Tag Archives: road works

Day 5

This might be a slightly misleading title, because it’s not quite 9am. I have, however, got up early, moaned about having to get up early, got stuck in traffic going for my blood test, moaned about traffic and inconveniently placed roadworks, struggled to park, moaned about parking, and, finally, had a blood test.

The tester took three attempts but didn’t panic. Yes, strange as it seems, seeing as they are not the one being stabbed in the arm, they often get agitated if they miss first time. I know this because, as I have said before, they often do miss with my tricky veins.

I don’t mind a phlebotomist taking three attempts because it’s a difficult job. I do mind the other stuff because with a bit of planning  much of it could be avoided.

All I want is a blood test at the GP surgery. I’ve been having them there for months, but because of the number of nurses needed to give vaccinations there are none for blood testing now. The result of this is that I have to get up  at 6.30, add to the congestion, try to beat the staff to a space in the car park where staff, according to the big notice, are not supposed to park and then write a blog post to moan about it.

Is this what my “day off” is meant to be like? I haven’t had my breakfast yet and I already feel like I’ve put in a good day’s work.

“Work” was my 250th word, so I will leave it there as it’s my self-imposed minimum. If I carried on I would just start moaning again, as I’ve just been engaged in conversation with the pharmacy regarding a prescription that has disappeared. I didn’t want it, but they told me they had it for me. Julia went in to pick it up this morning and they now deny all knowledge of it. My original thought, that this was the most inefficient pharmacy in the world (you may have heard me mention this several times) has now been replaced by a theory that there are really two pharmacies working in parallel universes, which would explain why their right hand (in Universe 1) doesn’t know what the left hand (in Universe 2) is doing.

Header photo is my standard heron photo, looking hunched, dejected and/or grumpy. It seemed apt.

An Early Night

Not sure where to start today. I missed a grim demonstration of nature in action this afternoon, but Julia reported it to me. A small brown bird was chirping in the gutter, clearly trying to entice its parents to come and feed it. Suddenly there was a flutter of black and white as a magpie landed, snatched the little bird up in its beak and flew off. It’s hard to imagine that there was  a happy ending. I’m not sur whether I feel sorry for the fledgling or regret that I wasn’t able to film it. Sometimes I am not a very nice person.

I spent the first part of the morning struggling to get to work through multiple roadworks. This was very annoying. Then I struggled to get home as a lorry had broken down on the Ring Road. Some days you feel more like a commuter than others.

We seem to have had nothing but news of people dying recently. One of Julia’s ex-colleagues died a few weeks ago and we only just found out and a neighbour died yesterday. Neither were covid related.

I looked up the crematorium in Gedling and found that they offer a range of products containing the ashes of the deceased. I knew you could get ashes compressed into diamonds at great expense (£1,400 for an amber coloured quarter carat stone to £16.500 for a clear 2 carat stone – plus extra for cutting if you want a more ornate cut of stone), but I didn’t know you could get the ashes of a dead relative used as the design for a paperweight. In a world that has gone mad with big weddings and conspicuous mourning, I don’t suppose it should be a surprise.

The Georgians and Victorians were very big on putting hair into mourning jewellery. However, there was a certain amount of thought and design in earlier times, which you don’t seem to find in a paperweight or pair of cufflinks. I would hate to think bits of me would have an afterlife as a piece of tacky jewellery. I really don’t know whether I should despair or laugh.

We had twenty three poppies this morning, but yesterday, having failed to deadhead for two days, only got ten. I may have to drop my estimate a bit, or deadhead with more enthusiasm.

That’s about it. Covid rates are rising again, the Government is in turmoil, a holiday company is going to take the Government to court because they haven’t put enough holiday destinations on the Green List, and I’m complaining about traffic and bad taste mourning jewellery. That, as posterity will show, is a truer measure about the thoughts of ordinary people than anything you will read in the papers twenty years from now. Covid will pass, but bad taste is always with us.

I haven’t slept well for the last few days, so I am going to go to bed after finishing this post. I have to be up early tomorrow – another blood test.


Spanish Poppies

The Story So Far

We went out this morning around 9.00  and found that the roads we more crowded than we would have expected. I dropped Julia off at the gardens and then went to the shop. I must admit I would rather have been working with her clearing the pond rather than sitting indoors. Fresh air seems a much better option.

We will be reopening next week with a skeleton service for eBay orders. There will only be one of us in at a time and no customers.

We will reopen to the public on 15th June but will only see people by appointment. I’m not sure I see that working as people will just turn up and expect to be let in anyway. Monday always has been a day where we supposedly had an appointment system, but people always used to drift in anyway.

We had to fill the water butts and bird baths by hose on Wednesday as it had been rather dry. Once we had topped this one up the crow came to drink, showing that water is as important as food to birds. We are close to the river but there is nowhere for most birds to drink.

Let’s face it, we used to get customers coming in before we were open and as we were walking to the door at the end of the day. Some people don’t read notices on doors, and a surprising number cannot work out that if the lights aren’t on the shop isn’t open.

It is likely we will be locking the door to control access, but I expect that will be relaxed as soon as the weather gets too hot and we need the door open. I always think the shop is cooler with the door closed, but I’m usually outvoted on this.

The shop is now redesigned so that we can only have two customers in at a time and are able to keep six feet away from them.

The back room has also been redesigned, as it’s difficult to isolate when you can’t sit six feet away from a coworker. My workstation is now in the front of the shop, in a different room from all the stock and packaging materials. There is even less room to work and I will be within a few feet of all my coworkers as they walk through the doorway between rooms.

I’m not really bothered about the lack of distance, because I’m taking a relaxed attitude to these things. I am, however, a bit annoyed about the lack of efficiency which is going to be the result of the reorganisation. Once we get back to full strength it will be tricky to keep our distance and whilst finding stationery and stock to parcel up.


Then we did a quiz which we happened to have hanging around and I went to pick Julia up from the gardens. There are several sets of roadworks on the way (including gas mains and the Clifton Bridge works). By this time there was quite a lot of traffic on the road with queues at the roadworks. It wasn’t much different to the traffic before the lockdown.

I hope that the growing relaxation of the restrictions isn’t going to bring a second outbreak of the virus.

As we returned home, having gone by a different route to introduce some variety into our lives, we saw a life-size cut-out of Dominic Cummings tied to roadside railings. It was holding a notice that said “You are expendable, I am essential.”

It looks like this is not going away despite the Prime Minister’s attempts to ignore it.

Figs at Wilford Mencap Garden

Figs at Wilford Mencap Garden

The fig tree in the picture was given to us as part of a bundle of cuttings from a neighbour. We planted them, nurtured them and, eventually, saw them chopped off short by an idiot with a strimmer. That was what life on the farm was like. The three survivors are doing well, and this looks like it may even produce fruit this year.