It feels churlish to complain about the coronavirus lockdown when I know that I have the multiple benefits of living in spacious house and garden in a beautiful part of the world, in sunny weather, with huge amounts of discretionary time and no immediate money worries. I hadn’t imagined that retirement would be like this but it is certainly more relaxed and peaceful than I had expected. So, on we go with another day in Paradise?
Maybe, but I’m getting increasingly bored and frustrated by the lockdown.
The lockdown rules seem to be constantly changing in ways I don’t really understand and which lead to apparent inconsistencies. Of course, I can only read a small proportion of the increasingly diverse scientific advice. I can only partially understand the economic and wider physical and mental health implications of social distancing. However, I look at other countries in Europe that are similar to ours and feel they are coping better; their lockdowns appear less strict and executed to a more logical, progressive and strategic plan.
I suppose my current frustration is accentuated by the knowledge that we had planned to be walking from Minehead in Somerset, along the north Devon coast to Padstow in Cornwall right now. I recall how Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) and I felt so proud of ourselves when we finished booking all 14 of the Air BnB’s along the route. We were so pleased that we had booked a house that was perfect for a week-long celebration of LSW’s (big) birthday with our sons, their girlfriends and some old friends at the end of our fortnight of walking.
That has all been cancelled progressively over the last few weeks as the lockdown rules on overnight stays have tightened and it has become clear that pubs and restaurants won’t be substantially open for a few weeks yet. The silver lining to this has been that LSW strained her back recently and the holiday cancellation has given her a chance to recover properly – she would have been sorely challenged by daily walks we planned – and also that the weather has suddenly turned mediocre.
We will just have to shift the whole three week plan to next summer, and then hope that the weather is sublime and that we are still fit enough to do the walk. It will, though, have to be slotted in among all the other trips around the UK that we are envisaging ambitiously for when freedom is returned!
One foretaste of the renewed possibilities once the lockdown is ended was that Youngest Son and I did manage to get up to see my parents in Nottingham last week. This was my first visit since mid-February. I look forward to the rules changing so that I can once again sit with Mum for a while in the residential home and can stay overnight with my Dad. However, it was very good, and rather emotional, to see them both even though the visit was only relatively brief (and, fortunately, in the sun).
It was good too to be able to help my Dad complete the netting of his fruit and vegetable plot. He had just lost a batch of mangetout to the dreaded pigeons and I know how distressing losing crops to animals and birds can be. Now most of his crops, like mine I hope, are protected.
My Vegetable Patch And Raised Beds – Protected From Most of the Local Wildlife
I will try to repeat the visit Dad again next month (and, no doubt, compare gardening experience and produce) regardless of whether lockdown restrictions have been relaxed further.
There is certainly a lot to look forward to once this damnable virus is past.
Smiling Garden Flowers And Buzzing Bees – Gloriously Oblivious To Coronavirus!