It seems hard to believe that I went to the cinema a week ago, sat in a coffee shop on Wednesday, went out for lunch on Thursday, and yet now and for the foreseeable future none of those things will be possible. We are trying to make the most of the freedoms that we have left while following the most recent advice to the letter, so I spent the weekend checking on neighbours, often from a safe distance, and going for long walks through the nearby fields and woods, with barely a living soul to be seen.
So far Somerset has got off lightly, but I have little doubt that the wave will hit at some point and that it will be deeply unpleasant, so we do what we can and cling to whatever normality happens to be around. The High Street doors are now full of signs that announce various premises closed until the twelfth of never, while the large Tesco just outside town continues to be a magnet for the hoarders and the panickers.
There are some chinks of light in the darkness, though, not least from one of our wonderful local coffee shops – now doing takeaway only and struggling to survive – who are baking a cake a day for local NHS workers. They put out a plea on Saturday morning for cake sponsors so I popped by that afternoon to offer moral support and to pay (contactless, of course) for a treat for our local heroes.
Thankfully the response has been so positive that my cake will likely not be baked until early next week, but it is a small gesture in a world that seems strange in every single way. Hopefully these and the other folks who run those small, independent business that have revivified this small town will get through this and continue to ply their trades on the other side of this saga, and I keep my fingers crossed.
Here at home we have had a war council and come up with a plan to have cinema nights, game afternoons and to turn the kitchen into a café so that when we have tea or coffee we make an event of it, with flowers on the table and music played, and have decided to call this haunt Dylan’s Den. In the midst of it all I intend to continue to write, despite my feeling that the bottom is going to fall right out of the commissioning market, but I also want to polish my repertoire for solo instrument so that I can put those pieces out there for any self-isolating musicians who might feel adventurous enough to have a go. So on we go, and I hope that you all stay safe.