Escape to the Allotment
What an excellent idea, to have an issue of Barrow Voice during these unusual, dare I say bizarre and strange times? Then I wondered, “What am I going to write about?” Interviewing, due to isolation restrictions, was not an option. How about, living in lockdown? Too boring! Updates about the virus? Too distressing. I thought about all the amazing work being carried out in our village, during this difficult time, by some incredible people through “Helping Hands” and other village organisations. By fetching medication from the chemist, shopping for the sick, elderly and those fully isolating due to health problems, they are invaluable. There are also people sewing for the NHS, those providing fabric and other materials for the sewing, and our additional heroes, working tirelessly in the Co-op, with only social distancing for protection – so brave. Then, I discovered someone else from the BV team had already volunteered to cover this!
So, what does the lockdown mean for me? I am virtually self- isolating as my husband falls within a vulnerable group but I keep in touch, by phone, with my befriending contacts through the village Good Neighbours Scheme and also ring a number of the Bishop Beveridge Club members who are living on their own. I cannot ring the church bells at present, something I really enjoy, but I am keeping in touch with the other ringers via a WhatsApp group. We share a variety of topics, not about bell ringing. Our subject matter has included, clock repair, cats, 60’s music, gardening and reminding each other to applaud the NHS and other essential workers on Thursday evenings.
Thankfully, I have an allotment to escape to. Over the last winter my plot was flooded for several weeks, my poly tunnel had been wrecked by Storm Derek, or Desmond or was it Dolores? No, I’ve got it, it was Dennis. Then I was ready to give up my allotment altogether.
Now the water has receded, the poly tunnel has been repaired, the sun is shining and I have realised it provides a great escape. Judging by the number of cars regularly pulled into the gateway at Glebe allotments on Nottingham Road many fellow village gardeners have had the same idea. Social distancing here is not a problem.
Digging for exercise, or possibly victory (over Corvid 19), enjoying the fresh or fresher air (less pollution, due to fewer cars on the road) plus the satisfaction you get when your plants begin to sprout, all gives a feeling of positivity. Hopefully, this positivity can transfer to thoughts that the lockdown will come to an end and life will gradually return to some semblance of normality, but at the moment we all need to follow the rules, Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save the NHS!