So here it is. Day one of social distancing.
The only reason this blog exists is because I love getting out of my house, out of my country, out of my continent. Although for now, I’m embracing all things home in the most traditional sense of the word.
I wake up after a restless night but determined to get into some form of routine through all of this. Desperate to search for something positive, I decide that from this moment every day has a theme, no matter how big or small.
Today I choose Spring.
From my balcony view of south east London I get a birds-eye view of the trees sprouting their first leaves. Of the Mallard ducks splashing inelegantly back into the small river that runs down the side of Lewisham Shopping Centre (having unsuccessfully chased females for a few minutes). Every singly day now, the sun’s trajectory across my south facing home gets wider as the days lengthen into British Summer.
It’s a busy day. Clients understandably also thrown into disarray as companies shut their doors in London. So after a morning of rearranging timescales and trying to exude positivity over the phone, I head out for my favourite local walk.
Ladywell fields is lovely at any time of year but the first few weeks of spring have a particular buzz. Happily, Spring has missed the social media memo about the distress of the world and it’s business as usual for the birds and bees. Their chatter is loud and very welcome. Mandarins preen and flirt on the river bank, ring necked parakeets munch comically on blossoms and the smaller birds flutter from tree to tree in chortling gangs.
I mull over why I love birds so much and realise that it’s because they’re oblivious to all our human bullshit.
Watching birds calms me like nothing else. Most are so tiny that every movement can be missed in a blink. Each feather so intricate and well thought out by evolution. Every single one a little personality if you look for long enough to catch their eye. I count the number of species as I walk and reach twenty one before I decide to turn back. Twenty one different birds in the UK’s largest city.
Feeling privileged instead of victimised, the second part of my day is productive and more positive.
My theme is a strong one as it easily bookends my first day around the house. Not long after I log out of my emails, I’m able to watch the end of the day properly. A luxury I don’t usually get until May when commuting back from the office. Clouds turn pink then dark purple and darkness doesn’t properly fall until 6.10pm.
I remember to be grateful for the small things too and think to myself, slightly smug, that themes were a great idea.
Lesson learnt from Day One: Keep walking as long as I’m well. Albeit alone and at a two metre distance from other people who had the same idea.