The lock down has left me feeling rather institutionalised.  For nearly 3 months I have only left the house to walk around the village or cycle my usual 3 miles .  Today I decided it was time to take some rubbish and garden waste to the newly-opened recycling centre and visit the supermarket before I started to lose confidence to get in the car and venture out.

It’s a whole new world out there.  The main road to the recycling centre was closed to all traffic except those of us going to the centre.  A ‘guard’ was on duty outside making sure we had an appointment to get in (I did).  Alternate parking bays were roped off so that cars couldn’t park next to each other, and every 2 metres along the walkway was marked with bright blue tape.  We could only visit the bins singly, and each appointment was only for 15 minutes.

Rubbish dumped, it was time to visit Tesco’s in Bury St. Edmunds.  The previous day’s online delivery service had missed off various items, and so for the first time in 3 months I drove into Tesco’s.  Loud rock music pulsated through the car park, which was fine for me and gave me a little boost.  There was hand sanitiser by the main door, and a cloth and detergent for wiping down the trolleys.  A ‘guard’ stood by and made sure we cleaned our hands.

Arrows had appeared on the floor of the supermarket that had not been there in March.  Whilst looking around on the shelves for things it was easy to forget to walk only in the direction of the arrows as well.  One aisle was jam packed with toilet paper!  Plastic screens had been erected at the tills to protect the staff.  All in all it wasn’t too bad; I didn’t have to queue for ages outside, and in the shop it didn’t seem too crowded even though it was Saturday afternoon.  Nobody wore face masks.

Another little boost when I got home; Leon, also desperate to get out, had turned up on his bike and was chatting to Sam in the garden.  Sam has been scraping moss from the roof for the past 4 weekends and had come to end of his labours.  With Leon’s encouragement I climbed up the ladder to the top platform, mindful of the fact that  Sam had previously told me it would be better if I only climbed up the lower one!  I had a good old socially distant chat with my son on the roof and enjoyed the view.  All in all Saturday has been rather a ‘gas’, as my US buddies would say.

On the roof