The Week Of Clarke And Covid

Close up of wry faced lady of 52 years who faces camera from her bed.

30/4/22 Saturday
It’s not odd to wake up achy. Yesterday I was dragging and rolling logs, amongst other land tasks. I don’t feel right though, so I take a covid test before thinking about heading to work. The control line is bold red, the test line is barely visible but it’s not not there... message my coworker to pre-warn her that I might not be arriving, though the result may be erroneous. Wait one hour. Re-test. Both lines bold red. Mr’s test is negative, putting him on nurse duty. It feels wrong, at first, not to be off to work, but while I am sitting in bed reading up on the pros and cons of stone tracks; drainage issues in particular; the excitement of having a rest kicks in. Mr goes to the shops and comes home with a cream tea. 

1/5/22 Sunday
The last calendar month of spring begins with light rain, light grey sky, barely a breeze. The hedge birds have a lot to say; swallows swoop by the bedroom window so fast I see only a fork-tailed blur.
Today I rest, I write.

2/5/22 Monday
Resting is working, though now I’m at the dangerous point where I think I’m good to relaunch into everything, and risk delaying full healing. Mr has gone out to Paddock Garden, to chop up felled trees. I am staying home, mostly in bed, window open, listening to birds gossip, watching a light stirring in the taller branches, planning my next section of novel writing. Working on just the next sentence, just the next word, is meticulous but also freeing. I’ve thought out most of the big picture, so no need to scatter thoughts, only to focus on where I am. It’s what we're doing with land plans too; the big picture is mostly in place, now we work on it piece by piece. 

3/5/22 Tuesday
Wandered to the polytunnel this morning and automatically set to work. Cleared all the winter warming gear; the black bins, the bubble wrap, the insulated foil, the plastic and glass bottles that all make cosy thermal mass; thinned out the greenfly infested strawberry and herb robert plants; remembered I was not supposed to be doing this. The lime tree has been under some kind of attack, so I pruned and fed that as a matter of urgency, and turfed out the flower crab spider for eating a bee. Mr helped with the tidying up, and rounding me back to rest. I am back in bed, a little bored, very tired, and have just had a late, low-effort breakfast of ice cream and banana.
4/5/22 Wednesday
(May The Fourth Be With All Who Celebrate)
Mr went shopping twice, the second time for the stuff he forgot the first time around.
I snuck off for another polytunnel stint thinning out strawberries, watering, and planting beans. Transplanted some mint to see if that discourages ants and woodlice, they are rumoured not to be fond of it. Saw a beautiful nursery web spider with her mouth full of egg sac, also some harvestmen, mouse spiders (UK version, they are furry looking, they do not feast on mice), a joyfully pink worm, a hefty bee, too many ants, and one lost looking moth. 

5/5/22 Thursday
It’s sunny, there’s a breeze that is barely cooler than the air, like summer is just ahead, whispering back over her shoulder.
I pack up winter woolly wear, hang some flower bright skirts and dresses in my wardrobe. This week I have been in chrysalis mode, I am getting ready to emerge. This readiness is backed up by a negative test. I will miss this resting mode: I must remember I don't have to be ill to have a day off.
This evening: Mr drives to Tavistock to buy a generator. It’s too good a deal not to, now we need to figure out how and where to house it. It’s bright red, and has the name Clarke Power blazoned on it, so no regrets. Welcome to the household, Clarke.

6/5/22 Friday
Dog wakes me at 6:30am, in our bedroom making huffing noises like she needs to either puke or breathe slowly into a paper bag. She bolts for the stairs, rolls down them, recovers herself mournfully. I let her outside, and sit in the reclining chair waiting for her return. I stay there to keep her company, and almost drift to sleep before she leaps off the sofa, hitting every door and frame on her furious run into the garden to chase whatever has irked her. When she comes back the lump on her tail is bleeding. I go to look, she stops cleaning it, stands, squats, drops three turds onto the carpet.
7am: I am making coffee.
11am: we are at Paddock Garden. Mr is tucking into log piling, I am on light duties  moving some heathers and primroses for their own safety prior to track building, picking a few dandelion flower heads, and general wanderings. Mr joins me and wobbly Dog for a stroll to the top. Strolling and wandering, sometimes referred to as ‘site surveys’ when we wish to pretend we are in control of this process, are essential. Without wandering, we would not know our land, nor be available for the ideas that seem to pop out of it, and allow it to guide us. We feel ready for the next instalment. We still don’t know where to store the generator but- no regrets.

Clarke Power, a red generator machine, fills the boot of a small white car.


I hope your bout with covid is done and dusted.
And yay for wanders in the garden/on the land. Solace, heartbalm and an essential (in my world anyway).
Damyanti Biswas said…
Oh my! Covid is the worst. Get well soon :)
Steve Cromwell said…
Oof, sorry to hear about the Covid, but glad you're making the best of it with a mix of rest and writing and gardening. This line sums up a lot of life: "Without wandering, we would not know our land, nor be available for the ideas that seem to pop out of it, and allow it to guide us."
Lisa Southard said…
All recovered now and holding onto the practice of resting, and wandering :-)
Lisa Southard said…
Thank you - I am feeling better and not rushing the recovery process xx
Lisa Southard said…
Sometimes an interruption can really help! And yes, not all who wander are lost - it's the not wandering that's the problem :-)

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