It’s time to get back to normal. Queen Elizabeth II once summed up her year as, “Annus Horribilis” and without a doubt 2022 has been one of those. The ongoing pandemic, the increasing effects of Global Warming, Russia invading Ukraine, Russian sanctions and Putin’s retaliation and of course the death of our Queen. The future for this planet seems precarious and as yet it is still the only one we have, it is about time that leaders, politicians and the megarich understand this, only then can all that share this large ball of rock enjoy an “Annus Mirabilis.” There is no alternative.
On Friday (16th) I spent a pleasant hour picking this year’s crop of red grapes. Usually, it happens without incident but on this occasion, it seems I upset a blackbird, as I harvested the satisfyingly and very fat bunches he settled onto the vines just a few centimetres away, protesting loudly, continuing to do so as I worked my way along the rows. I fear he was under the misconception that the juicy fruit was his, and his alone. I could see where he had taken his fill of some of the grapes and I don’t blame him, they are very tasty, but he is an interloper and they are mine. However, I do have a heart and left him a few bunches to feast on at his leisure, I hope he appreciates it. After all, we share the same lump of rock! Six days later I crushed the grapes and began the fermentation process, I won’t be sharing that produce with Mr Blackbird.
Up to the end of the month, life settled down into our usual routine of walking, cycling and rugby watching as well as the necessary mundane garden and housework chores, of which the only ‘highlight’ was when Sue contacted me via my mobile as I was picking the white grapes to request that I return home a.s.a.p. as one of the taps in one of the bedrooms was ‘pouring’ out hot water and she couldn’t turn it off. The problem was simply cured with a new washer, but it entailed draining the system and then filling it up again to test whether my DIY skills were up to the task. However, it put an end to my grape picking for the day; fitting a rubber washer isn’t at all as relaxing or satisfying as filling tubs of lush green flavoursome fruit!
On the evening of the last day of the month, Sue and I watched a film called ‘Benediction’ at the Harborough Theatre. It was an excellent portrayal of the 20th Century war poet Siegfried Sassoon’s life-long quest for personal salvation through his experiences with family, war, his writing, and destructive relationships. A well-scripted and sensitive film brimming with symbolism, highly enjoyable.
On the first of October, Sue and I had our Covid booster and Flu jabs. Just before leaving for our local surgery, Ruth arrived with Rocky and Nala, we are looking after the two hounds overnight while Jamie and Ruth watch the musical ‘Bugsy Malone’ in Sheffield, they also visited the Magna Science Adventure Centre on their way home before collecting the mutts. During the afternoon I and three rugby chums and the two dogs (of course) watched Tigers being destroyed by Saracens 51:18 on the big screen in the garden room. A well-deserved win and the Tigers have much to learn from this pounding!