Pictures of Happier Times

I couldn’t find the photos I was looking for, so I hope these make a suitable substitute.

This group is from the Whitby area, in the days when we used to get into the car and drive where we liked. With hindsight, we should probably have done less driving, both from the viewpoint of pollution and cost. We will be making some changes once the lockdown finishes.

Spring flowers are always good – I am missing them at the moment as we live in an urban area and the local front gardens are a bit of a wasteland. We will be looking at the front garden with a view to making it more of a spring garden – at the moment it is great for butterflies and pollinators but it is only just about to start. We should look at starting the flowering earlier. We have said this before but always put it off on the grounds we have plenty of time. As current events show, this isn’t actually true.

Apart from driving where we liked, we could also have as much food as we liked. The fragility of our supply chain has been an eye-opener over the last month, as has the behaviour of panic-buyers. It has been very dispiriting to see pictures of bins of discarded food at a time when some people are struggling to get any at all.

After holding back and buying only what we needed, we spent a nervy couple of weeks worrying about supplies. If it ever happens again I’m not sure what I’d do, because our political masters and supermarket CEOs were wide of the mark when they talked of “plenty” of food being available and “robust” supply chains. I haven’t been able to buy flour or even a bread kit for the last month. We even had two weeks when we couldn’t buy courgettes or potatoes.

Finally, a few Robins and a sheep – something to look forward to as things return to something that resembles normality. I’m not sure they will ever be quite as they were because I sense we are all a little more afraid of what the future may hold for us.

It’s tempting to get philosophical and political here, but instead I’ll end with a feelgood story.

17 thoughts on “Pictures of Happier Times

  1. Laurie Graves

    To my way of thinking, having a stockpile is always a good idea. Perhaps that comes from living in a state where the weather is often uncertain, and we don’t know how a storm will affect us. I know there is a fine line between hoarding and stockpiling, and I hope I manage to walk that line.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I think it’s stockpiling when there is plenty and you have a plan for it – hoarding where there is a shortage and you are buying for the sake of it.

      I have more food in the house than I did a month ago, but have tried not to deprive others or to waste anything.

      When I lived on my own ten miles from the nearest decent shop I always had two weeks food planned ahead and a selection of store cupboard ingredients. Living in town has made me lazy.

  2. Helen

    This is clearly a time for reflection!

    To be honest I am intrigued and hopeful about the future. Some people I have spoken to feel sure that it will be business as usual once restrictions are lifted but I reckon if only 5% of the population alter their lifestyle it could create quite a big change.

    Re the courgettes, as they are out of season, I guess they would be harder to get hold of as there couldnโ€™t be any British ones (unless they were grown in a greenhouse).

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, the question of seasonality and imported food is something I will have to look at again. I try to keep my food miles down but there are only so many root vegetables I can eat in a week. Plus the Mediterranean style veg are better for me from the carb point of view.

      As an aside, did you know that the carbon footprint of tomatoes means it is better to buy Spanish ones in winter (as they don’t heat the greenhouses). To buy UK grown winter tomatoes involves heated greenhouses, which uses more fuel than driving from Spain.

      That’s why I don’t usually buy them out of season, but in lockdown I’ve been letting standards slip to ensure more variety.

      If you are making a salad, tineed tomatoes just aren’t the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Helen

        One of my friends was doing a low carb diet and so investigated the relative carbohydrate content of vegetables. It came as a surprise to me that they had carbs in them but logically, why wouldnโ€™t they!

        My weakness for imported food is bananas, which have naturally been harder to obtain in the last few weeks. Fortunately, my rhubarb is coming into production and I just discovered some apple I preserved from last year ๐Ÿ˜Š

        These days I try to use tomato purรฉe in glass jars rather than tinned tomatoes, as Iโ€™ve heard that the acidity in the fruit might interact negatively with the plastic lining in the tin.

        Always so much to think about, isnโ€™t there?

  3. derrickjknight

    Like Lavinia, I enjoyed both your photos; and the feel good story which reminded me of our granddaughter Flo’s childhood balcony on which she bred feral pigeons – offspring would return to nest year after year. Becky was good to tolerate the mess ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lavinia Ross

    I enjoyed the photos, Quercus, and that was a nice story on the doves. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes, I think the lockdown has opened many eyes, and the world will come into a new “normal”, whatever that may be. Things have not been so bad here we can’t get potatoes. Things sound worse where you are.


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