Lockdown 3 (Day 9) In the Rain

I went out to deliver a loaf of bread and spent time talking with my friend who was taking a few moments outside her front door taking in the bizarre combination of fresh air and tobacco smoke. She smokes quite theatrically, turning her head to the side when exhaling the toxic gases she has moments before inhaled quite deeply. I haven’t spoken to a smoker for many months and it was a novelty to observe her process.

A recent study from Kings College London showed how vulnerable smokers are to covid-19. As I may have mentioned before, I think that banning tobacco sales would have been a good move when the pandemic measures were implemented. If saving the NHS was such a big deal, why not remove one of the main sources of ill-health in the country (in the world!) from the market?

It is my only pleasure” you might hear a nicotine addict say. Will they say that again when dying of pneumonia after having a lung removed and their loved ones witnessing their ghastly and untimely demise?

Rain started to fall as we stood about four metres apart. Here and there tiny white balls of ice fell that appeared too white and too light to be hailstones. They melted on touching the ground. Snow balls? The Inuit have a word for this form of precipitation I suspect.

As I cycled back home through Chapelfield Gardens two police officers were talking to a homeless man. One was writing into her notebook. The man’s worldly possessions, including a sleeping bag rolled up and tied with string, were lying under a bush. I hope the officers were able to direct him toward some support. They will have plenty of information to tap into. The question will be whether he wants any help they can offer.

The first lockdown illuminated the size of the street homeless population. It is a growing problem as jobs are cut and incomes fall due to the economic impacts of the pandemic and Brexit.

Goldfinches litter the air with their excited song. The days are a little lighter, despite the cloud cover.

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CLP 13/01/2021

In Southampton Row

Pompey alleyway

Navy docks to Old Portsmouth

Rings to goldfinch song

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n.b. Even in this so densely populated English city birds’ songs resonate. The twittering of the goldfinches are a welcome distraction from the cries of cynical gulls and the occasional passing ambulance siren.

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CLP 01/03/2020