgeway trees, growing bit by bit, like watching a tapestry embroider itself.

17/4/22 Easter Sunday
Mr is off to Exmouth for family time, I am off to work, via a bit of chicken company.
They had laid me 4 eggs so clearly felt justified in hassling me for grain.
The cows next door leaned over the fence to lick my hands.
At work (after washing my hands) we took a stroll along the dunes at Par, amongst rose bushes and seabuckthorn and mist.

18/4/22 Monday
At work. Tired. Struggle to keep awake driving home.

19/4/22 Tuesday
Feels like I have slept for a million years- it’s half past six. Close my eyes for more. Coffee arrives. Dog fell down the stairs this morning. I missed all the drama, but she’s fine now. We go to the land.
I am still tired, so much so that this is the first time I’ve ever been here and not felt anything. I was aware of all its charms, I didn’t not like it. Tiredness in my soul.
Did light work- moved some slender blackthorn branches to cover and protect the leeks, and the magnolia trees; leisurely cut through the bramble-tangle around an old cattle feeder in the scrubby woods, found some comfrey growing, made more room for it; laid down plastic by the hollow oak, changed my mind, moved the plastic sheet (leftover from shed construction) to up by the stable where it is now part of our reclaiming growing space experiments. I walked around the woods, and along the shaded side of the middle hedge. Sat on a felled branch of ash. Dog joined me and began to chew the edge of the bark.

Brown and white spaniel puts her paw on a felled branch to hold it steady while she chews it

Before it’s time to go, Mr says I should stay home tonight, get some rest. I say yes. We sit on logs and talk about setting out the lower field. If we get a mower we could make outlines, we could trial pathways.
Sun is warm. Pasture waves with grasses and flowers. Yellow dots of dandelions, white dots of daisies. Leaves of stitchwort, musk mallow, celandine, ground elder, dock, campion, sweet cicely. Flowers of forget-me-nots, daisies, tulips: I begin to ease. Here is where I want to be. At home, of course, I can’t help doing some jobs, but I stop myself from overdoing it. I put a fire in. Make it cosy. Make food. Come upstairs to get some writing done. Not too much. Dog comes up to remind me that she is hungry too; she falls down the last few stairs when she goes to check her food bowl. I hear the tumble, she makes no yelp. She gets on with it, and she takes plenty of naps- I should definitely be more Dog. 

20/4/22 Wednesday
Back to work, where we go to Trelawney Garden Centre to buy plants. Our care client has a veg plot now in her repurposed garden storage box, and we will attempt to make a veg box delivery for her Granny if all goes well. There are some very exciting purple podded peas. At lunchtime, I took a stroll to Porthpean. Tide on the out, rolling little but solid waves; clear water, fine sand, sand eels, gulls calling and wheeling overhead, their shadows skimming the water- being tired, I nearly didn’t walk here, but maybe I was too tired not to.

21/4/22 Thursday
Land day- Mr digs up saplings, mostly blackthorn, using them to plug up gaps in the hedges. I have some plants to put in. Six heathers go along the outside of the iron fence, edging a blackthorn patch. Black grass, rosemary, and fuschia are settled into the earth mound. A truck pulls up and a happy lady asks out of her wound-down window, what is the mound? A horse burial? They have been taking bets, she says, and I explain it’s more by accident than design, but we like it and will likely do it again. It’s hot. I have a straw hat, Mr ties a t-shirt over his head. As I’m digging there are worms, grubs, beetles, and a random bee, it feels companionable. Birds sing, people in cars wave. We measure the distance from the lower parking bay to the stable, then estimate we will need in total 225 metres of track to connect the upper and lower gateways. One day our contractor will turn up and help us decide the best way to get this done; meanwhile, we investigate a list of ‘could we?’ One of these is just to get on and be hands-on, so if you’ve got a spade and a day to spare, sign yourself up, dear reader.
Our last job today is our first proper harvest- we sit on our bottoms and edge down the slope of the lower field, picking dandelions till our hands are caked in amber. We have almost enough for a batch of wine. We are weary and hungry, and decide to have a nap in the field, lying down behind the earth mound, listening to the birds and the traffic and the river. Dog decides if we rest she must work, and drops bits of stick on us to throw for her, which we ignore. She sits to chew one up, and then gets a thorny one stuck in her tail, and flicks it off onto my head.
It was more relaxing than it sounds, because of the warmth, the background music, because we were there together. 

22/4/22 Friday
Fieldwork is on hold in spite of the sunny weather, as we go to Treguddick to take a tour of the English Spirit Co. distillery there. Mr is driving, so he does most of the questioning, whilst I generously accept all the tasting responsibilities. They do their own fermenting as well as distilling, producing gins, rums, vodkas, liqueurs, sambuca, a cucumber spirit, and soon, possibly, a brandy- we were given a trial sip of an experimental batch. All of it was impressively smooth to drink. We have come home with 2 gins and strict self-given instructions to eke it out. 
KInd of want a distillery licence now, dammit. Probably have enough to do though, eh?

Man sits in a field with a t-shirt tied around his head


DEFINITELY have enough to do - and from the sounds of it a tad too much.
Glad that you have the solace of land, of growth and the excitement of Spring.
Steve Cromwell said…
Here's to us all being more Dog. And be careful driving - that sleepy spell behind the wheel happened to me the other day as well, and I always roll down the window for some cold air.
Lisa Southard said…
Slowed down a bit this week- and haven't applied for a distillation licence :-) Land is solace, don't want to ruin that!
Lisa Southard said…
Dog is a great teacher, and sleeper. I am being vigilant, because the time for a nap needs to stay separate from the time to drive home. Dog would not make a good driver, one of a short list of faults :-)

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