Tag Archives: watering

Blood Tests and Bumblebees

We went to the Mencap Gardens today. I took my camera, book, note pad and Kindle with me. I was intending to pass the morning reading, making notes and taking great nature photos before having a picnic lunch and returning home to watch quizzes on TV. It did not, as any married man could guess, work out quite like that.

So how did I find myself holding a hosepipe and watering fruit trees while Julia chatted to the school caretaker and, from time to time, offered advice?


Bumble Bee on Chives

It started with a blood test. I’m still in the introductory phase of having immunosuppressants (methotrexate) for my arthritis and they are monitoring things to ensure that my liver doesn’t dissolve. Well, something like that. The general advice for people on immunosuppreants in the time of Covid, is, in brief) to keep taking them but take precautions, including avoiding sick people. To help me do this I have to go to hospital every two weeks for a blood test. Yes, that’s right – to avoid sick people I have to go to hospital, a big building full of sick people.

We arrived, I hit a bollard because I wasn’t concentrating, Julia stayed in the car because it seemed sensible, and I started walking towards the entrance. The system has changed. They had security guards a couple of six weeks ago, though they weren’t doing anything. At that point the coffee bar was still operating. Then we had nothing apart from hand gel and a notice. Now, there were members of NHS staff, notices, hand gel and a crowd. One woman was protesting that she was allowed in two weeks ago and sat in the coffee bar to wait for her father. She was told she couldn’t go in, as the system had changed.

Until last week I couldn’t take Julia into the supermarket with me, but I could take her to the treatment centre at the Queen’s Medical Centre. Now the NHS has brought itself up to the same standards as TESCO. It’s a shame they didn’t make these changes weeks ago, but it’s good to know that the NHS now has the same standards of infection control as a budget supermarket chain.


Magpie – Mencap Gardens

However, having people congregating in the foyer did make it difficult to maintain a six foot distance from everyone, which they hadn’t thought of in designing the system.

After my blood test I had trouble getting out as two people stood in the middle of the floor discussing why only one could go in, and the NHS staff member didn’t think to move them to one side. ON the far side of them a woman hovered unable to get past and preserve a safe distance. She was standing in front of the door I needed to get out. So I waited.

Another staff member asked if I was OK.

“Yes,” I said, “but I can’t get out because there isn’t room to get past people.”

“You could use the door behind you.” she said.

The trouble with these modern glass buildings is that you can’t always tell the doors from the windows.

521 words and I’ve ended up on 35 minutes.

Then I went to the gardens but there is no time to tell you about that.

Pictures are some random shots from the gardens.


A Nice Day in Mencap Gardens, Wilford, Nottingham


Peaceful Sunday Afternoon

It sounds like it should be a song from the 60s┬ábut it’s just a description of what I’m now experiencing. With just the sound of poultry and sheep in the background it’s very relaxing. Even the occassional outbreak of raucous guimeafowlery can’t break the mood.

If you’d asked me for a title half an hour ago, while I was still engaged in moving watering cans, I wouldn’t have been so mellow. I would probably have muttered something terse in the beginning, but by the time of the twentieth something quite rude would probably have resulted. Not only would I have been trudging along with my 20th can of water, I’d also have been annoyed by the snails attacking my horseradish, various degrees of sun shrivelled foliage and the fact that I have forgotten my card reader.

So, despite having photographs I am unable to load them onto the computer. The antique machine here in the farm office doesn’t have a card slot (though neither does mine at home, to be fair) so after forgetting the card reader I am powerless. I did try taking photos with my phone but it’s a new and mysterious phone, and I can’t find out where it hides the images after I take them.

It was also a society for young men before the Great War, as I recall. I don’t, of course, recall the 1913, but I do remember my grandmother telling me that her father had been a Sunday School teacher and member of a group called┬áPeaceful Sunday Afternoon. I have a book of his somewhere at home, concealed in several thousand other assorted books, with a PSA book plate. I have never been able to find anything about them on the internet, which is strange when you think what is documented on there.

Ah well, I will leave it there. I’m off to visit Number two son in Sheffield when Julia finishes work, so probably won’t have time to load photos tonight. Sorry about that but it will probably have to remain a pictureless blog post.