Diary of the Plague Year: Day 41 25 April 2020: Cole slaw

I had some leftover veg in the fridge so decided to make cole slaw:

A quarter of a head of red cabbage
A head of fennel
Two carrots
One small onion
Dried dill
Greek yoghourt
Salt and pepper

Chop all the veg into small pieces, add the mayonnaise, greek yoghourt, salt, pepper and dill and hey presto a really delicious cole slaw.

Fresh dill would be better but in these straightened times ….

Apart from cooking and cleaning – I cleaned behind my fridge today and surprised a large spider who looked very at home and most put out at being disturbed – I have also started a writing course. The course has been organised by Cork County Council Arts Office and is free. Novelist Denyse Woods is running it and we have been set our first assignment. We could choose to write 200 words on either of the following:

1.  The J-cloth had seen better days …

2.  Apart from the staff, there were three other people in the library….

I chose the J-cloth naturally.

I would be interested to know if choosing an inanimate object to write about as opposed to the human is psychologically revealing in any way.  It probably means I am a psychopath, this seems to be the latest buzzword and all roads seem to lead to psychopathy these days.

Anyway, I got thoroughly carried away and ended up writing a short story in the end. Based on the J-cloth.

In other news, my lovely little Bosch strimmer died on me last autumn so in a moment of madness I ordered a new one. It is a Worx cordless strimmer and so far so good. It did a great job in the orchard and now I just need to tidy up a few overgrown corners. The only drawback is that the battery takes aeons to re-charge but on the upside you can use the same battery for all other Worx tools – very tempted to get a hedge trimmer now.  The instructions were in the usual hieroglyphics. It was like deciphering the Rosetta stone trying to work out how to put it together.

Some outstanding garden jobs:

1.  Make inventory of all plants – I have a chronic memory for plant names and so before it’s too late …

2.  Trim hedges.

3.  Cut dead brambles from back wall.

4.  Weed flower garden and plant out all pots with cuttings.

5.  Re-seed lawn and path through back meadow.

6.  Put out bird bath.

7.  Create insect log hotel.

8.  Clear outside perimeter wall.

The meadow was the main task and now that is out of the way …



Diary of the Plague Year: Day 41 25 April 2020: The mowing is finally finshed!


A cool, grey day after yesterday’s heat.  The front meadow around the fruit trees has now all been mown and the tough, dead, matted grass taken off. I am using the grass clippings as mulch around the trees. I read up a bit about this.  Apparently, this is a good thing if the grass has not been treated with any chemicals e.g. weedkiller. If treated grass is used it can also kill the trees. I can safely say no weedkiller has touched this garden for at least the time I have been here, two and a half years.

Lawn seed has been scattered along the paths and around the trees and now I just have to wait.  I have found that the best tack is just to ignore parts of the garden once the heavy work is done and then come back to it later. Last year it was just a patch of ground with fruit trees but now there is more coherence and creating the winding paths felt like drawing with a lawn mower.  I have a lot to do with very little at my disposal these days so simple sculptural solutions work best. This series of photographs is really for comparison for when the meadow gets going.

I have been reviving the fuschia hedges around the perimeter by cutting them right down and removing the ivy and undergrowth which has worked very well. However, I will be leaving most of the hedges round the orchard wild, they are full of ivy, brambles and wild flowers and it seems a shame to destroy what seems to already be a complex habitat. I have just cut back a few of the encroaching brambles and trimmed the top of the hedge. The bluebells are out and I have noticed that the garden is already buzzing with insects and butterflies.



The libertaria is doing very well in its pot.

The weather is on the turn and we are apparently in for some rain. Again.