This spring has never looked lovelier or maybe it is just we have had more time – enforced or otherwise to appreciate its beauty.
The long-suffering and his muse think nothing of taking off in the car, paddle boards on top as soon as the sun shines, to our nearest beaches, or again in the car to explore on foot, walks in other counties.
Since coronavirus like everyone else, our exploring has been confined to the surrounding areas reached on foot or bicycle from our home. On our ebikes, our routes take us down long country lanes past farms and small hamlets – blink and you miss them. We have tried to mix it up finding new permutations of old routes by reversing the order or adding a diversion.
We thought we had exhausted them all until….
Our longest ride to date, the temperatures were already heating up, prompting an early start for our lockdown one a day. We rode out from our village along quiet lanes heading towards Hazelbury Bryan – so far the same. And then a familiar fingerpost sign we normally ride straight past pointing the way to Buckland Newton caused us to pause and start shall we shan’t we deliberations.
The muse as is her way on occasion likes to travel off piste, and long-suffering was resigned to an unknown route but with his great sense of direction we were assured of a route back and with this thought the decision was made as I surged ahead with my usual gay abandon!
Luckily I had thought to pack my small camera as the panoramic views over conveniently low hedges were too good not to stop and capture by the man behind the lens.
So distracting were the views, the man behind the lens almost lost his muse as I almost ended up over a wall due to my head swivelling manoeuvres whilst cycling along!
And then just as we had marvelled at our good fortune on finding this beautiful route we came to an abrupt halt. The road in front of us was roped off, and a stand off between two lone cows and a horse and pony was taking place.
Soon after the rest of the herd arrived followed by the farmer cajoling them along, meanwhile the horses stayed put causing the herd of cows to turn about and charge back the way they came to the exasperated shouts of the by now irate farmer.
Eventually the riders and horses pulled back and the cows returned, once again a few of the leaders stopped at the rope – I was ready in sport mode to make a quick retreat – but the insistence of the farmer and helpers made sure this time the pause was short and only one route was open this time – the lush green field, allowing us to continue on what turned out to be our new favourite route all 17 miles!
VE Day 75 years celebrations in lockdown. A beautiful day dawned, earlier in the week we had invited our neighbours either side to join us in a private afternoon tea street party – we live in a no through road of just three houses and a roomy shared drive, perfect for social distancing.
This spur of the moment idea had us then searching for bunting and flags, first in the garage and then the house, to no avail. Online delivery times were after the event. Nothing for it then but to make my own. Luckily our local village Facebook group had put up a link to colour your own bunting templates.
We each agreed a food contribution to share, beverages we made our own. At three pm, flags had been found, more bunting made and the tables, chairs and umbrellas were out at the required distance. High alchohol sanitizer and wipes to hand, a reminder of the unprecedented times we are living through, ironic as we celebrated the end of a world war with years of heavy loss of life and livelihoods!
Vera Lynn poignantly sang from my 40s VE playlist ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and as we sat and celebrated the end of a war 75 years ago, away from our families and friends I think we all hoped that the war on coronavirus would also start to be won and we could emerge victorious once more!