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Squirrels, Skateparks & Snowdrops

It is so interesting to hear how different people have coped with lockdown and the things that have made them feel connected and in touch.

Today, I read a great article about the way that animals have positively affected people over the last year, and it talked about cattle, hens, kittens, guinea pigs, as well as cats and dogs! It is the fact that you can touch and hug animals that has meant so much to people – when we cannot have that contact with our fellow humans in the ways we have taken for granted.

I miss hugging my sisters, and seeing them on a Zoom call is obviously worlds away from the regular get-togethers, and it is even stranger because three of us live very near each other and would normally be popping in and out for a coffee here, a tea there, and just to chat in the garden. We really look forward to those very simple pleasures again, and we have all said how much more precious those times will be after all these months. Hopefully they'll get to see some of the lovely flowers I have in bloom at the moment...

My dogs are a wonderful comfort, and they do make me laugh – whether they mean to or not! But there is also the sheer joy of seeing animals in the wild – the unexpected dart of a fox across a lane, the raucous arguments of squirrels racing up and down trees, the various birds who are busily collecting twigs, moss and grass for nest building now. If you are really lucky, you can spot a woodpecker hammering away, and admire the grace of a heron. I see sparrow hawks, and quite a few buzzards, and deer – who are quite bold about coming close to the house and will stand and watch quietly as I walk along the lane, warily looking to see if one of the dogs even looks in their direction. The dogs are so used to the deer, they just politely ignore each other, and I am able to capture the moment – as in the photo below.

Missing connection with others is something everyone, whatever their age, has struggled with.I was having a chat with the son of a colleague on Zoom and I asked him what it was that he missed most during lockdown.He told me that he really missed football practice and going out with a group of his friends to enjoy a bit of time on a scooter at an indoor skatepark.He also misses having lunchtime break with his friends at school, and PE lessons.He has worked really hard at home on schoolwork, but connection, playing and activity just can’t be enjoyed in the same way with one sibling at home!

Please stay safe, everyone. Spring is on the way, there are lambs being born, and just the tiny first signs of leaves starting to bud on the trees. There are clumps of daffodils, primroses and snowdrops – colour and renewal – wonderful to see.


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