Wow, where do I begin?

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Melanie_3
Melanie_2
Melanie_1

There could be any number of things to write about as I reflect upon the past 7 weeks. I certainly find myself using online technology like I could never have even begun to imagine before Covid19, but even that already feels like old news. Having just said a final farewell to our beloved old dog, Roly, at the beginning of March, I could focus on the unexpected blessing of having had our daughter Becki staying with us since the 4th March, which although tinged with sadness at the fact that the newlyweds have been forced apart by this virus, separated by thousands of miles, I am mercifully grateful that the entire family are both safe and well.
Or I could talk about the gift of the beautiful weather, the joy of restful Sundays, the extra time to practise playing my saxophone, losing myself in a good book, indulging in regular crossword challenges, able to do a little more cooking, frequent keep-fit sessions, the many interesting telephone conversations, the welcome emails, notes, cards and letters, the many ways in which I have felt God nudging or encouraging me as I explore how to be a Methodist Minister in new and unfamiliar circumstances. All of this and much more forms part of my 'lockdown' story.
So, what do I pick, what do I share, what makes me smile? Well, every time I look out of the window onto the back garden, there is one 'contraption' or 'creation' that stands out as something that both my husband, Paul, and I will probably remember with laughter when we are finally able to look back on this time. For we have been busy in the garden, doing all sorts of things. We have treated the lawn, painstakingly feeding it, watering it, attending to it, being patient, and finally not cutting it too short (a challenge for me, for I do like a short lawn). We have also planted seeds, lovingly brought on plants, using the conservatory as a makeshift greenhouse, carrying the growing seedlings in and out on the warmest days, ensuring that they have some outside time as they toughen up.
We have repainted the back fence, we have weeded, we have watered, we have fed the birds daily, fascinated by the varieties and numbers, regularly using the binoculars as we spy a bird checking out our nesting box, but in all of this, there is one 'thing' that took us several hours to make, that cost absolutely nothing in money, but a lot in effort, that stands out. It is constructed out of things that we had lying around in the garage, it is a result of previous experience when plants lovingly nurtured and planted were then in a couple of hours almost stripped bare by hungry wood pigeons, and it has been an object of curiosity for the resident robin ever since. It is not a thing of beauty, but boy are we proud of it. I guess the fancy name for it would be a 'cloche', I would not go that far, but hopefully it will do the trick. No two bits of wood are the same, there is a lot of sticky tape, some cable ties, a few cable tidies, several nails, six bamboo canes, and a lot of determination. If it lasts the season I will be thrilled (I'm easily pleased!). Enjoy the pictures — God Bless. Melanie.

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