How people cope...
Lockdown is tough, more so for some than others. In the course of my work I speak to a variety of clients most days and it is the ones who are doing it alone who struggle the most. That's why we hear the words "be kind" so often. Some people are so pleased to get a phone call they will talk for ages - and that's fine - why shouldn't they? The least I can do is spare some time for a conversation which veers off topic for a while.
The whole family and I went for a bike ride today. The idea was that they would cycle down the normal path to the furthest point from our house, about 2 kilometres, and then turn round and come back. I, on the other hand, wanting to get some real exercise decided to cycle towards town and then go round the long way, hoping to get to the 'turning point' before the rest of them.
During the course of my excursion I witnessed a range of temperaments so wide I thought I should write about it.
Some people put their heads down and stride purposefully forwards without so much as a sideways glance. They can be forgiven though; they're a bit stressed.
Most people are happy with a cursory nod. "How's it going? Yup we're all in this together. Well, best get on. See you later' - can all be said with a raise of the eyebrows.
The people I find annoying though, are those who are determined to be unpleasant. Why don't they just stay at home?
I'm riding along the cycle path and I come up behind a pair of women each with a dog on a lead. I don't have a bell on my bicycle and there is not sufficient grass verge to allow me to pass comfortably, so I slow right down and change gear, and yes, they hear me, but do they move to allow me to pass? Not immediately no. Fair enough, they are deep in conversation, but I am not involved and to be honest I am not interested enough to want to spend much time listening. One eventually turns towards me, frowns, and makes reining in her dog into a theatrical event, allowing me, after what feels like an uncomfortably long time, to pass. "Thank you", I say, smiling as I negotiate my allotted course.
Once clear of the combat zone I set my mind to getting back up to speed and as I pull away the "Harrumph!" catches up and passes me like the North Wind. Clearly they would have been happier had I levitated myself and my bicycle out of their important way.
Now to fill my environmental brief: I heard a brilliant quote from the recently late Sean Lock. Talking about the rampant consumerism he witnessed on a trip to the US, he said it made his own efforts at recycling feel as though he had turned up to an earthquake with a dustpan and brush. He was a funny man and the environment is a lesser place without him.