With horrifying images from Italy on our TVs every day, we had a sense of both disbelief and impending doom. Boris Johnson visited a hospital where patients with the virus were being treated and shook hands with everyone he met. This, presumably to prove that if he had nothing to fear from the disease then nobody else should be concerned either.
We passed this on our way home from Angles. I can't remember where it was because we took the pretty route home and meandered around a bit.
We spent spring and early summer mostly in our garden. The weather was unusually good. Gradually the restrictions were lifted and in late July we made it to France, staying for eight whole weeks. What precious weeks they were. Normally we are there for 26 weeks of the year but as the situation worsened again in September we cut short our stay, packed up early and came home. We have now been back in the UK for exactly six months.
Last year we got to France after being away for seven months but this year it looks like being nine, or even ten. Even when all we had was the little house in the village where we just spent our holidays, until 2020 we had never been away from the place for more than five months. (I dread that in 2021 it could actually be as much as a whole year.)
More of these seem to appear with every year.
So, one year and 127,000 UK deaths further on, we are still in lockdown. Things are looking hopeful as the vaccination programme takes effect. Numbers are still going in the right direction. They go up and down a bit in different areas but on the whole there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Well, on this side of the channel tunnel anyway.
I have begun to hear people say that they could live like this forever if need be. I couldn't. Well, I could if I had to but I wouldn't want to. I would never be content living like this, but I accept that there is no point hankering after what we can't have and we now keep a note of interesting places we could go and visit in the UK that we have never been before. This is a back up plan if we are allowed to travel freely here but the European borders remain closed. That's something we thought we would only do once we had finally hung up our travelling shoes and returned properly to the UK. Not yet, not now.