June 15th 2021, I was given the go ahead to leave the rental bed and breakfast I had managed for 3 years and 2 days. I moved there on my birthday 2018. Thing is, I had to be out by the 17th June. Just two days to pack an entire hotel up and transfer the piles of bedding, furniture, tableware and ornaments across the road. Danielle ‘my friend and housekeeper’ was a rock. It was blistering heat, but we did it.
I had a call from Mum on the 16th June, saying I had to get to Warwickshire. I had promised Dad I would hold him when he died. He went on the 20th June (Father’s Day) early hours of the morning. The garden came alive with nature and the sky shone amber amidst pale skies and descending white clouds. Two resident ducks on the pond and a glimpse of a fox in the copse. All so very much alive but as for Dad and his barrow, there would be no more. The clouds took him home. I recall driving down the motorway, with the dogs, knocking back black coffee whilst feeling totally stunned and shattered, hoping I could catch him in time. Job done. I drove back to Blackpool on the 22nd June 2021. Belleva opened during Augusts 2021 – after what I can only describe as 2.5 years of total chaos and unnecessary drama.
Unfortunately, I contracted Covid and could not attend the funeral. But I was there and in Blackpool with Dad, in spirit. So instead when I got on the mend, I bought some bedding plants for the tub I had inherited outside of Belleva. I watered the plants each morning religiously whilst the street was quiet. I hope they are just as beautiful this year, for everyone everywhere who has the privilege of soil.
That said, my neighbour Steve, kindly removed a plant for me, from the drainpipe at Belleva this week that had embedded itself in the gutter so deeply, he had to use brut force to get it out by the roots. Made me laugh. And Tracy another lovely friend and neighbour informing us, a woman over the street from her (a previous neighbour) had let seeds dropped by the seagulls, take over so much, she had lupins growing on her flat roof so high they obscured the front windows. When others raised the matter, the woman replied, ‘so fucking what.’ It did make us smile. It really does take all sorts to make a world. As long as we are kind, that’s all the matters.