The photo shows a bit of the pond, not a puddle, by the way!
Not long after midday, however, the sun came out, albeit briefly, and we ventured up Lark Hill again, with a lot of wind assistance. When we were at the bottom of the hill the sky was blue. The clouds moved in again but the rain stayed away for the duration of our walk. Hooray!
I spoke to our son earlier. They have grey and damp weather in Buckinghamshire too. They are in tier one lockdown at the moment but he is convinced that we are in for a full national lockdown any day now.
And, lo and behold, this is what I found online:
“The Times reported that Johnson was expected to announce the measures for England, which could be introduced on Wednesday and last until 1 December, at a press conference on Monday.
Everything except essential shops and education settings could be closed. Johnson and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, were to spend the weekend trying to work out what restrictions could be imposed without causing major damage to the economy.
Speaking in a personal capacity on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Prof Calum Semple, a member of Sage, said the country was in a second wave of the virus. “Unlike the first wave, where we had a national lockdown which protected huge swathes of society, this outbreak is now running riot across all age groups,” he said.
He said there were “many more cases, particularly in younger females between the ages of 20 and 40”, with three to four times as many women in that age group going to hospital as men, because they were being exposed to the virus in hospitality, retail and some educational settings.”
So it goes.
My niece, who lives and works in Dubai, has been going on in her Facebook posts about getting out and about on her bike to “fight the lockdown chub”. Quite why she has not been exercising during lockdown is a bit of a mystery. And I hate to say that maybe some of the “chub” may be down to alcohol consumption, because I know she has done quite a bit of that! Apparently a large number of people have been binging on chocolate as well during the pandemic. Sales of large-size chocolate bars for sharing have soared. Sales of small bars, such as you might buy to nibble as you wait for the bus or tram, on the other hand have fallen. Sales of gift boxes of chocolates have also fallen. I wonder why? If we go into full lockdown, will people stockpile chocolate or does that count as an essential purchase.
In some parts of Europe people have been finding other ways to occupy their time during the pandemic. I read about people who go “ice swimming” - going for a dip in ice cold lakes or the sea, if they live near the seaside. It’s very good for your immune system, so they say, but I still don’t fancy it. In Scandinavia there has been an increase in knitting. I suspect it’s not just Scandinavia, judging by the adverts I see for craft materials. Many people are reportedly reading more as well. This seems to be borne out by the increased demand for my daughter-in-law’s services. She works from home as an editor/proof reader, among other occupations, and has been snowed under with work. One of her other occupations is making and restoring furniture - I believe this is called “upcycling”, in rather the same way as second-hand goods are called “pre-loved” - and she has been similarly overwhelmed with demands for the goods she produces, as people get busy renovating and changing the “look” of their homes.
As for me, I read and knit and sew as much as ever I did - nothing new there - but I have sort of rediscovered old hobbies. When I retired, almost 12 years ago now, I told a friend/colleague that I wanted to get back into drawing and painting, an activity rather pushed out by full-time work. So he gave me a fancy box of water colour paints as a leaving present. Then we went off to Spain for a while and luggage restrictions prevented me taking the paintbox with me. I could always buy more there, I reasoned, and although I did indulge a little, it was never a full time activity.
Along came the lockdown and I started to keep a sort of journal. Within no time, as I sat in the garden in the fine sunny spring we had, it morphed from a written journal to a sketch book. Out came pencil crayons to add a bit of colour, and then pastel crayons, giving a different texture as I produced pictures of wild flowers I had collected out and about and copied photos. And finally I got out the paintbox, an absolute delight with each block of colour individually wrapped, like fancy chocolates in those gift boxes nobody buys any more. Such fun!
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone.