Same place twice

I had a day’s annual leave on Thursday to celebrate my birthday. Well, ostensibly, it was so I didn’t have to do work but I did want it to be special.

Last year on this day I had been hunting round Leeds city centre for a bag of flour – remember those heady days when panic set in and various staples disappeared from the shelves? The unfortunate thing is that I had actually needed a bag of flour. So, the hunt had somewhat taken the lustre of the day.

Anyway, Thursday was a very pleasant day. I’d ordered a new pair of trousers (yup, new new clothes, having found nothing in the charity shops when they were last open but sorely needing some after yet another pair of trousers bit the dust) and was due to collect them from an M&S food outlet near a garden centre I sometimes visit. Thus, the idea of an outing was born.

I duly picked up the trousers and, being in a food outlet, inevitably I ended up buying some food. However, there was method in my madness.

At the garden centre later, after finding a rosemary plant (which fingers crossed won’t die on me), I came across a hellebores to replace the one killed by the red campion in the front garden. Delighted, I took my purchases back to the car and then set about having a picnic with the M&S food.

As I stood at the boot of the car, making my sandwiches on the shelf over it (I keep picnic crockery and cutlery in the car in case of impromptu picnics), I reflected on why it mattered to eat outdoors. Until relatively recently in our evolution, outdoors was the only place to be. Houses may provide shelter from the elements but they are not our natural habitat. Thus, I felt my picnic was so much more fulfilling than if I had eaten the same food back home.

In view of this feeling, in the evening, my daughter and I tried out curry from a restaurant we hadn’t eaten at before. She’d been keen on taking it home but, particularly after my lunchtime experience, I was determined to find an outdoor venue for my birthday supper.

A decision was made to go to the edge of Water Haigh Woodland Park and St Aidan’s Nature Reserve and there could have been no better choice: wood and water all with one meal.

Back home, I got a text from a friend asking if I’d like to go for a walk round St Aidan’s the next day. So, on Friday, I got to see the other side of the reserve from the part I had looked over whilst eating curry.

We couldn’t work out what kind of tree the above was, except that it must be in the rose family. Maybe we can go back, find it and see what fruit it bears later in the year. Now, there’s a plan!

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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28 Responses to Same place twice

  1. I’m pleased you enjoyed your birthday

  2. Happy Birthday! Glad you were able to do something special with it – and what a contrast from last year.

    Rosemary is one of the few plants I’ve never manged to kill. It also, in our front garden, competes well with the red campion if you arehaving problems with it.

  3. What a lovely way to celebrate your birthday despite the restrictions! I like eating outside too!

  4. sounds like a lovely birthday -belated greetings to you!

  5. Lavinia Ross says:

    A belated happy birthday, Helen!

    It’s been a long time since we went out to eat here.

  6. Sounds like a good birthday, Helen! I also went for a pleasant walk on my birthday, with my daughter to a park where I had never been.

  7. Clare Pooley says:

    An extremely belated Happy Birthday to you, Helen! I am pleased this year’s celebration was so much pleasanter than last year’s. I also grow rosemary though I’ve never grown it from seed. My first plant came from a garden centre and I just take cuttings when I need more plants. I am fortunate enough some years, to find some self-seeded plants but they don’t like being moved when they are tiny. I neglect my plants and hack them back when they get too big. They need really good drainage which is difficult on clay soil. I dig in loads of gravel when I plant my fairly well-established young plants. I have begun to get Rosemary beetle on all my mint-family herbs and lavender. (I’m afraid I squash them on sight!) They do quite a lot of damage and some books say the saliva of the beetle causes die-back on the plant and can kill plants eventually. I am not sure this is so but I am on the watch, nevertheless.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Clare. Good to know about your experiences with rosemary. A shame about the beetle, though. I’d not heard of this pest before and wonder if neem oil would get rid of them for you?

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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