Two years ago the tightest of the rules we had been living by for two months were finally lifted. We could now meet one other person outside, so long as we stayed two metres away from them. It should have made life easier, but it just seems to have made people more aware of the restrictions we were all still living under.

Thursday 14 May 2020

Yesterday was meant to be first unlock. There was a different atmosphere when I went for a walk in the park. Two separate groups of lads were attempting to kick a football, while staying 2 metres away. One enterprising teenager was meeting her boyfriend – sitting several feet away, each with a can of lager and a boom box between them. The boy was attempting to dance.

None of it looked much fun – mainly because the park was so cold. The mood was summarised in an overheard remark: “How many dates can you have that are just walking?”

For work, I joined a huge skype call with 53 staff, to be told that the PM’s statement won’t make any difference to us: “Carry on as before.” Mike has also been on a long Skype call with 80 others. The only good bit was when one Captain piped up: “The entire fucking Army is here and it’s so tedious I want to shoot myself”. The Colonel stepped in. “This is not the whole Army, just the brigade, and I suggest you mute your mike”. On such small snatches are we building our sense of community.

This morning, as we got up at 7.30, we watched a family of foxes greet the day. A vixen, followed by three fluffy cubs, emerged from a hole underneath our neighbour’s shed. There have always been foxes in our neighbour’s garden, but I’ve never seen them so relaxed, so early in the day, with three cubs. Wildlife is coming into its own.

Saturday 16 May 2020

The excitement of the day was that Mike was meant to be coming round. We had plans: he would arrive at 1.30pm and see us sequentially. Plans are so last year. Mike just rang to say that S is feeling ill and going for a covid test. If it is negative, he will come around midweek, for the first time since February. Since February we have cancelled one holiday, one Mothers’ Day and two birthdays.

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