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I’m beginning to think the weather’s conspiring in the effort to make every day of lockdown feel like “Groundhog Day”. Each morning when I wake up and open the bedroom blinds I look out across the valley and see clear blue skies and sunshine picking out the vibrant greens of the trees that are bursting into leaf in our local woodland. Don’t get me wrong – I’m loving it, but – it doesn’t give you much to work with from a literary perspective when you’re writing a daily blog during lockdown! I’m almost tempted to summerise a day as if it’s written in a teenagers diary. “Got up, went to work, had a walk, had tea, watched TV, went to bed”…

First world problems eh? Variety, or the lack of it. It reminds me of a family I used to know in Goa, India. Sometimes Lynn and I would be invited round to eat with the Gawade’s. 6 days a week they’d eat the same thing: Fish riceplate. Only on Monday would the routine change. They’d have the riceplate without fish! It made me realise why so many poorer Indian families love celebrations and festivals – they get to eat something different! Me, I’m now (half) praying for a good rainstorm…

At least my laptop dying provided a change in the routine, although personally I’d have preferred the thunderstorm as it would have been a lot less stressful. As it was Dell came good and their engineer (an Indian chap who lived locally) arrived before midday and within half an hour he’d replaced the Motherboard and had my laptop up and running again. So Dawn could keep working he said he was happy to stand in the kitchen to effect the repair as anyway, his next call was in Hull and he’d be spending hours sat at the wheel of his car. We kept all the social-distancing protocols whilst the pair if us chatted, with me talking to him from the doorway and he at the worktop. It was actually really nice to be able to chat to a stranger for a while!

Job done, he headed off to his Hull call. The laptop needed to be recharged so I left it doing that whilst Dawn and I went out for our daily constitutional on what’s now a well worn route through woods and parks. I’d have been tempted to walk further but we both had things to do at home as – really – life hasn’t got any simpler for either of us. Kicking our heels would be a luxury and neither of us are couch-potato material anyways, so we’d always find something to do other than sit in front of the TV eating crisps. However, a sunset drink in the garden’s another matter!

When we returned from our stroll the pair of us knuckled down for a few more hours until it was (briefly) time to kick back and enjoy the sunset before plodding on for a little longer. Then my newly fixed laptop crashed. My reaction can best be summed up in two words that rhyme with ‘clucking bell’. Fortunately it rebooted and seemed fine once I’d run some diagnostic checks on it, but to say it made me nervous (even though no work was lost) was an understatement. There’s never a good time for these things to happen, but during ‘lockdown’? Oh, please! 

Still, I’m not the only one having a difficult time right now. Imagine what it must be like of you’ve spent your life denying that the climate’s changed due to human activity? You look pretty bloody stupid now! All over the planet people have woken up to the fact that the skies are clearer, cities are less polluted, quieter and nicer and damn – are those the Himalayas I can see over there for the first time? 

You’re not going to get away with blaming this on ‘sunspots’ or any of the junk science climate change deniers normally try to use as an excuse. There’s going to be reams of empirical data coming out of this vast experiment in shutting down human activity that’s going to be impossible to deny. 

The other people who’re having a hard time are the far-right rentagobs like ‘Hatey Katey’ Hopkins or little ‘Tommeh’ Robinson. The people who’ve spent their lives trying to demonise Muslims have hard the (prayer) rug pulled from underneath them now it’s bloody obvious Covid-19 doesn’t give a shit about what religion you are – oh and all that crap about banning people covering their faces? That’s going to go down well right now! And this is before we even mention the Trump supporters who’re trying to stop the lockdown in the US, despite it having the worst Covid-19 death rate anywhere on the planet. Coronavirus has shown up right-wing populism for what it truly is – morally and intellectually vacuous with no answers to anything. 

Maybe there’s going to be an upside to all this after all…