Pandemic diary 68: Three highs and a warning

We spent a lot of today putting up various shades around the garden – Clem likes the orange one.

After revealing my lockdown pot belly the other day, today started with a walk BEFORE breakfast. I read recently that if you do some activity before eating then you really, really look forward to breakfast. And since I really, really look forward to breakfast already, I wondered how many 'reallys' I could add.

The other thing is, we're currently in a glorious heatwave – hence the news stories of crowded beaches (FFS!) – so walking early or late is the only cool time of the day to exercise.

So I filled up a water bottle, put on some tunes and did a fast walk around Kings Heath Park.

Not too many people but plenty of activity: dog walkers, joggers, families on bikes, a guy writing in a book on the grass, an elderly person sitting alone on a bench, kids hiding inside giant rhododendron bushes, a smoker pondering life at the pond, a sunbather, walkers, three young women working out in a 2m triangulation, three more playing rounders and a tonne of basketball players. Oh and a celebrity spot – midwife Rumah from Birmingham soap Doctors jogging with a friend. It was all I could do not to shout something about her unfair suspension storyline for kissing a hospital consultant.

Lockdown desire line a few metres away from the tree-lined concrete path.

I followed a desire line into one corner of the park with blackbirds flitting about and dense foliage all around. I was extra excited to discover a den area – until I turned around and saw toilet paper.

People! Argh! Foul! Getting caught short, fine, but take it with you and bin it. When we did a litter pick in Hazelwell Park just before lockdown, the worst culprit was actually nappy wipes. They get stuck in trees and form the equivalent of an above-ground fatberg. BIN IT! </rant>

What was ace were all new ducklings at the pond, protective parents prowling, and doling out the evil eye. Also, the giant purple ornamental onions (alliums) and oriental poppies growing close to the horticultural school.

Gosh this park walk was an emotional ride of highs and lows.

Back home, I can report that my much-anticipated breakfast indeed was better than a normal breakfast. Really, really, really, really good.

Toast, orange marmalade, salted boiled egg, coffee, Pulitzer-prize-winning surf biography and summery Brazilian tunes playing on the phone.

The second high of the day was the cold shower after doing a 50-minute online Shbam class (that's the one where you basically dance around your living room to good tunes). It was like going from a sauna into a plunge pool. Damn that was good. Cold skin on a hot day. The best. The opposite of being snug on a winter day.

Shbam teacher Kyle in his kitchen dancing to James Brown – free with my on-hold gym membership.

Anyway, I'm getting back on the fitness case. Which is good because this summer dress is now lockdown-tight and, yes, uncomfortable.

The third high of the day was a visit to York Road Supplies, everyone's favourite local ironmongers and plant seller, and the place where I get my allotment plant plugs. It's only just opened last week and I filled my boots with herbs and various crops. This summer may see my first ever homegrown cucumber.


Thanks to Daz for the reminder that we're aren't out of the woods yet. He posted this earlier and it was like a slap-around-the-cheek wakeup call since just about everyone I know has started making meeting arrangements of some kind. Brought me up short it did.

I can see loads of people on here, understandably, enthusiastically arranging meetups in parks and gardens. 

Please note that our rate of infection, and death, is still considerably greater than it was when we imposed our version of a lockdown.

If you are going to see people please try and limit the number of people you see over a short period of time. If this proves, as many suspect, much too soon to try something like this then you don't want to have been a catalyst for infection moving between groups of friends.

Seeing many small groups of people in quick succession could end up as being as bad as hanging out in a big group.

nb// primarily aimed at Birmingham people because we are still one of the most dangerous places in the country.

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]

3 thoughts on “Pandemic diary 68: Three highs and a warning”

  1. Eurgh to KH Park – I've been avoiding it usually as a bit too peoply for social avoiding when running. And I'm glad to know York Road Supplies is back open, although I've been flirting dangerously with Kings Heath DIY (down the Alcester Road) while he's been shut …

    Good point from Daz. I'm only seeing people one to one at a distance outdoors but not in succession. Not planning on changing that.

  2. finding turds and paper is TOTALLY gross. part of the problem is the astonishing number of homeless people who plug up in dingly dells here there etc etc. can't believe the way this country's going, or fathom what needs doing to sort it out.
    imagine, if you will, your life gets soo messed up that your best, your very best option for the night is to sleep in a hedge. a hedge. then at around 2am you realise you are busting.
    i can well understand turdage is horrible. horrible. horrible. but i am trying to force myself to see beyond the immediate smelly problem. the bigger picture, homelessness, is the root of the problem and that is what needs addressing

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