Day 7

At lunch I set out on my bicycle along the coast road. Pushed on by the uncompromising wind past the salt marshes to the mill by the reed beds.

The thatch has been recently harvested, but there is still enough cover for a red kite to spark surprise when lifting off from the hollow stalks. The distinguished underwing markings are easily seen in the March sunlight. The agility of the big raptor is predicated on the pivot of its tail. The bird flexes its tail in the stiff breeze, turns left, then right, then on toward the marshes.

Rising above the windmill’s latticed sails it drifts away. Two other kites join its flight from beyond the bank. The trio wind up higher and higher, further and further distant. Soon they are just specks on the fine lace clouds stretched over the blue sky.

On the road home inland, climbing the long hill, the tarmac is specked with tiny petals. White as ice. Blown into small piles like a light dusting of snow.

A photograph from the hospital. “Hello” its caption. My eldest about to start his first shift back. He’s in protective kit before entering the ICU. No testing of staff – just the mask, visor, gloves, overalls and boots.

You have switched off by the time I am free to speak. Time zones do not respect body-clocks.

CLP 24/03/2020

Day 3

Early to the heath accompanied by birds in full song. A red kite hangs above the oak trees trying to get a fix on breakfast despite the gusting northerly.

Three other birds of prey wheel, hover, patrol the ridge.

From the still sodden fields curlews agitated cries cut through melodies of dunnocks and robins; contrast with the squeaky rhythm of great tits welcoming spring.

A Muntjac deer with its back legs caught in the fence wire, hangs head down, front legs limp, its rear torn open by a fox, crimson.

On the way back down the lane my attention is held by a movement on the verge. I see a mouse, its tiny marble-black eyes glint from beneath celandine leaves. We spend moments staring at each other. The mouse loses interest first and scrambles off leaving wavering plants in its wake.

By evening the bitter wind from the north sweeps up the hill from the sea, over the head of a red deer hind with her fawn nibbling at crumbs left by goats from their plastic bucket.

The spectacular yellow blooms of gorse purses are open for business. A bumble bee passes loudly, yet unseen.

I go to bed.

“Night night”

“Good night, dear friend.”

It has been Friday.


CLP  20/03/2020


Day 2

Immersed in work online while your day with formal interaction progresses from tense to harrowing.

Here grey, gloomy sky with occasional rain.

I empty the compost bin into the black plastic Dalek composter that is alive with a tangle of fine, writhing, pink worms.

Night comes early. Good night wishes exchanged by text.


CLP  19/03/2020