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.

It's been sunny, and I have spent a lot of time in the garden. For whatever reason, I stupidly decided to fly my indoor mini-drone in the garden. I have never seen anything move so fast; it went up and flew straight out of the garden. The first neighbours let me search the garden for it, and the second ones searched for me. It was found in the end.

My other project is an annual attempt to get a good picture of the goldfinches. I have a zoom lens attached to the phone and pointed at an object such as a TV aerial. Of course, they never land on the thing I have focused on. This image was taken without the zoom as one landed on the bird feeder near where I was sat.

Friday was a Bank Holiday to celebrate VE day. Obviously, the parties were severely restricted and the TV documentaries were sparsely populated with commentators practising social distancing. Hil decorated the garden with home-made bunting and we enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine as tribute.

The actions of the UK government become more reminiscent of the book "1984" as this progress. Now it transpired they censored scientific documents to hide the fact they ignored advice in the early stages of the pandemic. Some aspects of this are getting quite sordid. 

Hil resumed her dog walking today. I was pleased I could join her. Hil has bought her own lead so we don't have to share too many things with the owners. The dog was clearly pleased to see Hil. We had a good 90 minute walk.

We held a Zoom session for the gymnasts and their families today. There were 15 screens up with around 40 participants. It was impossible to really know what everyone was doing, but there was lots of laughter. Hil joined in as my partner as we demonstrated "thread the needle".

Saturday marked the date a wedding should have happened. We celebrated in the garden with a glass of champagne. We look forward to seeing the couple again and, of course, celebrating their real wedding when it is allowed to take place. I guess there will be a surge of wedding and other formal events once we are allowed to congregate in groups again. 

Sunday night's announcement marked the beginning of the end of lockdown for us all.

We are now allowed to exercise outside more than once per day. This announcement alone makes me realise how lucky we are. I never count the number of times I go outside. Between the garden and the allotment I have all the outside I want.

There are due to be some reduction in the restrictions placed upon competitive sport. It's going to be hard to comply with the rules on an indoor sport of the nature of gymnastics, but it's a start.

Britain has suffered more deaths than any country other than USA. That may be due to the way we record the fatalities but I think there are many deaths both here and abroad that have not been given the correct cause of death (both positive and negative).

News from the rest of the world... China has seen a surge in new infections since they emerged from lockdown. The WHO suggests Coronovirus will become endemic in our world; this is the new normal and we have to learn to live with it.

And now it's Thursday, and nothing has changed for us. So in total, the easing of restrictions is a non-event for us. It's nothing more than a suggestion things are not gong to be quite this tight for much longer.

 

We drove to Hil's mother on Sunday. It's very few miles away; the farthest my car has been in many months. Driving felt like I was abroad; I was aware I had to concentrate. I won't say I'd forgotten what to do, but everything was less familiar than it used to be. Once there we sat on the drive and talked through the window. It didn't feel as unnatural as it should have done.

Tuesday I drove to gym. My car has now done more miles in 2 days than it has done in the last 3 months. Walking into K2 Leisure Centre was surreal. The building is now being used as a distribution centre. There is a skeleton staff there looking after the goods (I am not sure exactly what was being distributed from there). The building is in darkness, like it's been abandoned. And the gym was the same. Cleaning was today's task; and things are incredibly dusty. It's like Indiana Jones is exploring a dungeon; things have not been touched for ages.

I have given myself a list of jobs. Nothing is going on the floor, it will all have a hanging place on the the wall. Nothing gets left in cardboard boxes; plastic stacking boxes with lids are the way to go. We hope to make things easier to clean once we re-open. We can see, when that happens, we will have to accept vastly reduced numbers. One way systems and staggered toilet breaks will be the thing.I have a nagging doubt we will have to dust again before we are allowed to re-start the club.