Social distancing

‘Keep your distance,’ said the signs and ‘Keep apart’, they could have been notices in the town centre, no one would have been surprised in these COVID19 days, but they are signs on the motorway. I was travelling on the M62 and going for a short break to see family. You just don’t know these days when you will be able to go again. The times are so unpredictable we cannot be sure if there will be a lockdown. And wherever we go we must keep apart – two chevrons on the motorway and two metres when we are walking.

I have been to the seaside once more. This time, now the children are back at school and it is a little cooler, some of the beaches were quiet and there were no worries about keeping apart.

This was a special trip for me. I went to see my sister. I have not seen her since February. We planned to meet in a country park with wide open spaces. We hoped to take a picnic but the weather was too bad. It was raining and the wind was buffeting my car when I went on the cliff top, I felt in danger of being blown over the edge.

We met at her house instead and talked to each other through our respective car windows. Not the hugs and close chats of sisters reunited after half a year, but it was so good non-the-less. We talked until we were too cold and then we gave virtual hugs and kisses. We waved until my car turned a corner and she was out of sight.

The birds have no worries about keeping apart. In fact, at this time of year they are getting closer. I saw a flock of long tailed tits, like pink and black ping pong balls with flicking tails. They were keeping together for safety.

I saw gulls in large numbers too. They were hunting for food in flocks, this year there are no easy pickings of fish and chips – no one was out there with left over bits in their polystyrene trays. There were no children throwing unwanted cornets away after their ice-creams had been eaten. I did see the ‘Pirate Ship’ going out to sea, though. It was taking some little ones with parents for an adventure. It was a choppy ride but the children came away smiling and waving black flags with sculls and crossbones. A reminder of even darker times, perhaps.

Back home, I quickly went to inspect my spaghetti marrow plants. I am still hoping to grow my own spaghetti, especially now some supermarkets are seeing a run on it. The fruits are slowly swelling, but to get them to grow bigger, I will have to ration them to one per plant. Socially distanced marrows are the order of the day.

Gulls social distancing



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