Day Nineteen


View of port

After the rain the day dawns fine and clear, washed and a bit ruffled with leaves and sticks scattered over the garden. Once I'm up I knit my way through the morning news. Boris Johnson, after releasing himself early from isolation and infecting who knows how many, then being rushed to hospital and admitted to ICU, has recovered and is praising the professionalism of two 'foreign' nurses, one from Invercargill and one from the Portugal, as if nurses and immigrants only have value if they do him a personal service. The hypocrisy is gobsmacking. My friend in Cornwall posts a daily photo of yet another NHS nurse who has died of Covid-19 in the face of cuts and shortages which they have been protesting about for years. I won't lower my standards to wish him ill but really...

I'm still in low-key mode. It's Easter Monday after all and the weather is too uncertain to tackle another painting job. Shopping is the task of the day, an almost festive event which involves taking the car into town, seeing live people in the supermarket and talking to my friend when I deliver some things to her. It goes very smoothly. I'm second in the queue, people are very polite, standing back when there's a bunch around the cheese fridge, and the check-out lad, surely the same one as last week, is friendly. That 'how's your day going?' never felt so sincere.

I drive by the post office which confirms as I thought that it's closed for the duration and then head up to my friend's place. Lots of families are out in the sunny morning, walking and biking. There's almost no traffic but that creates a hazard in itself as pedestrians and cyclists are often on the road and children biking behind their parents are a bit unpredictable. But I like the quiet streets.

The wind shaking the trees is so loud it's hard to hold a conversation through my friend's kitchen window. I sneak it open a little further but still stand so that the glass is between us. I put carrots, broccoli and feijoas from my garden on her doorstep and she leaves me apples and tomatoes from her garden. We talk about the news and about exercising at home. It's good to see her and have an in-person conversation.

In the afternoon my attempt at gardening is rained off and I think my bike ride might be too but there's a break and the sun comes through so I set out. By the time I reach the beach a cold rain and a head wind have given me an ice-cream headache so I turn around. Almost immediately the rain stops, the sun comes out and the wind behind me speeds me back towards the port. I've only been out half an hour so I go down the road past the marina, pausing to check that they've improved the 'keep out' signage (they have!) and heading to the end where I sit for a while, watching the tide come rolling up the estuary in a long, strong current. Then I pedal back home into a head wind again – that must add value to the exercise. I'm enjoying biking for its own sake, gaining in confidence and going to places I like to see, mostly by the water.

By the time I get home it's time to cosy up for the evening – feed the cat, turn on the heat, cook dinner, rejoin the Windsors and the Tudors.