The party, for a five year old, coming after two lockdown birthdays, was long anticipated and well planned. The cake was mum-made and, as requested, very pink; the party favours were all bagged up.
No-one expected that the birthday girl would test positive for Covid on the eve of her party. A tricky evening for the adults coming to terms with this result. A resilient girl, in the final days of being four, she took it in her stride.
By morning, the sun shone. Resourceful parents and the blessing of the weekend weather saved the day. A stream of visitors left presents on the doorstep, sent best wishes through the window, brought foil wrapped helium parcels: ‘We thought a balloon would cheer her up’. Not the hoped for manic hour or two of games and tears, but a gentle day of constant celebration.
There were no games in the village hall, no blowing out of candles on the cake. We had a mini garden party, with fish and chips, in the sunshine. For some, T shirts and shorts came out. For the birthday girl, a summer dress. Being at home, she was able to change as soon as a swirlier and pinker dress was unwrapped. Games in the garden for a March birthday, not something for which they would have dared to plan.
Next day, spurred on by the sunshine, I had a trip to Harlow Carr gardens. Tempted in the shop, I bought some young delphiniums for the blue garden I’ve been planning in my head. I planted them in a warm and sunny spot.
This morning, I dusted snow from them. This afternoon, maybe too late, I covered them in makeshift cloches, crafted from repurposed dry-cleaning bags. This granny is learning as she goes, picking up lessons in gardening and resourcefulness from ramblingrose. Hopefully, the young shoots will prove tough enough and thrive through this adversity.