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With the bountiful clematis and aquilegia buds a couple of weeks from florescence, chez Strachan’s garden will shortly be illuminated with their first real chromatic views of 2020.

The well-established clematis in particular will proudly brandish hundreds of small pale pink flowers; blossoms which cover the whole width of my back fence. Burgeoning effloresce which, when set against the evergreen pyracantha through which its vines grow, bears an enchanting colour contrast, akin to a peony firework in a black sky.

Well, that’s unless the climbing plant is susceptible to contracting COVID-19. In which case that maybe another avenue of pleasure blocked by coronavirus. Of course, such a suggestion is a highly unlikely scenario, but what do we really know about what can and can’t spread this pathogen!…… After all, we receive so many mixed messages relating to this topic.

So far we’ve heard from sources of varying dependability that apart from humans, COVID-19 can be spread by bats, 5G technology towers, some domestic pets, Fred Shufflebottom’s Philharmonic Orchestra and musical video cassettes presenting Eddie ‘Balloon Sculptor’ Baffle – Live At The Climethorpe Odeon….. Most suggestions, if not all, being absolute bollocks.

Like everything in life, I prefer to be guided down the path of non-fake news by well informed individuals. Opinions from subject matter experts, or at least those with a decent grounding in the topic of which they speak.

I’m loathed to take advice from uninformed, centre stage Charlies who from their soapbox ply you with a half correct story, embellished for dramatic affect. Or whose truth diminishes further while it embarks on its unreliable Chinese whisper odyssey.

I’d an acquaintance many years ago who’d pedal the most unlikely medical advice. As she’d get these ‘words of wisdom’ from a friend who worked at a doctors surgery, deeming her words apparently more informed than the rest of us non-medics. This woman’s friend not a doctor; instead a secretary in charge of arranging patient appointments.

Call me cynical, but I’ve a preference of acquiring medical advice from someone with six years training in the field of medicine. Subsequently, any guidance she attempted to impart upon me was discarded immediately on arrival.

After all, I’d an uncle who was a barrister and although I know what habeas corpus means (I think), I’d never dream of attempting to act as an advocate in a court of law……. It’s nonsense.

If I could get away with being a defence barrister just once, though, I’d love it to play out something like this court scene in Woody Allen’s movie Bananas:-

As with that deluded woman, who ludicrously tried to pass herself off as a font of medical knowledge, when it comes to trusting strategies to minimise catching COVID-19, I’m going with the governments chief medical officer’s advice.

The individuals who don’t seem to trust him, deeming “he looks weird”, can instead be guided by the Chinese whispers brigade, a communications conduit which’s rarely fully-informed with facts as they stand.

Right, I’m bringing this narrative to a conclusion so I can undertake some garden maintenance….. Well to be more precise, test the clematis’ temperature and its not got a dry cough!!



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