My gran kept musty bags of it amongst her clothes. As a child I would rifle through her stuff and wonder why. But I couldn’t ask as I only rifled when she was out.
Nowadays it is the scent of natural health centres selling homeopathy, cures for bad necks and counselling. Bad necks get massaged and you come out stinking of lavender. The bad neck follows and joins you about 20 minutes later. Counselling is hit or miss. With a miss, you decide within 20 minutes that the counsellor thinks you are weird. So you spend the next 40 minutes acting normal and pretending to be cured so you can escape without saying that they are a terrible counsellor. Homeopathy works a treat every time, which is nonsense but fact.
You can inhale it to relax. Relaxing means not doing things that need doing. Another way to relax is by removing yourself from those things before they cause irritating guilt. I can’t relax near the apple tree at the moment because 200 apples keep accusing me of not making apple sauce. As if I’m risking winter with no food like a poor squirrel that got lost in the snow, not somebody with a regular online delivery slot.
If lavender is not enough, a holiday might work. Getting the right one is an art form. Mix perfect weather with exciting locations and good company and sprinkle with adventure and time. Don’t do what I did once and just march in to travel agent and splash out on a ‘proper holiday with sun loungers’. All their holidays have sun loungers and you might find yourself parked on one, surrounded by concrete, wasps and angry children in a chilly wind. Do that and the apple tree will loom in your mind and the sun lounger will make you as relaxed as a wet chicken seeking shelter from the rain.
At the beginning of lockdown. I listened to a podcast from the How to Fail series by Elizabeth Day. It was about sitting still, listening to your own mind and calming down.
So, suddenly rich in time, I had a go. It works. At first the mind gets busy and witters rubbish about lists and not having done things to kitchen cupboards. But then it notices clouds in the sky, the way chickens wander around inspecting blades of grass for beetles and nothing else matters.
Despite all the relaxing this lavender is begging to be processed. I will pick it all, telling myself that I could make a fortune making lavender bags. My other self will point out that I might already have a job and not enough time to set up a lavender bag company. But the bunches will look good and until they go dry and dusty. Then they will be great for starting fires or putting in the bee smoker.
Talking of bees. The ones in our hive have well and truly legged it. However the garden is full of bees and sometimes I feel a bit suspicious that somebody else is getting all our nectar.
And that is not the only stealing that is going on around here. There are egg shells in the chicken house so, while bees steal nectar, the chickens are nicking their own eggs. And it doesn’t stop there, one of the baby pigeons have gone missing.
Outside the garden is the office. I popped in this week to water the plants. It is like the Marie Celeste with my notes from March still there, abandoned when I left in haste to self isolate. Next door is a natural health centre that does not smell of lavender any more.
And beyond the office President Trump is trying to hide post boxes?