Soon after we arrived back in the UK we found ourselves locked down due to the COVID-19 virus. We were advised to stay at home “to save the NHS” – one person in the household being allowed out to buy food. It turned out to be much simpler to order everything we needed on line and most days we had the excitement of opening parcels delivered by Amazon as well as regular deliveries from Tesco’s. We were soon on first name terms with our various delivery drivers. A ten minute bike ride to the local village meant we could call in on Adam who sold locally caught fresh fish, Paul who sold the best meat in the whole world and Sebbie who provided local fruit and vegetables. These independent traders were happy to deliver but it was wonderful to get out on the bike to see what was happening outside our bubble.
At the start of the lockdown when the restaurants abruptly closed, a local fisherman found himself with a sudden glut of lobsters and son-in-law, Danny, managed to acquire a huge box full of the live crustaceans – heaven cooked on the barbecue! Let’s hope the fisherman got a new garden fence!
Our new restricted lifestyle was proving to be extremely comfortable and we enjoyed spending exclusive time with our family, although we were very aware of those less fortunate than ourselves who were living alone and possibly very frightened by media accounts of the pandemic – nonagenarians who were too scared even to step outside their front door, cruelly deprived of hugs from a family member in their declining years.
We found plenty to occupy us and we were able to transform the outside area from a building site into a patio garden. Week after week the weather was unusually warm and sunny with balmy evenings that allowed us to make full use of our newly constructed barbecue area.
Our plan had been to travel with the truck from Liverpool docks as passengers on a container ship plying between Hamburg and Liverpool and on to Halifax, Baltimore, Rio De Janiero, then back to Hamburg. Due to COVID-19, our passenger booking was finally postponed until 2021. Plan B would be to load the truck in Liverpool, then fly to Canada and pick up the truck from Halifax – but we would have to wait until Canada opened its border to visitors from the UK.
As the weeks went on I think we grew more and more lethargic, although we began to have a few visitors – who stayed in the garden and kept a 2m distance, with (almost) no hugs or hand shaking. The youngsters started to go out on their bikes and meet up with friends and the feeling that it was time we moved on began to grow.