In 2020 there was an outbreak of 'flu. It started in China, and by March 2020 the WHO labelled it a pandemic.

The UK government's response was to restrict people's activities in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. These policies meant many people, myself included, were unable to go to work.

I decided I should spend some of my spare time writing this journal. There will be no theme to individual entries; just whatever I feel like writing. The images are (with a few obvious exceptions) taken within a half mile radius of our house.

"Captain's log, day 30."

That's thirty days since I went to work, thirty days since Hil or I entered a pub, restaurant or attended any sort of social gathering (not including video calls). People are getting used to this now, whether they like it is another thing.

I drove to Sainsbury's yesterday. Clearly out of routine, I stood in the queue for a few minutes before realising I had forgotten my money and had to return home for it. At least I wasn't in the shop! Stocks inside the supermarkets are good now, yet still no flour or eggs. Locally, these things are available. I use the shopping opportunity to stock up on things like beer, wine, orange juice - the heavy things that are harder to carry from the local shops on foot.

Since we went into "lock-down", I have driven 16 miles. That's 16 miles per month rather than the 260 miles per week I was driving before 19 March. If I have done the math right, that makes 192 miles per year with a fuel usage of 17 litres per year.

The high wind over the last few days has destroyed one of our Echium, but today the weather is beautiful. Apparently, we are heading towards the driest April on record. Good reason to walk rather than take the car.

 

We finally got the barbecue lit. I had some great beef on the barbecue; thin steak cooked for a minute on each side is really hard to beat. Hil prefers meat-free sausages and fish fingers. All served with coleslaw, tomato vegetable relish and couscous.

It was brilliant to sit outside and watch the stars, while we reflected on what we have lost. We wonder about the things that will never return, and it makes us for the things we have done over these past years. We had music in the garden as well. 

Donald Trump (president of USA) suggested people could inject disinfectant or bleach in to themselves in an attempt to rid themselves of the virus. The next day he said he was being sarcastic; there is a lot of video evidence suggesting he was not. There was no apology for his stupidity, and many manufacturers of affected products found it necessary to release statements reiterating that you should never inject, ingest cleaning products. America is in a mess, with more dangers to health than viruses.

We had the first rain real rain of April yesterday. It's a bit of a relief as far as the allotment is concerned. the potatoes are starting to take off now, and the peas are looking strong as well. I feel we may be behind some of the others on our allotment. One couple, in particular, have transformed their allotment and I think they are spending most of every day there.

Today's picture is yet another one of the honey-suckle. Right now, we are so pleased our garden is beautiful. We are enjoying it as much as we can.

Shopping today was the easiest yet. There was no queue at all, and it was not too crowded inside. There is still no flour. By the time I left there was the beginnings of a queue for people to enter. It's definitely worth going early in the morning. 

The boiler has been playing up. I phoned the plumber; even that is an effort to organise. They are working albeit in a vastly reduced capacity. They will come so long as nobody in the house is displaying symptoms; we will have to vacate the kitchen and shut the door for him to work.

There is talk of the lock-down coming to an end. The government has realised we can not just go back to normal in an instant. It's going to be a phased return, though I am not yet sure what we will return to. Re-building from this is going to be a long process.