We may be in the midst of a global crisis, but nobody has told my window boxes. They’ve had more love and care than ever before and are responding with abundant height, growth, width and blooms.
There is one cuckoo in the nest; I fear I’ve been cultivating a weed – I thought this plant was a white geranium as it’s first leaves were the same shape and I knew I’d planted some in the area.
But now there’s a clear distinction. I’ve left it a while to see if a flower would bloom – surely a weed is a flower by any other name? I had hopes it might be a foxglove, the seed dropped by a bird, said my romantic heart. But I know it’s a triffid and must go.
On the good news front, the combover tree is proudly displaying the first signs of bum fluff.
But whilst some things, like my garden are benefitting, other areas of the world are facing peril: ‘If the Coronavirus doesn’t kill my workers, then starvation will’ says a factory owner in Bangladesh. A quote that greets you on the first page of Lost Stock.
Lost Stock was set up by Cally Russell, the founder of fashion shopping too Mallzee. It allows shoppers to buy a mystery box of clothing directly from the manufacturers, with almost 40% of the proceeds of each box donated to Bangladesh through a non-profit organisation based in the country. This is enough to feed a Bangladeshi family for a week.
A Lost Stock Box costs £35 plus £3.99 postage and will contain at least three tops with a recommended retail price of £70. It will take time to arrive – between 6-8 weeks, but I think that’s a small price to pay.
In total, an estimated £10bn of clothing has piled up in warehouses during lockdown, much of it destined for landfill, layering crisis upon crisis. This seems a simple solution to help where help is most needed.
Where do I sign?
Laters, Kate x
This post has been pulled from the archives and edited from Summer holidays for Coronavirus especially for Abbi and Laura and all those working from home with young children. Just know, I know that you’re amazing.
- You’re watching a film, OK it’s Disney..but actually you’re involved in the story (sad but true)..at the crucial scene (long-lost Anastasia being re-introduced to her frail Grandmother..a real tear jerker. Promise)…there’s always a ‘Mum, mum, I need to tell you something RIGHT NOW.’ Without fail. Truth be told, happens in all programmes..sport – just as they come to the finishing line, the news..the weather! They announce the weather you’ve waited 30 minutes to hear so you can plan the next day –
picnic? no picnic?….’Mum, MUM!…’
- This also relates to map-reading or any activity that requires your immediate attention…..major road junction and need to hear the sat nav? or need to talk to husband because not trusting the stat nav?… ‘Mum, MUM, MUUUUM!’…
- The phone..Mum talking on phone means I must talk to her extra loudly SO SHE CAN HEAR ME.
- ‘Please guys I need 30 minutes undisturbed’ equals at least six interruptions. Because each one was only a small one…because they didn’t want to interrupt you…
- The call of ‘Mum, MUM!’ from another floor followed by silence…that chick-like cry translates to ‘Drop-everything-you’re-doing-even-if-it’s-saving-the-world-because-I-need-you-to-do-something-really-insignificant-because-if-it-was-important-I- would-actually-bother-to-come-and-find-you’.
- The other much heard cry: ‘Mum-MUM-I-need-a-wee NOW!’…guaranteed on a motorway but the worst time so far…Eight hours into a drive on Greek roads at 37 degrees of heat, crawling along on single track, snaking, moutainous road with a stream of lorries which we’d slowly and painfully over-taken without being killed. We pulled over and had to watch as each and everyone passed us again..I cried. And Charlie was given an empty bottle for the rest of the journey..
- The ground-hog-day morning call of ‘Please can everyone have their shoes on and teeth brushed and everything ready
so we can goas soon as I’ve finished this’. You finish tidying the house, sorting the washing, putting the washing machine on, cleaning the fridge (delete/add as appropriate)..and nothing’s happened. And now you’ll be late…
- You’re always late.
- The ground-hog-moment of reminding them to say please and thank you on loop throughout the day. Like hitting you’re head against a permanent wall. You can remember the date of your birthdays but this is too hard?? It’s the mum equivalent of chinese water torture. Results in No.15.
- I say ‘Please can you turn your ipod down’ and I get ‘Well that’s it..I’m just going to throw it in the bin and then you’ll be sorry’. Like doh? Results in no.15.
- The more bored they get, the less I want to do with them, the less they are capable of doing except whining at me for being bored…and then I spout all the cliches: ‘In my day…’
Then you book them on a camp or tennis club..and it’s ‘We don’t want to go because we want to stay with you..’ Why???
- The longer you take to cook their breakfast/lunch/supper the less it will be appreciated. And cooking three meals a day stinks. Results in no.15…for me..
