Monday, May 11, 2020
Lockdown Art and a Cold Snap
Someone has converted this boarded-up restaurant around the corner into an art project called "40 Days -- Lock Down." Poems are laid out horizontally, one for each day, and numbered 1 through 39. Number 40 is still blank, and beside that it says, "End...?"
I haven't read all the poems, but here's a random example. I love how the grammar police intervened on this one.
Our lockdown isn't ending, but it's also not quite a lockdown anymore. We're not sure what it is, to be honest. The government has decided to change its official "Stay Home" demand to "Stay Alert," which has prompted a lot of head-scratching. Boris has said that people who can't work from home should now go to work, and we can all be outdoors more (exercising for unlimited times and even sunbathing -- not that I ever sunbathe). There will be a phased reopening of schools and shops beginning June 1. Restaurants and pubs, though, will stay closed until at least July.
This announcement comes at a perfect time, since I'm due to return to work this morning. We'll see what that's like. Fortunately, I live close enough to walk, so I don't have to brave public transport (still not recommended). And most of the school is still closed so I shouldn't encounter many people.
Apparently there's a guy walking around North London wearing a medieval plague doctor outfit. I'm glad some people are being creative in these crazy days, making life interesting for the rest of us.
Our foxgloves, which you may remember I grew from seed last summer, have just started flowering. I thought they were supposed to be apricot-colored, but this one (above) is clearly more purple. It also looks a little different from the other plants -- more robust and darker green. I think some mutant seeds got into that packet.
Our cold snap has arrived. Right now it's 40ºF, and I was lounging on the lawn in shorts only yesterday morning! Temperatures began to drop in the early afternoon and steadily plummeted. It's certainly a dramatic change, considering we just finished the sunniest and one of the warmest Aprils on record.
I brought two of our five dahlias inside just to hedge my bets. I'm sure they'd be fine outside, because we're not getting frost, but I didn't want to lose all of them in a worst-case scenario. I also brought in our new lupines because they're quite tall and we were getting gusty winds yesterday evening. (We bought a second lupine, a hybrid called Rachel de Thame, after a well-known gardening television presenter.) Plant drama!
I called my mom yesterday to wish her Happy Mother's Day. We had a quick conversation -- about ten minutes, and once again I got three "I love yous" and lots of laughter. She seemed to think it was pretty funny that I was unable to send her flowers. Mom has become quite a character in her old age.