Saturday, 18 April 2020


I live in the middle of a usually busy town: a fast five-minute walk from the counters of supermarkets, bakeries and cafes.

But, for the last while, my eyes have been fixed on my phone, watching a tiny van travel a tiny road on a tiny map, bringing a large delivery of bread to my door. He's stopped. He's moving. He's stopped again . . .

Yes, here in the UK, we are in Covid19 epidemic mode.

And, in addition, this is me, creaking open the rusty gates of my much neglected blog, partly because I have the odd urge to revisit this wide open space and partly because I have little else to do, Besides, too many words are bouncing around in my head right now. Gives me a chance to talk to myself, I suppose?

This weekend, the 18th/19th April, we are nearing the end of the first stretch of the new normal. Ha! "New normal?" Such a casually bland term! Currently, most lives are spent in variants of social isolation, self-isolation or in total "shielding" practices, depending on age and circumstance and sense.

Yet, for the many brave ones (thank you, all! ), their version of "new normal" stretches into long hours of caring for the ill, the old, the recovering and the dying, often without enough PPE protection or medical equipment on hand . . . .  On and on, the dreadful saga of lack of provision goes.  No doubt - she said cynically - every one of these heroes is hugely encouraged by the Thursday Applause, the apparent crowding on Westminster Bridge and that minuscule CARE badge. 

By heaven, it is certainly it is a time ripe for crankiness, sadness or even despair. It is the least we can do. . . .  Exactly.  And to nobody's astonishment, we enter a second stretch of national isolation. It is impossible to write anything here without acknowledging this real world, whole world context going on out there.

However, the land, under the Easter sunshine, seemed to grow more beautiful.  There were reports of nature filling in the gaps left by humankind: flowers blooming abundantly, goats roaming through seaside towns, hedgehogs successfully crossing roads and so on. Meanwhile, each dawn, the trees and gardens are unusually full of the sounds of birds. Not knowing, and fearful of, whatever might be coming up, there seems to be a private counting of blessings, even as the news relays other images. And on we go . . .

Meanwhile, I'll carry on pondering and pottering and reading and writing. Rather randomly reading. Pondering about this and that. Putting words into the best possible order. And stepping out into this virtual space sometimes, where there's no need to fret about the weeds sprouting all across the paths. I'll be back . . . 

Oh! Is that the doorbell ringing? Tiny van man has arrived!
Keep well and happy,

ps. Today's petty cause for crankiness?
 There were only three croissants inside the bakery's bag, clearly labelled as an order for five.
 But does one even dare to complain at a time like this?

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