We drive to the largest garden centre we can reasonably access and nervously draw into the car park. If it is packed with people, we won’t risk doing this – we’ll just turn around and drive home. There is hardly anyone there in fact. It is warm and sunny and I spend a very happy couple of hours walking through the plants outside coming no nearer than 4 metres to anyone. The trouble is, I really can’t decide what to buy here. I made a long list of things I would really like to brighten the garden up, given that it will soon become even more of a sanctuary than ever, but now I am actually here, I don’t really want to spend any money on them. I look at pots of pretty pink daisies and try to think how many I would need to fill up my garden pots. They are £9.99 each though – I do the Maths and I walk away. I buy a lot of compost and soil improver for the raised bed and the usual Spring essential garden chemicals and no plants or seeds at all. With the wonderful benefit of hindsight that no doubt everyone in the very difficult jobs of government and public service right now wishes they were equipped with, this was a big mistake. It’s bin day tomorrow. I look enviously at the wheelie bin as I shove it outside because it is going out more than I am right now. I am ultra careful as I chuck the empty tomato tins in – if you cut yourself badly now, would there be anyone available at the hospital to treat you?
Today is Mother’s Day and – like so many Mums all round the world – I can’t give my lovely daughter a hug even though she lives just around the corner from me. I might not see her again for a very long time. I feel sadder than I can ever remember.