Pandemic diary 6: Good sunrise, sad memories and bad ears

Stirchley around 6.55am after the clocks went forwards

I've swapped out the bunnies today for a photo of sunrise on the first day of British Summer Time.

It's been a strange day, which is saying something in these strange times. Getting up at 5am (6 if you count the clocks going forward, which no-one does on the first day) was always going to be tough but a quick curtain twitch told me the sunrise would be worth it.

I'd said to Andy (of Video Strolls and Walkspace) that I'd meet him on the bridge on Mary Vale Road. This and Hunts Road were the two local options for sunrise-road alignment, according to the lovely Photographer's Ephemeris app, which shows sunrise, sunset and moon rise alignments. Here is this morning's map:

While making takeaway coffee and toast, I popped into the garden to hear the dawn chorus. Not too many birds were awake but it was pretty chirpful in the dusk before dawn.

At 6.30am I had Stirchley High St to myself. I walked on the white lines in the middle of the road, snapped the Stirchley Gorilla and took some 360 video of the closed down emptiness. This was isolation from the isolation. I walked around the school block and up the hill to the bridge for sunrise at 6.48am. Of course, it's a bit later in a hilly city, clearing the horizon about 10 minutes later.

A lone figure was standing on the Mary Vale Rd canal/rail bridge – Andy. We chatted briefly about Blake Morris and Desmond Morris (no relation) at a safe distance while watching the sun rise over Stirchley.

The sky lit up pink and orange briefly before the sun rose over the horizon and we could look at it no more – a proper sunrise.

Andy headed off to the canal towpath on his walk and I drove to Raddlebarn Park for a second sunrise and breakfast.

For the first time in a few weeks I felt I was living life rather than being suppressed by it. There is something transcendent about these moments in nature and something powerful about experiencing it alone with your thoughts, uninterrupted by human chatter. I felt free and uncaged. Soon I would return to my home 'prison' but not before seeing a second sunrise over the park and kneeling down next to a long line of spring daffodils in full bloom along Warwards Lane.

One last strange thing… in the park I was transported back in time to 2001 by the view and location. I realised I had been looking at the last view my Mum had. She had a garden room in St Mary's Hospice which sits inside but at the edge of Raddlebarn Park. After a long night when we had kept watch over her, she had opened her eyes that chill November morning, the winter sun shone in on her and she slipped away, changing our world for ever. I miss her. Especially now.

Later: Perhaps it is tiredness or the stress coming out but the past few days I've had a low tinnitus hum in my ears and a pressure in my head. My hearing feels dulled and I can pop my ears but it doesn't clear anything. Today I started getting that dizzy-woozy unbalanced feeling. I'm really hoping this doesn't trip into vertigo. Now is really not the time to be ill.

Today I am thankful for British Summer Time and some short-lived freedom. For the privilege of being able to be with my Mum at the end. And for snuggling my boo, Bunminster, who is too slow to run away.

See, there's a bunny after all.

Hire/commission me: fiona [at]

2 thoughts on “Pandemic diary 6: Good sunrise, sad memories and bad ears”

  1. Love "chirpful" 😆

    L and I played in those daffodils on Warwards Lane last week. Could do with having that sunny weather back!

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