We’re on holiday this week, so it’s all change. No sticking to structure and routine: the point is to make it be (and feel) different.
Today’s walk was an 8.5 mile circular walk from home. We saw very few people until we were almost home. We walked through the two former railway tunnels out to Midford, then on towards Wellow where we sat and rested on a bench looking out to a wonderful view across the countryside. Then back to Midford and up the hill to Southstoke. There we saw the little village shop that has sprung up to help local people buy some of the essentials of life (flour, huge tins of tomatoes, sugar) and some non-essentials too (and which are which will depend on your situation).
People and communities here, like most places in this country, have been resourceful in putting in place things that have previously gone by the wayside.
On the way home, before the hill back down to where we live, we passed a stall outside a house selling garden plants the woman who lives there has raised. I bought a few bedding plants that I’d failed to buy seed for. Home then in time to freshen up before lunch.
We may not have been able to enjoy the sea all the way on our right, or the all round views to the Scottish mainland one way and Northern Ireland the other way, and we certainly didn’t spot any seals or porpoises, but we had a lovely walk and it was a treat to take time out from ‘normal life’ (or what passes for it these days).
Something I’ve reflected on while I was walking today is a metaphor I read over the weekend. I’m sorry, I can’t recall where or who thought if it, but it seemed to make perfect sense to me. It was along the lines that, whilst we are definitely all in this together, in the same rough sea dealing with the same waves, some of us are in secure large yachts with all mod cons while many many others are in leaky rowing boats or worse clinging to the side of rafts.
This crisis affects us all to a greater or larger extent, depending on all sorts of circumstances (and also on our good fortune or otherwise). Are we able to make our own choices about what to do to stay safe, or do financial necessities mean we have to take risks we don’t feel comfortable with? Are we facing a future without hope of work or income?Do we have our own private space, or are we forced to share cramped accommodation with others? Do we have access to our own outdoor space, or must we rely on public parks, streets and spaces? do we have access to good healthcare if we become ill?
I know that I am one of the most fortunate, and I’ve heard stories of the struggles of others living very close to where I live that make the differences very stark indeed. My fervent wish is that this experience changes us for the better – as a country, as a city, as a world.
We have another good walk planned for tomorrow.
I hope this finds you well, and that you stay well. See you tomorrow xx