Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Making an Auricula Theatre with recycled materials

Hi everyone,

This long lockdown has helped me to make progress with the many jobs needed at home. I love doing projects, painting, making or changing things.

I have long admired the showy elegance of Primula Auriculas  - I had some in the garden but they were rather neglected & certainly not shown off to their full beauty.  They are alpines so need careful attention if you want them to thrive.

Some weeks back, I noticed that several mentions of Auricula Theatres on the Chelsea Flower Show reports & then the vintage shop, La Vie in Shrewsbury showed off a rather nice one he had made from an up cycled pallet during lockdown.

I managed to get some free wooden planks & wooden strips from a building project & I then formulated an idea in my head. I wanted it to be largely a recycled project so the dimensions were decided on the materials at hand ...

The 2 large planks were measured; 1 was divided in half to form the sides, the other divided in 3 to form the shelves & top; 2 of the blue wooden strips were used for the base with a gap to aid air circulation. The blue strips were also cut as shelf supports ...

We are not keen on fixing things to the house walls so decided it should rest on a firm base; however, having no additional wood meant that I popped to a local trader whose store is a bit of an Aladdin's Cave but sure enough, he had a heavy wooden stool which was perfect. Two thin beading strips completed my purchase to hold the pots in place when they are on their shelves.

That was the entirety of the purchases needed for the project because we had everything else.

Once it was all done, I found a part tin of shed paint in the garage - a pretty WILLOW colour in a soft, pretty green.

The whole theatre & the stool have been painted in the same colour to uniform it.

It is in place against the rear house wall where it is sheltered & we can enjoy the plants while we are on the patio.

The finished project in place against the rear wall of the house - on the patio & in a sheltered position, facing the garden. I love the colour & the mismatched, mostly vintage terracotta pots that ariculas are traditionally grown in because they have good drainage. 

A good project using materials that we already had which is surely a good thing. Have you done any projects lately? Tell all .... 

Thank you for stopping by,  I hope you are doing well in these interesting times,

Dee ~💕~

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Lockdown day 75

Hi everyone,

It is inconceivable that we are on Lockdown Day 75 today - when we went in to lockdown on 23rd March 2020 & we all had the notion that it would be the three weeks initially. I think if we were told it would be 75 days & counting, we would have all taken fright at the prospect.

However, the deadlines have come & gone, been extended, regulations have changed &  yet our death toll is over a sobering 40 200 souls. However, the only way to do these unprecedented times is to take it day by day & to keep focusing on the things you can control & to practice gratitude for the things you do not have i.e  the Covid-19 virus.

My great grandfather was born in a little rural Shropshire village near the town of Bishops Castle in 1810.

I found this on the Bishop’s Castle Heritage Resource Centre site about a previous plague in 1665 & how they dealt with it:

Bishop’s Castle Plague
One of our research volunteers recently came across this in the BC Borough Minute Book for 7th August 1665.
With limited knowledge we’ve roughly transcribed it. It is incredibly familiar in terms of the measures being ordered-keeping strangers and travellers out of the town ordering a
‘Continual watch and Ward had and held at the several entrances to the town’...., appointing ‘Inhabitants of the town’ to new posts to provide it and even imposing fines of ‘two Shillings’ on those appointed if they fail in their duties.
But it is more draconian still in relation to the hospitality industry ordering that... ‘no Innholder or Victualler or any other person whatsoever do presume to Receive into their Houses any Stranger or Traveller coming from any place or Country Infected or supposed to be Infected within the Realm upon pains of the Sum of Twenty Shillings’.....
[Basically the whole town is being quarantined. It would be interesting to know how quickly this measure was introduced, once news came through about the pandemic. Certainly it is evidence of the fact that though we live in strange times, they are not ‘unprecedented’, even in this quiet corner of the country.]

What struck me about the transcription of the account of the plague more than 350 years ago, is that they understood how to protect the population by quarantining the town. It also surprises me how strict the fines were & that they understood how easily it could spread & therefore the actions they needed to take. 

We have the benefit of all the modern conveniences to keep us safe, of grocery home deliveries & broadband to keep in easy contact with our loved ones. We in the UK have not had the tough regulations many other countries have; we have largely appealed to people’s sense of community to keep themselves & others safe by shielding our vulnerable, yet some have flaunted the guidelines with no thought to the NHS staff who would have to nurse them in the worst case scenario. 

Many of us have embraced the sense of calm, peace & the luxury of time to just keep busy, we have embraced the sense of neighbourliness by looking out for each other, the sense of community as a coping strategy. Many of us have become so used to our own spaces that we almost have Stockholm Syndrome where we are comfortable in our lockdown & the prospect of leaving it is not appealing. 

Lockdown has changed many of our lives quite dramatically - I have become an unemployed, self employed person. However, I am fortunate to have many hobbies, skills, talents & the ‘b’ word (bored) is never, ever in my vocabulary. 

Lockdown has also made many of us aware of how hectic life had become,  the glorification of being busy have has been lost & I think we have returned to a simpler time, without the need for commercialisation of our time. 

We have seen a return to food gardening with many growing vegetables & fruit for the first time - realising that we need to become more self reliant in future so if / when we have another such event, we will be better equipped to deal with it.  We are in the same storm, not in the same boat, we all face our own challenges that have been foisted upon us. 

Every morning we get a chance to be different, a chance to change, a chance to be better, a chance to keep calm & carry on.

Thank you for stopping by,  I hope you are weathering your own storm in these trying times,

Dee ~💕~