From the Kirkyard


We are one third into 2017 and I hope it has progressed favourably so far. In January, the time of writing, I had just
returned home after spending the Festive Season with friends and family. Christmas in England and Hogmanay in Scotland, splendid! Except that I was stuck in the former because of fog! Southampton, Gatwick and Heathrow!
Newcastle and Birmingham were open for business but I could not get there!

In Gatwick I was informed there were no hotel rooms available and, on investigation, found that there wasn't any room left on the airport floor so there I was facing the dire prospect of not getting home to my native soil for the New Year! My planned flight home was from Southampton and I now found myself in Gatwick, with my nephew and his family who were expecting to fly to Rome. This meant a different airline, which meant another queue! A jolly, slightly harassed lady at the desk informed me, when I reached her, that she was sure she could get me home (I felt a bit like “ET” by this time) and she arranged for me to have a seat with the words “It'll be some time though!”

Some time was right and several hours later I was in a plane winging its way through penetrating fog to the North, soon clearing the barrier and bursting into a clear moonlit sky, studded with sparkling stars! I eased my seat belt and relaxed! Then came the thought that this was what life was all about, one minute we are surrounded by doubts and uncertainties, the next the way ahead is clear. One month the Kirkyard is bleak and dormant without colour, the next the welcome shoots of the daffodil bulbs are in evidence and with them the promise of Spring. I have to say at this point, how much I admired the staff at both airports. They were helpful and concerned, facing unanswerable questions sympathetically and dealing with angry travellers with great patience.

My trusty band of helps in the Kirkyard, for whom I owe a great debt of gratitude, are possibly, like myself, enjoying the respite winter months bring in the garden and some perhaps have doubts about committing themselves for another year. Volunteers for this task are required and I hope some of you reading this will answer our call. Also, the source of our bedding-out plants is no longer available and the Parks Department who in the past delivered surplus stock to us, are “cutting back”. Perhaps those of you who buy your summer stock at the Christian Aid stall run by the Scouts, might include an extra tray of geraniums, begonias or similar plants as a donation towards the Kirkyard plots! We would be most grateful. You gardeners may find yourselves splitting small perennials to contain them and make more room in your beds. If they are labelled and described, these too could find a place with us.

Kirkyard gardeners all remark on the fact that they always find someone to speak with, strangers to welcome and
a quiet spot in which to contemplate after a busy day. I think you who choose to joins us will experience these
“pluses” also. Happy Gardening.


The minister said it wad dee, the cypress buss a plantit,
But the buss grew till a tree, naethin dauntit
It’s growin stark and heich, derk, straucht and sinister
Kirk-yairdie like and dreich, But whaur's the minister?
Douglas Dunn

November 2016
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