Saturday, March 28, 2020


This is the fifth day of Britain's current lock-down procedures and it already feels as if this has been going on for a long time.  It's only nine days since Johnson, using language that an adult would only employ for addressing children (or, as he would probably say, 'kids'), said that we'd have 'sent coronavirus packing in three months' time' and less than that since Trump said that he'd have the USA back to normal in time for Easter, but those pronouncements seem a lifetime ago.  Life is different.  But it's still life, so things fundamentally are no different for those of us still alive.

What matters is that you're alive, and sound in body and mind.  Anything else is a bonus.  I know that it's relatively easy for me to say that as I'm relatively unaffected: I'm still working in the stable, enjoying freedom and fresh air and surrounded by animals, and haven't gone broke.  But even if I were not so fortunate, the principle would still apply for as long as the sun keeps rising in the mornings.

We keep hearing about the 'blitz spirit' but one does not have to go back to the early '40s, ie beyond living memory for most people, to put things into perspective.  I saw something very good on the internet earlier in the week.  Someone must have observed that it's tough on these children having their senior year of school, 'the best days of our lives', disrupted like this.  I'm guessing that the reply came from either the USA or Australia as, hard though it is to believe nowadays, Britain's politicians managed not to get dragged into that particular conflict, whereas the other countries fell for it and introduced conscription.  The reply was that from 1964 to '70 many youngsters spent their senior year in Vietnam, and at least today's children will be coming home at the end of it.

Every cloud has a silver lining, even if it can be hard to spot, and the silver lining to this week's clouds has been that there have been no clouds.  Absolutely idyllic spring weather.  Cold, but - frosty mornings and afternoon temperatures no higher than 13 degrees - but perfect.  Neither a breath of wind nor a cloud in the sky.  Unbroken sunshine from dawn to dusk. And that's been a blessing.  Sadly that's gone as of this morning, but we can live with that as lovely weather will return at some point.

It takes a bit of queueing to get into the supermarket at the moment but, having seen the weather forecast, I made sure that I went yesterday, however long a wait there was going to be.  I only stood in line for just over half an hour, but however long it had taken would not have been a problem.  Plenty of people there would have had nothing else to do and would have been glad of the excuse to be outdoors.  I wasn't quite in that category as I still have plenty to do, albeit I am (pleasantly) less busy than normal, but even so it was no imposition.  One thing is certain: three hours spent queuing in warm sunshine would be far preferable to three minutes spent queuing in cold wind and rain.

Anyway, it's Saturday morning and I've finished morning stables, ridden my four lots and done the other things which that involves.  I've had my breakfast/lunch; sorted through some stuff on the computer; collected my wits and got my energy levels back up; written this chapter of the blog (not that I had anything to say, as you'll have gathered if you've waded through these six paragraphs of drivel, but I wanted an excuse to post a handful of the photographs which I have taken in this lovely weather); and now I'm heading back outside to do a more couple of hours of long-overdue maintenance work on the property before starting evening stables.  So I'm lucky enough still to be able to be using my days productively.

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