We could almost have been in the country…


Opening our bedroom shutters at six-thirty this morning, I spotted a runner doing a solitary sprint around the huge playing field opposite. Either that, or he was on the run from the police for taking more than his fair share of flour from Tesco – I had heard police sirens earlier; anything’s possible at the moment.

Talking of that particular supermarket: apparently, people were queuing outside our local branch early on Sunday morning. Yes, Easter Sunday, when all the supermarkets are traditionally closed. Perhaps they were hoping to grab a few bags of flour, as this seems to be the red-hot commodity of the moment. Loo rolls? Pah! So last week, darling!  Social media is full of pictures of amazing-looking baking creations from people with clearly far too much time on their hands. (Don’t tell me you’ve sorted out ALL your cupboards. I don’t believe you!) Cake is great, but give me chocolate every time.

It’s interesting to see when people are taking their permitted essential exercise walks. One friend visits her local park very early on, but then, what does she do for the rest of the day? Another goes out in the evening. We usually take ours at lunchtime, to fit in with the OH’s working hours.  It helps to break the day up, as well. There are a fair few people about at that time, though. We are deliberately avoiding some of the prettiest walks around here, as we know they will be heaving. We even heard of an ice-cream van parked outside a local hotel, with a large queue of people!  It’s really worrying me how many people are flouting the rules, and I pray we don’t come to have a much more rigid “going out” (or not) system put into place, as in other countries, all because of the stupid few.

We are still seeing neighbours chatting far too close to each other – not just in passing, but standing or sitting for ages. Around here, it’s much more likely to be arrogance than stupidity. I’m not sure which is worse!

We went out a bit later on, on Sunday.  We had had a busy and productive time in the garden: mowing, lopping, tidying and pressure-washing the patio and it was dusk when we finally left the house. We witnessed two cars racing each other along our normally busy main road. They were taking a big risk. As I have said on here before, now is not the time to be paying a little visit to A&E!

We had a brief, brisk walk around the block – a different block! – commenting on all the houses we passed: “I like that one.” “No, too spidery-looking.” “That’s horribly overlooked at the back.” “I know; I’d never go out there.” “What dreadful curtains!” “Mmmm. The garden’s OK, but I’d knock the house down and start again.” And we played my favourite game: “If money was no object, which house would you live in?” “None of them.” Just as well everyone was indoors and couldn’t hear us.

Today, we watered the garden thoroughly.  (We had been promised rain, so hadn’t bothered to do it yesterday, but it didn’t happen. It will almost certainly happen now.)  Afterwards, we decided to walk up one side of our main road (no boy racers in sight, thankfully) and down the other.  Wow, I hear you say in sarcastic tones, that’s the most exciting walk you’ve had so far!  Actually, dear reader, while it may not have been the most thrilling, it was a very pretty walk, thanks to the avenue of cherry trees on either side. Endless photo opportunities to be had, in floral abundance. Between cars, it was so quiet, we could almost – almost – have imagined ourselves in the country.  We were walking on grass (in much better condition than ours.  At least our extortionate rates are being put to good use), and the huge playing field and allotments to one side added to the semi-rural atmosphere. I even spotted a small stretch of bluebells.  Every year, it’s our tradition to visit a bluebell wood somewhere. Just not this year…

Anyway – Easter’s nearly over. Hope you all had a good one. I’ll pass on the cake, thanks – just lob over a couple of those chocolate eggs, would you?  I’d hate to see them go to waste.  They can go to my waist, instead. Oops.




Author: Hampton Caught

The rants and ramblings of an ex Deputy Fiction Editor of Woman's Weekly magazine.

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