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.

The weather was fine, so we spent much of weekend outdoors. It was interesting to see people's reaction to the "social distancing" we are supposed to be observing. Most kept their distance, but there were a few people who clearly felt it all unnecessary.

We walked Poppy, the dog Hil walks every Saturday morning, then in the afternoon, a cycle ride to Brighton sea front.

It was incredibly quiet on Sunday, and I spent the morning on the allotment. It was a relief to be able to dig the bed in preparation for onions after all the rain we have had. Then Hil and I went on to the Downs for a walk in the afternoon. It's always easy to get away from people on the Downs, but we were surprised how many others were up there today.

 

Monday was good weather. Hil and I took a walk as a start to the day.

Later that morning I took a trip to the supermarket; my normal Monday shopping day. It was surprisingly busy, but there was loads of fresh food. There was no flour (of any sort), eggs or toilet roll. I guess the panic buying has stopped and now we must wait for the long life products to get re-stocked.

On Monday night the government announced the next stage of restrictions. Nobody was to leave their home for any reason other than to buy food or medicine.

On Tuesday morning, I tied a long rope to the garden bench and we had a go at skipping.

We are allowed out once for one form of exercise, so long as you maintain a distance of 2 metres from everyone else. The exercise along with the need for food justified a visit to the allotment. There were quite a few people down there, all saying much the same thing, "it's OK so long as you stay away from everyone". After all, we are probably safer there than in the supermarket.

 

We have settled in to the routine now. A bit of house work, time on the allotment, and an early evening meal.

The shops are OK, so long as you don't want toilet roll or milk. Hil went this morning and managed to get most of the things we need.

Last night (Thursday) the whole country went to their doors at 8:00 and "clapped for carers". It was quite emotional to experience; you could hear people clapping and cheering across the valley.

The weather has been fine this week, and I have managed to send a great deal of time outside. I am so grateful for the garden, and feel sorry for those living in flats. I have planted some peas on the allotment, but need to get some net for bird protection (and the shops that sell that kind of thing are all shut).

I had a video call with Stan today. These calls are getting more common as people find ways of keeping in touch.