I was going to write about what ‘local’ means to you, that is, ask you for your definition of the word, since one week into a UK national lockdown, there are news reports about a police force fining people for driving somewhere to exercise. During the first lockdown, in the spring, there were reports of police forces using drones to film and shame people who were hill walking, who’d driven to a remote and beautiful spot to enjoy some fresh air. I remember feeling very low when I heard that it might be deemed unlawful to drive a short distance to access open space in order to exercise. I was going to make the whole blog about that, the definition of ‘local’ and whether it’s a good idea or fair to ask people to only exercise around the place they live, and nowhere else. But I’ve paused while doing this because would that make me or your cheerful?
I loved Helena Nelson’s blog last week about The Good Side of the Covid Year – not because it’s a dreadful, falsely jolly mantra about counting blessings or being grateful (although I am not adversely against those activities) – it is none of those things – but because it made me laugh and I read it aloud to Andrew, my husband, especially the bit about wearing a face covering
Masks are a pain, but they help prevent chapped lips. Most useful. Also going through the freezing cold vegetable aisle in Aldi is much warmer when wearing a mask.
But, at the same time, I’m not in the mood to write a post listing what I’m grateful for, happier about. Sorry. It’s like Anthony Wilson says in his post this week Reasons to be Cheerful
Ok, so it was a terrible week.
But in other news, not such a bad one.
What an up and down week I’ve had, I’m talking rollercoaster levels. Terrible news, terrible weather, low energy, low light. Then, from somewhere, a blast of a good joke, eating something delicious, a dazzling shot of sunshine, something captivating on telly (iPlayer), poems that speak to me, music that brought me to my feet to dance (after a fashion), making headway with a project, making plans about another project – and then, back to feeling a bit despondent (actually, very despondent).
You’re often like this in January, says Andrew.
Yesterday, we drove five minutes to the Avon and Kennet canal (or is it the Kennet and Avon canal? I’m never sure) and walked for about an hour, thinking, chatting, stretching our legs, being outdoors, smiling at and being smiled at (mostly) by a few other walkers. It cheered me up. Don’t criminalise people for doing this please, anyone.
Have a good week whatever you’re up to.