However, the highs were numerous too. We did spend Christmas in 2020 and 2021 together, having a brief break in lockdowns. We did manage short trips between lockdowns to see friends.
It was a wetter than usual spring and summer, so we planted a vast vegetable garden. It was a huge success and we picked peas and beans, tomatoes and cucumbers, squash and zucchini, and gave lots away. The corn was amazing and parsnips, which are notoriously hard to germinate, thrived.
The spring flower garden was our best ever, the bottlebrushes were weighed down with red brushes, and the camellias flourished in the wetter, cooler conditions. The iris garden which we had worked on for years was an amazing rainbow of pink, blue, purple, yellow and white. I waited with interest to see how my newly purchased bi-color irises would grow. Lots of photos were taken to remember this special season.
The pair of thrushes who have nested in a flower pot on top of the hot water service on the back verandah, hatched three chicks. I was lucky enough to be watching the day they hopped on the lip of the pot and took their first precarious flight. One made it to the garden shed roof, another got as far as the tree line beyond the back fence, but the third only made it to a bush close by. It paused, recovered, and followed its mates. Rain was threatening. I worried about them out on their own.
The biggest high was at the end of lockdown when our two grandchildren from Melbourne arrived for a visit. A five and seven year old who love the farm. From the moment they walked in the door they were at home.
Thomas had missed his birthday party and I had promised to make a birthday cake on their next visit. On the way up his mother phoned to remind me, so I hastily made a marble cake, iced it with lashings of chocolate icing and sprinkles. The cake blowing ceremony was held, seven candles on a separate cake (due to COVID rules), and a huge amount of cake devoured.
The calves were inspected and the chook house visited in search of eggs. Peas were ready to pick and pod. They learned this quickly and were a great help.
It was a lovely visit. Caitlin summed it up beautifully by announcing that she was lucky because she had a home in Melbourne and a home in Benalla.