Before lockdown hit I was warned by a Spanish friend that it would cause problems and I would go a bit mad before getting used to it. Bugger that – I’m starting to love it! The good lockdown life Call me bonkers but I love the sound of birdsong drowning out the noise of traffic. It’s usually the other way round here in leafy Poundbury. I’ve long advocated reducing car use but this is just astoundingly wonderful! You can walk down the middle of a street and only fear the odd ambulance or distracted Range Rover driver (the latter I fear. A lot.).

Queuing up to get into the supermarket and then not being crowded out inside when you want to get something from the shelves? I can live with that too. Yes, we’ve been blessed with the weather lately but a little weatherproofing of the queuing spaces should ensure the inevitable weather changes will make things comfortable. Could Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose build covered areas similar to the trolley parks? Life will be like this for another six months at least. 

Exercise every day at dawn? I enjoy sharing what’s fast becoming a comprehensive portrait of Poundbury from my suburban meanderings with 12kg of weights in my backpack every morning. 

Meditation was part of my morning routine already. As was self-improvement reading and journaling, setting me up for work and a comfortable focus on the day ahead. I’ve set the task of being physically and mentally a different bloke at the end of this.

What about you? Spending less on luxuries! What do we need in life that makes it worthwhile? I’m certainly better off financially! Some things that will have to change… I export around 60% of my work. In normal times that would ensure I dodge any regional political crisis like Brexit.

However there is quite a plus side – I don’t have to worry so much about marketing. Several of my clients around the world have suspended their freelance budgets due to the crisis and I can’t see an immediate, positive response when I email a few of them in six weeks time. My fault for weighting too much of my work in the leisure sector! This takes the stress of worklessness off my back – a daily fear that drives me like a demented husky in times of normality.

Loneliness. I make contact with friends online and on the phone daily. I miss the chance of having a pint/dinner or going for a walk with them. In focusing on phone contact with them so much of my negativity is relieved in this regard so while lockdown is upon us, it’s an ugly carbuncle that I have no choice but to live with. Ineptitude of national leadership. If you don’t have the leadership skills to run a bath then please move aside.

Sadly with the new Labour leadership we have a choice between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, both equally focused on the welfare of the economy and neither focused on the welfare of the people. It’s ghastly. The problem with leadership vacuums is that people don’t take dying by the thousand lightly. Something’s going to give and beating us with lathis as the police do in India when us lot finally snap isn’t going to work. This is the county of the Pitchfork Rebellion and the Tolpuddle Martyrs! 

Let’s focus on the positives and get through this shall we? Like you I can’t watch the news too much. Before long I am imagining coughing uncontrollably and being taken into an intensive care unit where the medical staff have no idea whether I’ll survive. It’s too much for my mind.  What we can focus on is the joys of life. There are many to be had in this bizarre world in which we live. Hold on to them. Let them be your focus. Don’t use any drugs to blot them out. Life can be good – just look for those highlights.

There is no sense in fearing tomorrow as tomorrow isn’t today: enjoy today and all the joys it brings.

Rich Shrubb

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Richard is a West Dorset based commercial content marketer, community activist and all round change seeker.