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At least Spring isn’t cancelled

There’s something about the sun coming out that puts a positive spin on everything. I’ve even taken to going for a bit of a jog on the seafront. With gym and swim off the agenda we are still fortunate to be able to get up and run/walk. Thank goodness that’s still allowed. I have a friend who lives alone and we’ve pledged to meet once a week for a speed walk on the seafront, keeping our distance of course (but we both talk loudly so that’s not really an issue – just can’t gossip as much!) Yes, the sky really is this blue at the moment (but the restaurant is now shut of course).

Eastbourne seafront

Last week Nick spotted frogspawn in the pond  – our first ever batch. I caught one of the goldfish red-handed, nibbling on it, but most of it’s still there. Will we get any frogs at the end of it? The saga begins.


I’ve been sowing seeds like crazy this last month, and various things are coming up: courgettes, tomatoes, chillis, peas, nasturtiums, sweet peas, basil, coriander. A bit of warmer weather would help. I’ve got two small propagators on south-facing window sills which is sunny but can get very hot, so I seem to yo-yo between pulling down the blinds (“Quick! They’re gonna fry!”) and turning on the warmth overnight so they don’t expire from cold.

My favourite place at the moment is the potting shed, or ‘pottery’ as we call it, because it’s easier to say (?). There’s a heated mat to get things going, and a poetry wall to keep me entertained in between mixing up seed compost…

Seedlings in the potting shed

Seedlings and poetry wall

Meanwhile, every evening there’s the Scrabble challenge. I believe I’m currently ahead 4 -2. When he’s not trying to beat me at Scrabble, N has taken to reading the odd TOME or two… although sometimes he gets distracted…

N starts War&Peace

What make me laugh most is the cover – ‘A MAJOR BBC DRAMA’!

I’ve just finished Ragnarok, a reworking of Norse myths by A S Byatt, rather fittingly about the End of the World. It’s just the sort of antidote to Dante. Next up, Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light – I was going to wait for the paperback, but decided to treat myself.

I’ve been struck how this pandemic situation has been bringing people closer. I’ve been in touch more with friends in Rome, Australia and the US, and even those closer to home, than ever before. Suddenly we all share the same incredulity, restrictions, fears, sympathy, changes to our day to day living, ideas of how to stay positive and active.

I hope you’re staying well and occupied wherever you may be. Vinceremo, as they (might) say in Italy.

Published inBlogBooks


  1. Great to read this positive and inspiring blog post, Robin, and thank you for it! Love from the edge of the Forest. XX

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thank you Clare, and lots of love to you all! Xxx

  2. Such an uplift to read your blog, Robin. All those seeds ready for action. And yes, wouldn’t Tolstoy be proud to have finally made it big! Take care and keep safe. Love, Clairexx

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thank you Claire! Yes, the courgettes are the best, they just can’t WAIT to get going! Hope all is well with you. Xx

  3. Thank you. I especially love the poetry wall! Take care and keep safe. Fokkina

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      HI Fokkina, and thanks – yes, I’ve had to wipe the odd bit of mould off the poetry wall over the winter, but it’s more or less survived, I wasn’t sure it would! Take care Xx

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks Peter! You too 🙂

  4. Cheryl Capaldo Traylor Cheryl Capaldo Traylor

    The garden, and being outside, provides me with peace and hope. I love your seedling trays. Let us know how the frogs fare. I like Vinceremo. I will send this in my next greeting to my family in Italy. Take care. x

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Hi Cheryl – yes I agree with you about the garden, it’s a precious and amazing thing. Keep well! X

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Robin Houghton 2021