Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, May 25 – The simple things in life

I suddenly realised today that this last week has traditionally been the time of the Chelsea Flower Show, an event I’ve attended and enjoyed many times. Not only the big showpiece gardens, sponsored by major financial institutions, but the small courtyard gardens celebrating original creativity have caught my imagination and encouraged me to try new planting schemes at home.
And then I began to think about the many activities we used to take for granted before this extended power cut, which are now an impossibility. We can’t order books and groceries online or research and reserve holidays. We can’t catch a train to London for visits to theatres and galleries or for shopping in the famous department stores. And the times when we fretted about catching planes on time, or queued in irritation for a major exhibition or complained because the newspaper delivery was late, now seem totally unimportant and I really don’t miss them.
Of course, if I think about our pre-power cut life too much I miss having my hair cut and coloured every six weeks, I would love a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio and I long for an avocado or a banana, but I don’t find myself thinking about these things all the time. I told Martin what I had been thinking and he said he didn’t half miss cold lager and watching a box set. But we both agreed that our life here, during this difficult time, when so many people have truly suffered, has been bearable and we are grateful to have remained well fed and healthy. Apart from his injured foot, Martin pointed out. Well, at least it’s almost healed now, I said.
And I think my garden looks glorious with a profusion of purple alliums and this year it doesn’t feel inferior to the gardens of Chelsea, for there are none. So I felt happier, as I tossed more weeds to the hens, who laid five eggs today and had vigorous dust baths in the sunshine.

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