Not the most exciting of days, admittedly. The coronavirus Pavlovian reflexes have kicked in to maintain the pattern of our current lives. The problem is the lack of choice. Some routine is good. For example, it’s lovely to be able to get to meditate together as a start to the day, but then you know pretty much what the day will bring and the space you’ll occupy to do it. Randomness is pretty much a thing of the past.
Don’t get me wrong, there are far, far worse fates. Being at home I have lots of options around me and all my possessions. It’s not like I’m a prisoner in an institution where I only have what the authorities allow me to have, or be in the awful position that hostages like Terry Waite were in. If routine and the lack of change in surroundings is the price I have to pay to prevent people dying, then so be it. It’s not like it’s going to be forever and there are compensations and opportunities.
The day passed with me catching up on scanning another large batch of slides, something I’d neglected to do over the weekend as I was focussed on other chores. I’m half-tempted to take a break from the rail archive and scan some of the 1000s of travel pictures I have in the queue but as we’re in lockdown I’m not sure it’s such a good idea as it’ll remind me what I’m missing – travel. I can’t think of the last time I spent so much time pretty much in the same place. It’s not so bad with the archive rail shots as it’s not as if I have a time-machine so that I can go back to 1981! I’m reminded of the LP Hartley quote that “the past is a foreign country”.
What did chafe slightly was that the weather was so good. It’s been a lovely sunny day, but then we’re fortunate that we have a garden we can take a break in. I’m not sure how I’d cope if I still lived in East London in one of the 1930’s deck access blocks of flats. That must be really hard, so I count my blessings. ‘Social distancing’ on the narrow stairwells and walkways that are your only outdoor space will be impossible.
At the end of the working day Dawn and I did manage to get out for our state-approved daily exercise and I managed to hit my 12.5k daily step target. Because of the weather and the lateness of the day there were more people out, but it was hardly Piccadilly Circus. We completed our usual routine of woods, promenade and park before heading home. As the freezer’s full there’s no point to cooking anything, we can live off that, but to be honest, now the weather’s warming, I don’t feel the need for such big meals in the evening so I’m happy to graze, or just have something simple although I miss the creativity of cooking at the same time as being happy I can fill time with other things. Never pleased, are we? Instead, Dee prepared tinned fish in tomato sauce on toast with the added kick of some of her home-made Thai-style chilli pickle, just for that special song effect in the morning…