Time is of the essence

 



Have you noticed lots of new roadworks? I always think that it is because certain monies must be spent before the end of the financial year at the beginning of April. Even our lane has been closed for road repairs again this week. They were filling in the deep potholes. I hardly dared cycle there because I had to weave around big holes in the tarmac. The trouble is that while we have been waiting for the old holes to be filled other holes have been growing by their side. Now we have an uneven patchwork. Perhaps there should be a ‘best before’ date written on the surface so they would know when repairs are needed before it is too late.

It is also that time of year when seed potatoes are chitting under our bed and seed trays are in the airing cupboard. Every window ledge has seedlings in trays craning toward the light.

We are having to buy more vegetables now our stocks in the garden are coming to an end and some celery was delivered yesterday that had a best before date that was two weeks ago. Then some green beans came all the way from abroad with no date on. Are they safe? I am not sure. Then there is the ‘use by’ date to consider – that is if you can find it. I squint on the cap, on the nipped seal of a carton or on the base. It could be anywhere. We have no such problems when we pick our own fruit and vegetables, if they look limp or brown we do not eat them and they go on the compost.

Another thing that is happening at this time of year is the last of the hedge cutting in a race against time before the birds start nesting. Our bird table robin has already paired up and the blue tits are popping into the nest boxes. The great tits are singing their ‘teacher, teacher’ song which was not something I wanted to hear when I was a teacher trying to relax at home.

Last night we went for a dark walk. I often sit out in the dark on our patio seat and listen to the late loud birdsong along with the fluttering night noises. This time we had lamps on our hats as we tiptoed to the garden pond. The frogs are back! I could hardly believe it, there were three with their heads held chin high above the water. In the wild pool there were more frogs and three common newts crawling on the mud waiting until the right time to lay their eggs.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

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