Blog Post

23rd June 2020

As we entered lockdown in March my life took a monumental turn, I left my job and the lockdown happened at the same time. It felt like the ground shifted suddenly and dramatically and then we all had to stay at home. Now what I thought?

Since early March I have been having therapy and even this became affected by the pandemic and lockdown, now the therapy course would be via Skype, not the best way to have this. But on we went. So as I write this blog post it is late June and now I have just two more therapy appointments remaining. I can’t tell you just how important this has been. All I will say is never be afraid of asking for help. At some point in all our lives we will all need some help. During this lockdown period many have struggled with having to stay within the confines of their home and missing their family and friends and then of course many do not have gardens. Just imagine how they have had to cope, many single parents with little no support. Mental Health has never been so important in all of our lives. We rush to work and the shops and seeing friends and everything we do in our daily lives and suddenly it came to a very dramatic and sudden stop. That will have a long term effect on many people. Looking after your mental health is so important.

During this period of lockdown I have wanted to write regular blog posts about life during this strange and worrying period in all of our lives. But I ended up spending a lot of time just reading and listening to podcasts or walking along the river and seeing the sun reflecting off the water and watching Spring progress and looking for the first Sand Martins, House Martins, Swallows and then lastly the Swifts. One by one they arrived. Our summer friends from their wintering home in Africa. Even the early butterflies were out in abundance lots of Orange Tips were on the wing. After a long winter of what seemed non-stop rain the weather seemed to change as we entered this period of staying at home.

Suddenly the sun came out and it warmed up, and it stayed that way. Seeing the sun nearly every day really helped even being at home. Now as I write, the lockdown has been beginning ease, now we meet in bubbles and shops are starting to re-open and then the rain has arrived after weeks of little or no rain at all. There was even talk of hosepipe bans if the dry warm weather continued.

Nature and even the weather was helping us get through this pandemic. But then again nature has this unique way of being a cure. I have mentioned this a lot over recent years as being natures cure. Many have been watching birds from windows or while out on their daily exercise walks and even watching Osprey webcams. Like many I have noticed how it has been relatively quiet with so little traffic and the sound of the birdsong has been so uplifting, is it me or has the dawn chorus this Spring seemed more enhanced this year? But now that noise of traffic is beginning to return. I will miss the quiet starts to each day. Even the air seemed cleaner during the last few months. I can only hope that as many start to go back to work and go to the shops that they do not forget nature.

Some mornings there has been a cheeky House Sparrow that sits on my open window he will look in as if he chancing his luck and will fly through the open window and find some tit bit and fly out again. Something so simple yet it has started my day with a smile.

The rain has returned and we have had quite a lot during the last few weeks. While out walking or just in your garden have you noticed the smell after the rain returned? That earthy aroma after a long warm dry spell and there is a word for this it is called Petrichor, and it is said that we appreciate the aroma that comes from the dry earth after rain and that our ancestors relied on the rain for survival. That takes me back to my horticultural studies back in the late 1970’s as we studied soil composition.

I have been busying myself with writing pieces for two local magazines during recent months something I really enjoy selecting books to be reviewed or writing about books in general, books are so important they take us to places fiction or non-fiction. Looking at the numbers of people reading during the lockdown it pleasing to see so many now enjoying books. In the years to come people will ask what did you do during the months of lockdown? I am hoping there are many who have been writing their stories of how they go through the pandemic and are just waiting to be read.

The weeks and months that face us are going to be challenging as we ease out of the lockdown and now more than ever we need to come together and get through this. What we achieve alone is nothing by what we can achieve together and it is together that we can all make a difference, something we need in our world right now.

John Fish

The Last Word Book Review