Here I am with OH in happier times. Hard to believe that this time last year he and I were enjoying the freedom of the road, having driven 2000 miles from San Francisco to Las Vegas!

Now, here we all are locked in.  On Saturday the government stated that they were soon going to release 4000  prisoners back to their own homes – where they will, in effect, be locked in! After a week of being stuck indoors with a noisy family, screaming kids, a lack of loo rolls and no outside space they may very well end up begging to be taken back inside! 

Yesterday I wrote about a typical day in my life in semi-lock-down.  I say semi because OH (other half) and I are still going out for the required walk each day. However our walks are now much closer to home and becoming quite repetitive. Boring even. And precarious.  We’re forced to avoid  heavy panting joggers who would  never dream of  stepping out of the way but expect us to step into the middle of the road to avoid them. Paris is banning jogging between the hours of 10 in the morning and 7 in the evening. I think we should follow their lead.

We also have to step round all the dog poo.  Dogs, of course, must be exercised.  But why can’t their owners be arsed to bend down and pick up their little darling’s droppings? Of course, some owners do so. But then dump the poo laden bags on front paths, flower beds and driveways. Why?  As a poster on one of the lamp posts near where we live reads: ‘There is no such thing as the poo fairy.’  In France they go one better. The posters there show a picture of a person squatting on the pavement and say something along the lines of  ‘You wouldn’t do this. So why let your dog?’ 

My diary, which I had been trying so hard to keep tidy, is a mess. Everything in it has been crossed out – days spent with grandchildren,  travel we had planned, theatre visits, meetings, table tennis, lunches, dinners, outings with family and friends. New arrangements are taking their place – Zoom gatherings, Face Times, NHS shout-out and wave on Thursdays at 8pm, shopping deliveries and watching the latest government pronouncements from 4.30-5pm daily on the BBC. These are, as Queen sang, the days of our lives.

One small bonus is that Face Book has gone very quiet.  No more posts showing pictures of people’s restaurant meals, celebrations, parties, weddings, new clothes, out-of-this world holiday destinations, airport arrivals and departures. This can only be a good thing because one person’s happiness can be another person’s despair.  Some people – young people particularly – can get distressed when they see what purports – on Face Book at least – to be other people’s lives if they imagine their own lives are not coming up to scratch.  It can really affect mental health to feel that everyone else is having a good time except you. So, for now at least, everyone is having the same experiences. No one can show off online about their latest purchases or holidays – this might actually do some good.

We all have to embrace this new existence for the time being. Tomorrow I will be posting suggestions for some other blogs you might like to visit.  At least we have modern technology to keep us in touch with one another and help us stay sane.

As Terry Waite (who was held captive and kept in isolation for five years)  recently said, remember, you are not stuck at home, you are safe at home. And by keeping yourself safe, you are helping to keep others safe too.



Thanks for reading this.  See you tomorrow! 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


  1. Belated birthday wishes to you Andrea xx
    Our road seems to be the main arterial network for joggers. I don’t go out for a walk because of them. I went to the letterbox this am, it’s not far. A panting jogger was approaching at speed so I went to cross the road. A man walking on the other side who I woulnt have got within 10ft of shouted at me ‘Don’t cross the road!’ I shouted back there’s a jogger heading for me and briefly considered walking down the middle of the road then crossed over. Roll on the Paris idea.Tessa


  2. Good Morning, or whatever time of day it is. It’s your birthday all day, so we are sending you hugs and kisses and prepesach (chametzdich) greetings. Not the way you want to celebrate, but we’re all doing the same. I’m going to start preparing my brisket for the big night tomorriow, and then we will go for a walk. People are more polite about social distancing in our neighborhood, so I invite you to try a walk here… Hope all is well; we’re fine and really staying in this week (experts say this is the peak week) and not shopping. My usual asparagus and strawberries will have to wait for next year. XXXXX BR


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