Day Twenty-seven


Red Leaves

Well, I still have a pink gate. The second coat, vigorously stirred, came out much the same. Perhaps it's too cold now for outdoor painting. When the restrictions began it was late summer: T-shirts and sandals and swimming in the sea. Now, autumn has settled in with cold nights and chilly mornings and the sun so low already that parts of my section are in the shade now and will be till spring. The crisp air makes me want to move so I walk up to the reserve to look across at the mountains. Most of the snow has gone, leaving faint streaks on the highest tops.

I've deferred my shopping trip till today and having learned that my favourite vege shop was allowed to re-open last week, I start there. They have a new checkout with a perspex screen (that perspex business must be thriving!) and sanitiser at the door where the 'one out, one in' policy is familiar now. I take my own basket and study each display carefully so that I only touch what I'm going to buy. I'm very happy to get fresh vegetables and fruit, a refill of their excellent local olive oil and the locally made peanut butter. I stash all that in the chilly bag in the boot and head to the supermarket. That's an easy trip, I know the aisles well. I feel guilty when I pick up the wrong cheese and replace it in the fridge, but my hands have been sanitised twice already!

I've also learned that the milk machine is working for refilling my bottle so I go there next. There's a slight hitch – because we're not using cash I have only just enough coins for one refill. I'm not sure how I'll get any more after this. I go to the bank to deposit some of the stash of cash I withdrew before we went to Level 4, not realising that cash, which has proved so necessary at other times of crisis, is quite unwanted now that it's all about contactless cards and internet banking.

I swing by my house to drop off my groceries and put the milk and cheese in the fridge before going up to deliver my friend's coffee beans and have a chat through her window. All is going well and we are both in good spirits, the day calm and sunny and she has already had a walk on the beach.

I get home to a call from my daughter and we enjoy a catch up with the soft sounds of the baby in the background and a cheery 'hello' from her partner. Good spirits all round there too.

I set off for a walk while there's warmth in the sun, at first going towards the marina but as I come to the first row of yachts, the driver of a council ute yells at someone in a van and does a quick U-turn to follow it. I decide I don't need the aggro, even if it's nothing to do with me, and turn to go another way, ending up back at the waterfront where I sit and watch the sea for a while before climbing the steps as I did yesterday.

I finish the afternoon with some more good-natured calls, the first from a friend who is working from home and coping with the uncertainty surrounding their plans to sell their house and build a new one. She's bravely able to be grateful that she can still work and her daughters are safe and well, one in Germany and one at home. The next call is from my son and his partner and there are baby photos to follow.

It's been a good day.