Springtime at Home: Sunshine, doorstep parcels and fresh air

In the national lock down, we are all permitted to leave the house for exercise and fresh air once a day, as long as we keep our distance from those that are not from our household. Today is the perfect spring day; warm like summer, with a gentle breeze.

I’m walking with my ten year old autistic son. I am usually protective of him because of traffic, though today I hold his reign tightly in my hand in case he gets the sudden urge to reach out to someone he knows.

“Park?” He asks. I say no, no park today, the park is shut, we are going to the fields. “Park.” He repeats with finality, as if the matter is now settled.

At the hedgerow he pauses and breathes in deeply. It is quiet, except for the buzzing of bees and the starlings in the trees.

From the fields we can see over to the neighbouring village to the west and the city to the south. As we get to the extent of our walk today my son pulls towards the distant woodland and I gently steer him away.

I return my son safely home to the rest of our family and collect my little daughter. It is too complicated, with the risk and social restrictions, for us all to go into the village at once, so we are taking our children out in shifts.

Usually, my daughter picks up every fallen flower and runs her fingers along fences or railings, so today she is safely on my back in her carrier.

We see an elderly gentleman we know from our volunteer work tending his front garden. As we approach along the footpath he quickly rises and stands ten foot back, smiling and waving to my daughter. We exchange a few cheery words. The nearby main road is empty and we cross without our usual wait.

We are on our way to photograph our library’s Community Garden. It is particularly enjoyed by those who do not have gardens of their own and we want to make sure they can still enjoy watching it bloom online.

My 19 month old daughter is enjoying herself immensely, waving at everyone and pointing out dogs. “A dog. An-other dog. Also dog. More dog.”

It reminds me that when my 10 year old son was younger, he used to call dogs random names because he was copying, although slightly misunderstanding, how humans greeted each other. “Hello Phillip!” he would say to a passing german shepherd. It really confused the owners.

We find the Community Garden full of life. We encourage anyone from the village to add plants to the little plot and it is a wonderful riot of colour.

We head back through the church yard and as we pass under the trees dozens of startled birds take flight. They have already gotten used to having the place to themselves.

It is very odd to see straight across to the local pub. I cannot usually get a clear view for the constant traffic.

There is a large queue of elderly shoppers outside the butcher’s, so we take the longer route back through quiet residential streets, to avoid stepping out onto the road to keep a safe distance.

I notice that quite a few houses belonging to older villagers have sacks of potatoes, milk bottles or loaves of bread outside on the doorstep. Neighbours have been leaving food parcels for those in need. Such kindness is heartening.

β€”Keep safe and well everyone. With heartfelt thanks to all those who are working to keep us safe, especially those on the frontline in the NHS and hospitals around the world.β€”

26 Comments

  1. Your blog is so lovely and inspiring. I’m so delighted that spring has arrived with sunny blue skies for you. We’re the opposite way around in NZ so I’ll be getting some last minute plants in my garden and then starting to put it to bed. Your photos are beautiful. So pleased the elderly are being looked after.

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  2. I so love reading your blog! Delighted that spring has arrived and you have lovely blue skies to wander under and the photos are beautiful. Here in NZ I’m popping last minute plants in the garden and then will be putting it to bed for the coming winter. So pleased your elderly are being looked after. (If you’ve already received a comment from me feel free to delete this one – I think there was a technical hitch with the other πŸ™‚

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  3. Such beautiful images of Spring on your side of the world. So good to hear you are able to take the children ouitside in the street/fields one at a time. I guess there are many young children around the world who are quite bewildered by the change of community activity.

    I wonder what your autistic sons are thinking about the situation. Perhaps they’re calmed by the lack of busyness in the village?

    For that matter, I wonder how many hypertensive adults have had a remarkable change in their blood pressure now they’re had a few days to get used to a slower pace of life?

    Love the idea of your library’s community garden.

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  4. Great post and fantastic spring photos! Although we live in a small town, with not as many residents as the capital, we still have to be creative to find fairly secluded places to go for our daily walk. Thanks for sharing and stay safe 😊 Aiva

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  5. I always enjoy coming for a visit! Your captures are beautiful and your shares about your children fill my heart with joy. Next time I see a German Shepard… I with think of your son… Hello Phillip. πŸ’—

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  6. Difficult for children to understand what is happening. Loved the stories of children’s speech. My youngest son could not get his head around female words as he only heard me speaking to his brothers or Dad- his best was congratulating me on being a “Clever boy, Mummy”.

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    1. Hello there, I think that might be the case here soon. At the moment, we can still walk around the village once a day, in a family group. I hope you and yours are all keeping well x

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  7. Great piccies. How odd is this old world; the other day the guy who helps in the garden and I talked at our now customary 20 feet and discussed the bed we’ve prepared for a mix of veg and summer plants and all sorts. ‘Your potager’ he said. Until your blog and that moment I’d not heard the word and here we are, having it used twice. So that bed is now firmly linked to you and your family. Can’t get away now!! I’ll keep posting pics on my blog of our potager as it grows

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    1. Awwr that’s awesome – we’re very touched! I found the term some years ago when I was trying to find pics of inspiration for our future garden and they all seemed to be labelled “potager” – and I realised that was what I was longing for πŸ˜€ Can’t wait to see your pics – happy gardening x

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          1. I recommend the peony frames, which curve outwards for lower growing plants… and the pyramids were agriframes… but mostly ours were designed by Mrs Heath -Robinson and built by Bill Bodge…

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  8. Such difficult times, but you seem to be coping in your taking shifts in your outings Mrs TP… And those images of your community flowering blooms in your community garden are lovely.. Spring truly was under way last week as the Sun broke through and no clouds our skies overhead at least for three days.. A record.. Only a couple of planes..
    I think young families deserve a medal in keeping their young children occupied… And organising their school homework too..
    Sending thoughts your way …. Take care and keep safe… πŸ™‚

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    1. I agree about those medals – we’re all set up for home schooling but I cannot imagine what it must be like to suddenly have it thrust upon you, in the middle of a national crisis! I think they are all champions x

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  9. I really like your writing style and was looking back through some of your posts, equally enjoying the writing and also mesmerised by the ease with which you seem to manage such a big family. Anyway, this post has some great photography and pandemic parenting moments I identify with. Thanks.

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