- So you have a
picnicand where ever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’ll be handed all the rubbish as if you’re one giant dustbin. Even if you’re driving. Or getting ready to pilot a rocket to the moon..silently, the used lolly wrapper/empty drink carton, sandwich foil are passed over to you… Do I have ‘I am really a bin’ written in permanent ink on my forehead? Results in no.15..
- I tell them a certain behaviour will result in a consequence. They never believe I’ll carry it through. But I do every time..and they’re still shocked. Like??
- Because of no.15 the consequence usually means we don’t do something nice
that gets us out of the house.…which means no.11 kicks in…and I’m bored too.
- Asking something to be done requires the order in triplicate. And then no.15 kicks in, followed by no.16. And then no.18
- The longer
the school holidays last, the more I find my brain shrinks (see no.1)
- And then they’ll disappear and play beautifully together..
- Except the more fun they have…. the greater the mess…
- Till it reaches a tipping point of hysterical proportions and you say ‘This will all end in tears’. And it does…
5 weeks down, three more to go
Yeah. Um. Well. Yep. When actually will it end? This is life now. gulp.
Laters, Kate x
The hump day of the week, highlighted by a rebellion from Charlie over running this morning. All I can think is, why wouldn’t you? The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the blossom is out. But there’s that expectation to lash out at, the enforced decree. I think it’s what Boris Johnson is so scared of hence his fudged message: Stay at home, unless you have to work at work, which you can only do safely, but your bosses will decide what that means. Certainly on run, there was very little difference, the main roads are the same, the residential roads are quiet except for builders, who were told to shut up shop, but now are considered able to work safely. A builder working safely? The niggling feeling is Boris is trying to blur the line between caring and the economy. I wish he would just make a strong stand one way or the other.
Charlie did go for his run – the threat of losing time on Fortnite was a powerful motivator. But we ran different routes.
The big success has been the daily sketchbook challenge. On day one Carla Sonheim explained her daily page dump – drawing a box, dividing it up, filling each square with different subjects: day and date, a diary entry, an ideas section, a drawing and an anything goes box. We’re all doing this every day so that by the end of this we’ll all have diaries of this bizarre, never known before time to look back on and remember. Once that page is complete, there’s a different artist offering something new to do each day.
These were from blob drawing and looking at food.
The idea is not for perfection – and the random nature of the vintage-handmade-sketchbooks really helps with that.
The email of ideas comes in at 12. I find myself looking forward to it.
Laters, Kate x
This morning is the first test of the strength and endurance of our internet – all four of us are working at the same time. So far, all good – the biggest concern is between those who can work quietly (me, John, Bella) and those who can’t (Charlie) and whether those who work quietly will influence a dial down, or the constant nagging needs of one will dial it in the opposite way; I’ve only yelled once…
We’ve all kept to our normal times. Apart from Bella, who over slept so missed the newly installed 8.00 am run – we’ve each installed the couch to 5k app with the aim to run with it every day. It’s a great programme especially for beginners; it tells you when to run and when to walk and is designed to progress you from a beginner to running a full 5k. There’s an option where you can choose your personal running coach – mine is Michael Johnson, because when he tells me I’m doing good, I really believe I’m doing good. He’s fast becoming a good friend. When we’re running as a group we look like a flock of birds, when with no obvious signal we all transform from walking to pounding the streets. The streets today were probably two thirds down on traffic, but busier than expected. I think everyone thinks their car is their own portable bubble. The thing is it’s what you do at either end of your journeys that can matter…there’s news that petrol pumps are sources of infection. Just saying.
This weekend we prepped for the sketchbook revival 2020 challenge, buying nothing, but going through book shelves for old books, gathering dust that could do with a re-love, finding old sketchbooks, tearing out pages, old letters, cards, wrapping paper, tissue paper – anything that would make it interesting, then sewing it together…very satisfying.
Mine is done now. Just waiting for the first email to drop in with instructions for the day – better check my spam folder…
Also redid our window boxes: ivy, trailing white geraniums, miniature daffodil bulbs and some white plant that looked pretty! They’re going to get a bit of love every day as well.
Something little, something often, something creative, something together. This is could be more a blessing than a chore.
Laters, Kate x
Here in London, the sky is a birds egg blue, there are buds on the trees and the supermarket toilet roll aisles are empty. If it was a stomach bug, I’d have more understanding, but…toilet roll?? It means they’ll have to close the schools soon for fear of pupils stealing from cubicles and selling it on the streets..All jokes aside, this is the one time we need humour: Enjoy the following… I have.
Laters, not in lock down yet, Kate x