Our small terrace is hardly capacious – in fact, it was the reason that we did not initially look at the house when we first saw the online particulars – but we have done decent work with it, so much so that the neighbours refer to it as The Eden Project. Best of all, given the upward incline into the courtyard at the rear, it sits below ground level, secluded from all but the most inquisitive members of the outside world, or children playing hide and seek.
I am trying to sit out as much as possible, made easier by the lockdown acquisition of a new umbrella, table and chairs, the previous ones having served their time and gone to that great furniture pile in the sky. Being outside at all, especially in the current way of things, feels like a positive step, not least because Vitamin D, so one of the many rumours goes, is meant to help against the virus.
Best of all, we have visitors on the terrace, including one rather unlikely fellow who must have come from a good distance away but who has been resident for a while. He tends to be here early in the morning before slipping away around nine o’clock to pass the day in the secluded corner we have set up for him, and this morning I spent a very happy hour in his company, both of us enjoying the start of the day together before he sploshed his way through the reeds and back to his home.
We also have bees in the lavender and other plants, as well as leaf-cutters, which seem particularly taken by the wisteria which sits behind the spot where I sit. Every now and again I hear a noise akin to a small pair of scissors being used to cut paper, and there is a bee with a large crescent of wisteria, off to do the apian equivalent of feathering its nest.
In the middle of this restorative noise there is the semi-regular playthrough of whatever I have been writing, a choral piece this morning, gradually gathering notes and details as a bee gathers leaves. Despite all the half-hearted assurances it will be some time before I trust the world enough to venture out fully, so this corner will have to do, but it is a good place to be.