Thursday 26 March 2020


Life in the time of Covid-19 and other things

Being part of the ‘vulnerable’ cohort, we have had to give in and ‘self-isolate’, much to our children’s relief.  Delivery drivers are being punctilious in their manner of conveying items to us.

At present, all is bonhomie and I really cannot complain. We go out in the early evening to walk our four dogs. It’s quieter then and because we drive to the woods we do not risk breathing on others or being breathed upon. Susannah lives close to us and calls by every day to see if we need anything. She keeps her distance and we are becoming accustomed to shouted conversations that the whole neighbourhood can enjoy, though, to be sure, they are fairly banal. Frankie stands by, looking a little bemused. His routine has been severely affected, as school has closed for him and all his activities have been suspended. Susannah says the local shop is empty of many things but full of people ignoring the oft-repeated mantra to maintain a 2-metre distance from others. Why? Some people appear to be treating the current lockdown as an impromptu holiday. In some instances, police have dispersed gatherings of more than two people.

Gillian, our eldest daughter, told us of an incident in sleepy Blandford, when police were called to a supermarket to arrest a man who had punched another man because he wanted his block of cheese! Dear me, whatever happened to self-control?
I am enjoying the peace and quiet. It’s never horrendously noisy here but currently we are free of over-flying helicopters and other aircraft, apart from a very occasional airliner. Is it my imagination or are the birds singing more joyously than usual? They are certainly very busy, meeting and mating, nesting and brooding and keeping Herschel and Jellicoe entertained. Their brother, Isambard, died very suddenly last October. Barry had been confined to bed with pneumonia and Isambard had been keeping him company and developed a respiratory disease that killed him in 24 hours, despite the best endeavours of our lovely vets. Very sad. However, he left a little of his soul behind in his brothers, who have both become much more attentive and demonstrative. Jellicoe had also been very ill with pancreatitis and we have found that nursing sick animals seems to make them more affectionate.
The last few days have been glorious, sunny and bright. As spring matures, Nature continues to awaken and dress herself in fresh green and flowers. I saw my first butterfly yesterday. It was yellow, perhaps a Clouded yellow. I’ve just discovered that a yellow butterfly symbolises hope and guidance, and was the symbol of the soul in early Christianity. We certainly need plenty of hope and forbearance at present.

To occupy the hours, I am practising the piano, attempting to improve my playing – long way to go there! – doing jigsaws and tapestry, reading, writing, and trying to remember how to crochet. Crochet is not like riding a bicycle – once you fall off the hook it’s not so easy to get back on!

We are only in the first week of lockdown – I think some folks are going to get mighty tired of it long before the initial three weeks are over. I do feel sorry for teenagers and also glad I haven’t any to contend with. Someone suggested that the divorce rate would increase and/or there would be a ‘baby boom’, the resulting infants possibly becoming known as ‘Coronalists’.


  1. I'm in semi isolation, only going out for walks and to get a few necessities as I need them, no visiting neighbours and no one visiting me. I do hope it doesn't last too long, some people are saying we could be in for 18 months of shortages and isolation. I'll manage, but I know plenty who won't if it goes on that long.

  2. I think we just have to take it day by day and not worry too much about how long it will last. The ramifications will be enormous but there will be lasting changes, too. Keep well!

  3. Hi Janice - thanks for the catch up ... and so glad Barry is up and about again - just desperate Isambard caught the bug - thankfully he and Barry had those last days together. Herschel and Jellicoe are just so handsome or pretty - and I bet they miss their Isambard.

    Lovely to have news of Susan and Frankie and your other daughter ... people can be maggoty, thankfully many aren't - they're kind and thoughtful ...

    All the best to you and yours - Hilary

  4. Love the expression, 'maggoty' - it describes so well some of the people with whom we would rather not have contact. Keep well!


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