Being in Lockdown changes you. The way you think and feel as well as making you do strange things. Week 8 got off to an unfortunate start when I accidentally sprayed the sunflower seedlings with an anti-bacterial spray instead of water. It wasn’t the brightest thing to do. I am glad to say they are still thriving and, hopefully, unlikely to get Sunflower Ring Spot or Yellow Blotch disease.
On Thursday I was woken at dawn by the gentle rumblings of the potato digger. My pre-Lockdown self would have gone into a frenzy about being woken at such an early hour. But not the new Lockdown Me.
I started thinking about the Jersey Royals we would be having for supper. We’ve had them two nights on the trot now. Amazingly, there were three left from last night, and I have a confession. I popped one in my mouth when I went down to make my first cup of coffee this morning. There is no potato in the world like a Jersey Royal. Hot or cold.
During Lockdown, I am have become a better listener, rather than excelling as a selective hearer. Having the opportunity to hear Margaret Attwood speak, for example, is uplifting in itself, even it is only for a few minutes.
Yesterday’s highlight was listening to Gloria Steinem chatting to British feminist writer Laura Bates at the Hay Festival Digital.
Now an unbelievable eighty-six-years-old it was a thrill just to hear her voice. She talked about Feminism, of course, COVID-19, and her latest book. The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off! Thoughts on Life, Love, and Rebellion.
I passionately wanted to go back to the Hay Festival this year, but in 2021… maybe? I am happy to report that have a whole host of goodies I’ve signed up to listen to over the next few days. First up, A Night in with the Wordsworths, which I missed from last night, having fallen into bed, over-potato-ed. With readings by Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Monty Don, Lisa Dwan, Inua Ellams, Stephen Fry, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Helen McCrory, Jonathan Pryce and Vanessa Redgrave. It doesn’t get much better than that. Listening bliss.
Every day, whether we are in Lockdown or not, Cassie the Blog Dog and I go for a morning walk. We’re lucky to live next door to several potato fields. Yes! Fields of Gold, or rather, Jersey Royals.
We rarely see anybody during our walks, curiously, even more so during Lockdown. If we do see anybody, they would be considered to be Social Distancing to the extreme. Hundreds of meters between us, so in no danger of passing on anything remotely COVID to each other, and they can’t hear Cassie’s and my deep, meaningful conversations either.
Cassie has always been in tune with nature and encourages me to do the same. She can sniff out something stirring in the undergrowth at 200 meters. I can’t do that, but during Lockdown, I seem to have become more aware of what is going on around me.
I seem to be more in tune with birdsong, the mind-boggling rate that plants grow and the ever-changing sky. Cassie says it is because I am living in the now more. In the past, my brain had a tendency to drift off and think about other things. Instead of focussing on what is in front of my nose. Maybe now I can finally shake off my delightfully vague tag?
Cassie is my canine soulmate. She is a Shorkie guru who gives unconditional love. What I love about her the most is that she agrees with everything I say, and never answers back. So, I can readily forgive her for the odd roll in something unmentionable and digging up the odd new planting.
After eight weeks in Lockdown, I can’t imagine being locked down with anybody else.