Tuesday 12 May

As lockdown begins to ease very slightly, we all begin to think of things we could do other than tidy the house and garden. So tomorrow garden centres open and we shall be able to buy some plants, except the weather is now so cold that it’s not possible to plant them yet. Some people can look forward to a game of golf and others to meet up with someone outside of their household. So what about all those activities which were lined up for the period of lockdown? I read a funny article by Caitlin Moran where she mentioned the tapestry set, lurking under the jigsaw puzzle, lurking under the pile of unread books. I guess we all have the equivalent.

I ventured out on a walk in Kent: it was very cold but at least sunny. I saw this wonderful pink and white hawthorn.

The fields were full of buttercups and clover, and in the hedge margins there was vetch, cow parsley, dandelions, speedwell, pink campion, a riot of colour. Near Ightam Mote a song thrush was singing its heart out, incredibly loudly. Or does it just seem so, now that there are hardly any planes overhead?

If you look carefully here, you will see a tiger lurking in the undergrowth of Kent. This was recently in the news:

There was panic in Kent’s countryside. Reports of a live tiger saw the scrambling of armed police and a helicopter. Alas, the wild beast was actually a life-sized sculpture. Yesterday morning, May 2, officers descended into the jungles of Underriver after reports of a ‘large wild cat’ in the village. Upon hearing about this, sculptor Juliet Simpson left her home and ventured up the road to meet police.

Soon enough, it all became clear; the ‘tiger’ was actually a realistic model made of chicken wire and resin, put together by the 85-year-old herself. Kent Police have since stated ‘there was no animal and no risk to the public’.

Well life as a policeman in Kent gets terribly boring…….

The walk began and ended in Underriver, a tiny hamlet. But it has a little church, St Margaret’s. It seems very active, with online services every Sunday at 10, and food collection boxes in the porch. But I was very interested in the lych gate. This is an arched gateway found at the entrance to old churches, through which a coffin was carried on its way to burial. The word lych is an Old English word for a corpse, modern German, Leiche. This one had a resting place under the arch for the coffin, which I think I have not seen before.

On the way back I stopped at a farm shop near Westerham. I was tempted by fresh asparagus. But it had many other delights, and in addition I ended up with a box of new laid eggs, fresh rhubarb, a piece of Kent blue cheese, and 2 locally baked loaves. I said, ” And I only came in for asparagus!” The shopkeeper laughed: “That’ll be £15 please, think yourself lucky!” As he had local honey, Westerham beer and wine, special gin……..I probably did get off lightly!

Different earrings today; small oval studs with a blue and green pattern on them. No idea of their provenance, could be something passed on from my daughter who is somewhat more systematic about clearing out than I am. Still a few pairs to go…..

One thought on “Tuesday 12 May

  1. Really enjoyed reading this entry and seeing the photos. Never knew why those gates were called lych gates. Got a laugh over the loose tiger in Kent. Sure that created quite a stir!


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