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May 2020

Dear Ed,

I feel rather uncomfortable writing anything as I know so many people are going through real hardships and face a bleak future about work, mortgages, mental and health matters.

What a roller coaster for all of us. I can't think of any part of society that isn't touched by this virus.

The sun is shining, my customers are being so 'kind' and patient with us and each other. I lie on my back in the fields looking at a sky that is clear and not criss- crossed with flight paths for the first time in my 61 yrs. Not only can I hear the birds but I can hear the insect chatter and the bees buzz behind the bird song. Life has slowed. Even though we are busy as ever with growing. There is no rush to get to Pilates/ukele/yoga/swimming or visiting my mother in her home. I have never enjoyed waiting in a queue so much, having time to chat to the stranger 2m behind or in front. The once a week visit to shop for things we haven't got, seems exotic all the way to Blandford. Even a round about trip to Stur on bikes to pick up the cat food seemed fun.

But... I do realize I am in a bubble living in Dorset on a farm and being able to do our job. I must admit every Thurs when we open I think, are we clean enough, have we got enough procedures in to protect our customers and ourselves. It is with such a sigh of relief when we close on Sat afternoon and we and our customers have managed to survive another week. Its everyone making a sacrifice of their usual liberties to protect the whole.

I hear stories of my friend stuck in a flat in North London or my middle son stuck in a flat in Southampton or my cousin in Exeter. I admire how in their 4th week of shut down they are finding things to uplift themselves in their very restricted lives. It humbles me.

I thank all my customers here and in the post office and around the village who are doing their best.

PS Andrew and I get out the village by going on a bike ride for 10-120 miles and it is wonderful how quiet the roads are. This afternoon I did a rare activity - 'pottered' around in my own garden. First time in 25yrs. It’s usually a fast whip round with the lawn mower and twice a year get the chain saw out and that my garden done and dusted.

It was wonderful no rush and I reckon for 2 hours I didn't hear a single car (Sunday afternoon) go past


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