This would be a good time to be walking on the breathtaking beach at Luskentyre in the Outer Hebrides – assuming the weather is as sunny and (fairly) warm as it is at the moment in Norwich. Last time I was there – at the height of summer – it would have been a real challenge not to distance yourself socially from other beach-users, because there were so few of them.
Of course there might be good reasons not to isolate yourself in Luskentyre. I’m unsure about the toilet roll situation there, not to mention the food supply, and supermarket deliveries might be a problem.
But it’s definitely a good place to get away from it all in these stultifying times. I am fortunate in being forced to stay in a reasonably sized house with a beautiful woman, which is not something I’m desperate to get away from. Others are stranded on their own, or with someone who does not appreciate their finer qualities, or someone who abuses them, physically or verbally.
We do have a garden, and it’s in fine condition, because my wife has been working in it almost all this week. What have I been doing? Well, being a writer means my workload has increased, if anything, and I still can’t catch up. She likes gardening. Honestly.
I do try to get some exercise, and our neighbours, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, who are naturally closed, kindly left their gate open a for a couple of days so that I could take my daily exercise in their empty car park. However, they have now radically closed it, and my garden is not really big enough to get going in. A great deal of intricate manoeuvres are necessary to get from one end to the other, and even if you wiggle your hips, it still isn’t very far in terms of steps, which is what we all measure our fitness in nowadays.
We do have thoughtful neighbours and friends, which means that we are not hungry. Amazon have just delivered some olive oil, so that’s all right. I am expecting some peppercorns later.
I am also doing what the Government tells me to. I am like that.
But I am paying little attention to the statistics on television or in the paper, because I still believe what my father told me over 60 years ago: “There are lies, damned lies and then statistics.” It wasn’t original to him, but he liked it.
I don’t actually think most statisticians make it all up; it’s just that there are so many unknowns, especially where viruses are concerned. It’s like economic forecasts – they are always wrong, and there’s always a good reason. Really.