The Lockdown Literary Festival

While we think of our garden as our own little sanctuary away from the dangers of the outside world, we often forget who actually owns it. When Mirinda designed it, she forgot to consult the most important one of all.

While the raised bed certainly wasn’t put there for Emma’s need to soak up the sun, she has decided that it works very well. It’s the same with chasing balls, sticks, logs, rocks, squirrels or just poor old Freya. Emma just goes for it with barely a glance at the plants she’s decimating.

Not that she can do much about the beautiful roses that are blooming all over the place.

As well as the perfectly scented yellow roses on the gazebo, we now have a few pink blooms on the Holly Arch. While they have no scent, they look perfect.

This is the best time in the garden. It’s all looking gorgeous, in a rough cottage garden feel. I reckon Gerty would be well pleased with the rumble, tumble madness of it all. I should add that Mirinda is not so sure. And she does know a lot more about Gerty than I do.

Having such an excellent garden almost makes up for not going out and visiting other ones. Like the garden at Chawton House Library, which Mirinda tends to visit monthly. Mind you, we sort of visited this weekend.

In order to fight the current embargo on gatherings, Chawton House Library organised a Lockdown Literary Festival this weekend. Videos of the sessions were on Youtube so we popped in every now and then and had a peek.

We learned about Mary Wollstonecraft and her amazing travels up the coast of Norway from a very excited Bee Rowlatt. Then we heard about Regency clothing from Hilary Davidson, including the wonderful fact that Regency ladies would turn their backs on a fire, lift their hems and warm their bare bums.

And Professor Emma J Clery told us all about the amazing Dorothy Darnell.

As well as being quite the accomplished artist, Dorothy was the main driver behind the creation of the Jane Austen Society and, consequently the purchase of her cottage in Chawton.

Sadly, Professor Clery told us, there was no Wikipedia entry for Dorothy. At least, not yet. I decided this had to be amended and spent some time starting one off. I intend to finish it tomorrow and send it off for review. After all, what’s the point of having the skills I have if I don’t use them for good?

I think the Lockdown Literary Festival was jolly good. It was a shame we couldn’t see more sessions. We’ve never been to a literary festival before but, perhaps when the world returns to a new normal, we can attend one in the flesh sooner rather than later.

In the afternoon, we headed up to the park for a bit of a ramble, joining the scores of other families doing the same thing.

It was particularly nice to see family groups climbing trees, scrabbling through the woods or just enjoying the grass with a picnic. I don’t remember seeing the park so well utilised.

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