Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Tuesday 28 April 2020

What a difference a week makes

Last week was sunny and warm enough to encourage a bike ride up to central London and through the parks and back:

This morning - gray, chilly and rainy with enough wind to blow the raindrops sideways on to my window-boxes (usually shielded by the balcony above).

And so we plod on through the lockdown. But on the bright side, on Sunday one of our local convenience shops had...... bread flour! 

Friday 10 April 2020

 On my (permitted daily) wandering around the neighbourhood, I've been struck by the different timetables by which the trees are coming into leaf and flower.

The plane trees are barely thinking about it at the moment:

while the poplars and willows are in the first flush:

and the chestnuts are looking well advanced (and much healthier than these particular trees will look later on in the year - there's some sort of blight seems to get them then):

On one of the patches of unmanaged street edging land (no-one seems to know who owns them) this escaped cherry is in full bloom

while these managed ones look like an explosion in a frilly-knicker factory:

and a favourite ceanothus is at its best (there was another small one not so far away that was putting out the odd flower back in February)

Now the weather's set fair for a few days, the parks are more needed than ever, even though the play equipment has been cordoned off. There is much debate about the way the major park in the area saw so many people too close together, and whether or not it should have been closed, but our local ones weren't quite so popular yesterday:

Monday 6 April 2020

Tell it not in Gath, but I think I've found the sweet spot for visiting the supermarket. Three weeks ago, having thought to ask for an early refill of my prescription to cover me for the next three months or so, I went to the supermarket nearest the pharmacy to find that things like, not just the seemingly inevitable toilet rolls (I read of a delivery driver who filled someone's order for 120 of the things, can you believe), but oils and vinegars, rice and pasta had been cleared out. Two weeks ago, it seemed a clever idea to try to go for opening time on a Saturday, only to find that my regular supermarket was staggering entrance to a small group at any one time, and the distancing queue stretched practically to the other end of the shopping centre. But as it happens, the smaller supermarket up the other end of the centre wasn't busy at all and had certainly enough, even if not necessarily what I would normally have bought.

This week, however, mid-morning on a regular weekday seems to be the quiet spot for my regular supermarket (usually, it's quieter on a Saturday when all the regular office workers in the complex are away). No queues, and plenty of stock (though still not rice and pasta, which isn't that surprising, and I didn't bother to check on the toilet roll situation).

So with luck, one can be reasonably confident a new routine has settled down. Thank goodness the weather is more encouraging for getting outside and taking the push-bike somewhere else. Today it was a shortish run up to Limehouse and back, stopping only to admire this display:
Tulips in lockdown - sounds like a title for a very odd movie