Three days after arriving back in the UK, I’m spending the Lockdown in a granny flat at the bottom of my friend Ms Marple’s garden.
Nimbus, one of her cats has decided that he doesn’t like my knitting and has twice tried to disembowel a ball of yarn.
It keeps him away from the toilet roll, I suppose.
This lockdown arrangement that we have works out very well for both of us.
Ms Marple has underlying health issues and I need somewhere to live… as my house sitter is at my place until September.
We can keep our distance across the garden and still chat though we’re looking for online semaphore lessons.
There are online PE classes, virtual quizzes, online museum and gallery tours and streaming of operas, ballets and musicals… somebody, somewhere will be doing semaphore classes.
If only to entertain themselves.
Two points to raise here.
Ms Marple will murder me when she finds out that I’ve chosen this for her pseudonym – she’s the least Ms Marple type person I know.
She is also not impressed with me referring to my new des-res as a Granny Flat. She calls it The Shed.
I’m not sure how that sounds any better.
So, Day 3 of Lockdown… it’s a little different to travelling, not least of all the temperature. Somewhat cooler than Bangkok.
It is great to be back in the UK in time for Spring. The daffodils are starting to bloom, making me think of Jean, one of the staff at Raffles.
She told me she had studied in Manchester for a year and had been excited to go up to the Lake District to visit Wordsworth’s house as she loved his poetry… particularly the one about a certain type of Springtime flower.
The Lockdown measures don’t forbid leaving the house for exercise so I’ve been out for a couple of early morning walks just in time to see sunrise.
People are still keen to interact… from a distance, though numbers increase as the clock moves around to 7am.
I had chat at 3m separation with an old man walking his dog in the park. We talked about still being able to enjoy the simple things in life and he gave me the top tips for which supermarkets have stocked shelves and good distancing measures.
He’d be making sure he was indoors by 12 noon because, despite everything, he says younger people are still out and about gathering in groups.
This man, like so many others, can’t take a risk. He’s 70 and suffers from asthma.
Ms Marple meanwhile receives some help from a local agency and Sally popped around following food donations from local businesses.
Various places had a stock clear out on Friday.
“Do you like spring onions?” she asked, arriving with a two wheel covered trolley filled with flowers, vegetables and 5kg of spring onions.
We’re Googling recipe ideas.
We’d missed the delivery of 50 pizzas.
We’re not short of food. Ms Marple is a brilliant cook and a big believer in storage. We could probably last one year.
Sally told us that, as she doesn’t drive, reductions to bus services are making it difficult for her to visit the people who need physical care. She wasnt sure how she was going to be able to continue to provide support.
She’s planning on doing a lot more walking.
Meanwhile in the garden, it’s easy to listen to life going on around us. Everyone else is home too and this is now the third day that the man next door has cut his lawn.
The gardens aren’t big. As Ms Marple said: “He’s not exactly in charge of Chatsworth. Where is he finding the grass? Perhaps he thinks he’s opening a golf course.”