I promised last week that I would return to the domestic sphere in this week’s post and I will keep that promise. However, I can’t pretend last week’s EU referendum didn’t happen. It has potentially changed everything and the UK will never be the same again. I will say upfront that I voted to remain and the decision to leave shocked and upset me to the core. Friday felt for me like a bleak day indeed and I only realised how profound an impact it had when I was on a train to Manchester on Saturday to see family and the kindness and warmth shown by the train manager to all his customers moved me to tears. In simply showing his love for his job and in his care of those who travelled with him, he reassured me that the pain, division and, in some cases hostility to others demonstrated through the media, both mainstream and social since the result came out, was not how we need to be and that we can move forward together. All I will ask is that those who voted to leave, while understandably happy with the result, are kind to those of us who are adjusting to a new world. As at the end of any relationship, the one who didn’t choose to leave needs time to grieve for the future they thought was theirs, and which has disappeared literally overnight. There will be a new and different future for us all but it will take time to absorb and accept the new reality.
I am learning how to do this from the cats and from the garden, whilst leaning on the unswerving love and support I get from D every day. The cats have an important lesson for me in particular – they don’t care who runs the country as long as the Sheba keeps on coming. To add to the uncertainty of Thursday night, when the vote was being counted, the Princess decided to have another nocturnal adventure. She went out at teatime and didn’t come back. She had done this the previous week as well when I was away in Aberdeen for work, keeping poor D awake frantic with worry (and me as well, even if I was 350 miles away), finally strolling in at 2.30am and demanding food. This week, as I was home, it was my turn to wait up for her. I know, I can hear what you are saying – lock the door, go to bed and leave her out – she’s a cat. I just can’t do it though. We have a sofa bed in the dining room, so I dozed on that until she came home, again some time after 2am. She is always starving hungry when she gets in, which makes us wonder exactly how far away she goes. She’s back under curfew now and currently fast asleep upstairs.
The garden also showed me this week that life goes on and that there is still beauty in the world. We have 2 stunning poppies in flower in a corner I am immensely proud of, as it was given over to weeds when we moved in and is now a riot of perennial colour.
The sweet peas and cosmos that we grew from seed are growing in containers as we watch and, most exciting of all, we harvested some food from the veg plot today. The carrots wouldn’t be winning any prizes – the ground in the bed must be impacted under the topsoil, in spite of all the digging we did before planting, as the carrots look like they have hit a wall and had to grow sideways as a result – and some of the potato plants were eaten by slugs, although they have still produced potatoes with more flavour than any you can buy in a shop.
We had both carrots and potatoes for tea, followed by a crumble made using home grown rhubarb and we toasted our success with a well-deserved glass of wine. We are already planning how we can build on our success, both by replanting this year and considering how to improve things next year. We definitely want a proper glass greenhouse and D has grand plans to dig out the beds and remake them from scratch to make them deeper and to improve the soil. We will need to find a cat-friendly way of controlling the slugs though next year – they have eaten far too well so far.
The outside world may seem like an uncertain place at the moment but, within our little family, we are secure, happy and sure of the path down which our new simple life is taking us.