Day by Day

8 May 2017



We’ve got bees! I had a very excited phone call from my beekeeping pal on Saturday, to say another beekeeper had caught a swarm, and we could have it! So, she brought it to the field, and this morning we donned our bee suits (felt good after a couple of years unworn) and transferred our new little nucleus of honey bees into our hive. They seemed pretty calm, despite being forcibly evicted from their small, cosy home, to a cold, larger one. I went over to check them this evening; if we had somehow managed not to transfer the queen, then the hive would have been empty, as the others would have followed her and gone elsewhere. So, it was a reassuring sight to see a few busy bees, buzzing around the hive. I watched them for a couple of minutes as they went about their business of foraging and delivering food to the hive. See second picture.

It’s been a full-on week. We all (apart from Lanky Dude, who had gone to bed at reasonable times due to imminent exams) came back from our church week end tired…and it took me most of the week to recover! Lanky Dude had his first geography exam on Tuesday morning. This time he was able to sit it at a local independent school, ten minutes away. Very different from those cold, dark, early starts in January to get to the exam centre in the city. Having dropped him off, I always use the time to walk and pray; I had a beautiful amble through the small hamlet next to the school, and enjoyed looking at all the cottage gardens….and dreaming that in years to come our garden might look a little like one of them!

On Wednesday we went with youth club to hear an African choir sing. They were amazing; not only was their music fab, but their stories so inspiring. The church they are a part of has so many life changing projects within their community. Our girls came too, and Dancing Toes was especially taken with the singing. A few of the boys’ friends came home with us, while they waited for their parents to pick up younger siblings. We put on the CD of the choir, and they had a post-concert party! I love the life and fun a group of teenagers can generate.

As seems to be a fairly regular occurrence, national and international events continue to shake our world. We had local elections this week. It always seems slightly incongruous that, as I walk down to our small-town square on a sunny spring evening to cast my vote, stopping to chat with friends, our tiny part of this world appears so unchanging and constant. Unreal, from the outside, yet with the normal spectrum of sadness, heartache, mundane life, joy and celebration, all wrapped up within the annual rhythm of small rural community life. On the surface, it’s not too different from the village I grew up in as a child, yet underneath are some very different pressures, I think; I wonder how it will change in the next generation?

The first picture is our back garden. It resembles the Somme during the winter….but last spring Dancing Toes and I dug it all over and planted veg. So, we are doing the same again this year. I love seeing the transformation over the summer. Sparkly Eyes and I had a happy time planting out her seeds; carrots, beetroot, peas and some flowers.






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