We are hallway through our third week. It is a strange unreality. It is hard to think that you just cannot pop out into your old life – but most of it is not there. Shops are shut, businesses closed.
I ordered my new book Schizoid. I wanted a copy for myself. Normally there is a one day delivery. I was quite shocked to find the delivery date was May 14th. Obviously the book publisher is shut down for five or six weeks. The world has shut down out there! It is not the same. It isn’t just theatres, clubs and cinemas that are shut.
So here I am in my study. Little Richard is blaring out that we’ll Rip It Up. He’s wrong for the moment! Ripping Up will have to wait.
I have finished the rewrite of Farm 703 The Human Project. I am starting on a final read through. That’ll keep me busy.
We went out for our walk down the country lane to the next village and back – about four miles. We passed our village store. People were queuing outside in an orderly line – all spaced out with social distancing. It was a stark reminder.
The lane was empty of traffic. It was a cool day with an overcast sky but no hint of rain – a good day to walk. Without the noise of traffic the hedgerows and trees were alive with birds and birdsong. Everywhere is breaking out in bud. There was even a smattering of May blossom. It was like nature coming back to life.
As I walked along I was looking around at the fields. It was like travelling back to hundreds of years back when this lane would have been a cart track. It was a different pace then. People would have tended the fields, growing corn for bread. They’d have their vegetable patches, fruit trees, chickens and pigs. The pub on Saturday, with maybe a band of locals, and church on Sunday. Maybe the market in town. Life would have been slow. None of this galivanting around.
I don’t suppose it was easy – cold in winter, plenty of disease, some hard work with few luxuries – but it would not have changed for hundreds of years and it would have had its pleasures and community spirit.
Our world would be unrecognisable to them.
Perhaps it will take a virus to get us back to that?
But not this one.
In a few months we’ll come back out and it will all start up again.
For now I’ll wander the lanes and breathe the fresh air, smile as I hear the birds, and I’ll enjoy the moment.
After all – that’s all we have – this moment.