Habitual Head Hangers

Blues skies returned today for our first visit to Mum in Woodpeckers since before the Christmas lockdown, which has been somewhat relaxed.

We were able to use the screen room. Jackie photographed Mum behind the screen in which I am reflected. My mother was in good spirits, but not hearing too well, especially at the beginning, probably because of having to adjust after the long absence.

The Assistant Photographer also pictured the view from the window, containing

ponies in a neighbouring field, and

small birds in a tree. Unfortunately Mum would not be able to see all this.

As can be seen from the pictures above, we experienced some sunny periods today. This afternoon I entered the garden with trepidation, to be pleasantly surprised. So far the gale force winds have inflicted virtually no damage.

A few empty trugs have been transported; a watering can has taken refuge in the compost container outside the kitchen door; and one basket is down.

Smaller plants, like primulas, violas, and trailing vinca remain unperturbed.

Daffodils which we feared would be flattened, and the tulips which had been flattened, and spiked, by a recent frost, stood proudly erect.

Apart from a few blown down blooms, our camellias are all unscathed.

Many of our hellebores, habitual head hangers, unusually held theirs high.

Elizabeth came to dinner for the first time since lockdown. Jackie produced one of her splendidly succulent steak, onion, and mushroom pies; roast potatoes; boiled purple potatoes; crunchy carrots and Brussels sprouts; firm cauliflower, and meaty gravy with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while my sister and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019. This was followed by a lemon tart.


  1. I’m glad to here your restrictions have been lifted some and you could visit your mum. Covid vaccines will only help. I’m on the list for roll out sometime at the end of the month or early April after the nursing homes and front liners are vaxed.

    The camellia’s look pretty in pink.

  2. I had to go to the wine rack and check: yes, our Mendoza Malbec is also 2019.
    I am glad your mother looks well and seems to be doing well, Derrick.
    I am also very pleased to see that your lovely flowers are happily blooming, despite the weather fluctuations.

  3. Your mom, and many others in her age group, must feel so lonely and bewildered. They have seen so much in their lives, and now this.

    I do love the hellebores.

    1. Derrick, so glad you got to see your Mum again. I can only imagine how hard this whole thing has been on all of you. So hoping that the warmer weather, vaccinations and such will soon let us all be more in touch with our loved ones. <3

      1. Thanks you very much, Jodie. In some ways we are luckier than most. We son’t have to travel to work, can’t spend much money, and have a garden and countryside. Were we still of working age in London it would be rather different.

      2. So true, Derrick. I feel the same. I am so thankful that (other than the springtime of the twin’s senior year of college) my kids were out of school when this all began. I think of the parents trying to work and educate their kids and keep everyone safe and sane and I am so thankful that’s not me.

  4. Hellebores are so beautiful. In a very quiet but perfect way.
    Your beaming Camellias are lovely too –
    noiser, with their gloss, vivid colour and generously abundant blooms!!

    How lovely to see your mother, and what a clever photograph.
    Thank goodness visits are now allowed.
    Time is precious.

  5. I’ve missed your garden, Derrick! So glad you’ve been able to visit your mother. We have had to move my parents into a care home during my lengthy blogging absence. The visiting difficulties have been very hard to accept.

  6. So glad you were able to visit Mum. Jackie caught a great image of you just beaming in the reflection. So precious that you, Jackie and your mum had a nice get together. Sher and I get our 2nd dose of Moderna on Monday.

  7. I just hate the restrictions that have been placed on families. I understand some of them, and yet… The stories I’ve heard are heart-rending. I know that my mother would not have done well in such a situation, and to be quite honest, I’m glad that her long, healthy life (she died at 93) ended before all this. In any event: hooray for getting to see your Mum. Restrictions on visits to care facilities have been lifted here, and people are once again able to visit in person in many places. I hope the same for you –soon!

  8. I’m very glad you got to visit your mum. Maybe one day, she’ll get to see more of the outdoor flowers and blue skies.

  9. You Mom looks tranquil in confinement. Itโ€™s sad she canโ€™t witness the pleasant surroundings. That is an encouraging report from the Gale-front that the garden has faced with composure, with the soldiers holding their heads high.

  10. I join the readers before me in expressing my joy that you were able to ‘visit’ your mother. This is an awful situation to be in and must be particularly difficult for her. That joy is increased by the pleasant sights in your garden – I look forward to it blossoming from now well into autumn!

    1. Thank you very much, Anne. Three months is a long time to miss both the development of a child and the deterioration of a woman approaching 99. Mum is, however, quite well..

  11. I’m glad to see your mother is doing well. Strange weather with sudden lashing heavy rain which last twenty minutes and then it’s gone. Very unusual.

  12. I’m so so SO glad you got to spend time with your Mum! I think about her and pray for her.
    I love the photo Jackie took that shows you and your mum as together as you can be during this pandemic time. Beautiful treasure of a photo! ๐Ÿ™‚
    The birds in the tree backed by that vibrant blue sky is gorgeous!
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. So happy to see Mum again! She’s looking well, isn’t she?!!
    I don’t have too many flowers in my garden as yet. The amaryllis is starting, as is the gardenia. We had wind for the past few days and it did havoc on my rose bush and firecracker plant – in both cases there were orange petals spread over the lawn.

  14. I’m glad you got to see your mom. I’m sure you were, too. She does have a lovely view, even if she can’t see it. I hope in the good weather, she can sit outside. It’s nice you got to see your sister. We’re looking forward to seeing family members soon–after we’re all vaccinated.

    Your garden looks beautiful. It was good of the habitual head-hanging hellebores to look up, ready for their close-up. ?

  15. What a surprise to see blooming flowers. I loved the photograph of the birds by Jackie, a fine picture indeed! I am so glad you got to see your mum in good spirits.

  16. How nice that you were able to visit your mum Derrick. Here the wind is still blowing very hard and we have had hail showers, wicked weather! Still today I was able to do an hour of gardening in-between showers. I love your tulips and other spring flowers. I realise while scrolling through all your recent posts that I have missed a lot of them. And as always your photography is a delight to see.

  17. The garden is looking absolutely beautiful.
    I am delighted that you were able to visit your mother, she must have enjoyed it very much.

    I noticed a comment above from someone wondering why you werenโ€™t meeting face to face.

    I have noticed before that there is still confusion about the vaccine, both here and in America from people expecting to immediately discard masks and live life normally.

    Discarding masks too early would make it very easy for the unvaccinated sceptics to discard theirs too and perhaps spread the virus before weโ€™d had enough time to build up the herd immunity.

  18. I love your habitual head hangers and the outwards overlookers too. Lovely to see your mum. Your comment about her not seeing the scene made me think it’s a pity she is not able to read your blog. My mum was adamant she was never going to use a computer or tablet a few years ago, but she makes good use of one now.

  19. Derrick, it was a pleasure seeing you with your mother, your mum. I donโ€™t think โ€˜mumโ€™ is used at all in the States. Mom is traditional, or mother. You are a month ahead of us with your flowers. Our hellebores are just showing signs of life. I love that plant. Hope all is well. Keep up the nice work.

  20. Always an uplifting experience to see your flowers – especially when we still have snow on the ground and no sign of the flowers yet. But, they are coming. A spot of green showed today where a daffodil will be in a couple weeks unless the snow returns and covers them again! Your mum looks terrific. i am so glad you got to see her again… even if it was behind glass. Hopefully before long it will be safe to be face-to-face and to hug our loved ones again. It’s hard not to be able to touch, isn’t it?

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