Diary of the Plague Year: Day 23 7 April 2020:


Into the garden this morning, the sun is out, cloudless.

The air actually smelt faintly of hot cross buns this morning. There is nothing like the air of West Cork. I think if I was lying in a darkened hospital room and someone brought in a bottle I would recognise it immediately. It is indefinable; a slight salt tang, grass, the inevitable undertone of slurry, though I would know it immediately. It is especially lovely first thing and in the evening. The air of an Irish evening after rain or a warm day … the lovely thing about getting up early is the morning air.

Gardening jobs can be divided roughly into two classes:

i.    hard work but enjoyable; and
ii.   hard work but deadly, deadly dull.

I have just come in from carting barrow-loads of hay off the meadow which I would definitely define under category ii.  If leave the mown grass it will mulch down and the goodness will improve the soil.  If taken off, wildflowers, in theory, should flourish as they prefer poor soil.

Am giving myself a well-earned tea break now and to listen to the no-doubt ghastly plague news.

Hot off the press:  Boris Johnson is in ICU.

If there is a God he is definitely an ironist.

Tea, news, a less-boring gardening job and then more barrowloads ….

Having reviewed my old notebooks recently I think I will start keeping one again. I thought this diary would take its place but actually there is nothing like the spontaneity of a book and pen.


2 thoughts on “Diary of the Plague Year: Day 23 7 April 2020:

  1. I too, prefer paper and pen, and have kept a journal for decades. Am finding it more difficult to write in present times. Am also a hermit. Also live by a creek. But I rather like dreadfully dull garden jobs like weeding or edging. One knows what the result will be. Planting always seems a bit more adventurous, but riskier? Best of luck and hope your wildflowers are extra beautiful this year.

    1. Hi Carolee

      So nice to hear from you. I often wonder who is reading this – and I could not agree more about the difficulties of writing at the present time. I have not categorically decided not to write about the present horrors but there is so much stuff already out there I have almost by default kept my nose firmly to the earth! How lovely to live by a creek. I live near the sea though am still hermit-like. The Creek was in Deptford, South London where I spent a year just photographing and making notes and when I began this blog.

      As to dreadfully dull – it is the sheer hauling-about jobs I find exhausting and dull – love edging and weeding!

      Thanks for your good wishes about the wildflowers – according to the purists (and if any are reading I am sure they shudder) I am doing it all wrong but let’s wait and see! I will keep posting about them so I hope you will see some lovely ones. The most terrifying job I have found so far was pruning my fruit trees.

      Thanks again and the best of luck to you too with the notebooks. It is a struggle but I intend to start again.

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