Monday, 22nd June, 2020

[Day 98]

We always suspected that today was going to be quite a busy day and so it proved. We knew that there were several things we needed to do on the High Street today so after collecting our newspapers, we started out on our various ventures. We succeeded in our first foray into a Health and Beauty type shop where we bought some lipstick for Meg. Then our next trip was to the opticians to get Meg’s glasses adjusted but they turned out to be closed (until tomorrow) My venture to buy printer paper was similarly abortive as Staples seem to be shut indefinitely so I have had to resort to ordering some online – at a rather premium price. We also made a trip to the bank to pay in a cheque and this was rather like entering a spaceship but at least the personnel were welcoming and the transaction proved quick and easy. Finally, I couldn’t resist a quick dash into my local Poundland and bought a few garden requisites for a fiver so all I had to do was to feed my money into a machine. So it was a mixed day. On the way home, we met some of our regular friends who we have not met for several days – we started off by chatting about some red campion which I think I have identified growing just inside a side gate into the park. We chatted for about half an hour as we seem to have a lot of mutual news to catch up on (and were passed by our near neighbour as well) so we were well and truly delayed, not getting our lunch until way past 2.0pm instead of our usual 1.30 Nonetheless, we were delighted to catch up with old friends and we hope we can visit each other’s gardens as soon as we both have the time and the weather is set fair. In the afternoon, I had set myself a creosoting job of several staves which involved getting my gardening trousers, a painting shirt and a mask so it was a little fiddly but I got everything I wanted to do. I finished off the afternoon by giving two of my horseshoes a final scrub in white vinegar but it is only when I get the brillo pads and the Duraglit on them tomorrow that I will know whether I can achieve the glowing results that I did last week.

Tomorrow is the big day when it has been widely trailed that the lockdown will start to end. It looks fairly likely that the 2-metre rule will be reduced to 1-metre by 4th July which is still twelve days away. I have rather a foreboding that after tomorrow, people will not wait and will act as though the lockdown has already completely ended. Also, whilst people make an effort (excellent in some cases, minimal in others0 to avoid each other when the distance is two metres), I fear that a one-metre rule will make people behave as though everything is normal and will make no efforts to avoid each other. When Meg and I entered the various shops today, we ensured that we were wearing our masks and will continue to do so every time we enter a shop or a confined space from now on. But on a more positive note, our chiropodist has now texted us to say that she has received government advice that she can visit us as she will be equipped with full PPE. We will accept but ask to be treated outside if the weather is fine which I think it will be for the day or so. What is perhaps not fully appreciated is the issue of time – if you pass someone in the street even at a distance of 1 metre then the chances of exposure to the virus are pretty small but increase rapidly if you were to stand still and have a conversation for 10 minutes or so…