Covid has taken a year out of our lives. Think of all those repeats we’ve seen on TV, all those things we said we’d do, but never got round to doing.

Finally, though, we’re getting back to something that should be like normal. But how do we make that big step back to normality. One thing I’ve been involved with is a gardening project. It’s been aimed at bringing gardening to the people in my local housing association.

We’ve been sitting all alone in our homes, cut off from friends and loved ones. And a gardening project has brought local people together. It gives us an excuse to talk to each other again. Working on the gardens around where we live gives us a chance to improve the look of the area, it’s so much nicer to live in somewhere that looks pretty.

Put people in a room together, then tell them to start talking to each other doesn’t work. We needed a reason to talk to each other and making the places round our flats look good was an excellent excuse.

Many of the people in our group are older, their relatives far away, or dead, and planting flowers, plants and vegetables gives us a link to the future. Time hangs. But now we have plans for the future, ‘we’ll be able to eat outside once the vegetables are ready,’ we tell each other. Time passes quickly while we’re working. And we learn a lot about gardening.

It also means that those who didn’t know each other have a chance to make new friends, with all of the give and take that meeting new people involves.

We all enjoy our Wednesday gardening, even when it’s raining – that’s dedication. Gardening clubs are one way we can build on the mess Covid has make of the last year, and of our lives. Something good from adversity? Let’s hope so. So, go out and build more gardening clubs.