Silver Linings – Thursday 9th April 2020

Lockdown. Can’t go climbing. Can’t go away in Gandalf. Can’t do this, that and the other (although I would be willing to bet that there’s quite a lot of ‘the other’ going on). I digress. Where was I? Oh yes:

Lockdown… Ain’t so bad. In fact, there are a lot of positives. Here’s just a few..

The first silver lining I like to call “Up.”

This is up…

Up

This is a picture of “Up” a.k.a. the sky. Taken not 1/2 a mile from our house, yesterday evening. It’s blue and cloud free but, lovely though it is, that’s not the silver lining. We live on the flight path into Heathrow Airport. Usually, on a day like today, there would be one aircraft every 10 seconds from 04.30 in the morning to 11.30 at night flying overhead. Do the maths, I did, that’s a LOT of aeroplanes. On top of that, there is a small airfield nearby kindly providing the accompanying buzz of dozens of light aircraft. Add to that the helicopters taking the wealthy to and from very important places and it all adds up to pollution, noise and poor visibility. I don’t have a picture of it but it looks something like this…

Flight path simulator

With the associated noise it irritates the hell out of me. I have friends who have grown used to it. I have weird friends.

Silver lining number two I shall call, “The sound of silence.” In short, see silver lining number 1.

The following picture, taken shortly after “Up,” contains a robin. See if you can spot him.

I’m over here!

He’s on the dead tree just right of centre. Pretty small so good luck. Anyway. He was singing his little head off. We could hear him. It was beautiful. It was unusual. It was surreal. Very little traffic noise and zero planes. Normally the little fella would need a megaphone to make himself heard. The silence was positively deafening. From 90% man made cacophony, interspersed with the odd squawk as a pigeon is run over on the main road, to 90% sounds of nature. Surround sound bliss. Sometimes Mrs P and I just stand and listen. Then spend the next 10 minutes discussing where we will move to once this madness is over and if our pension investments ever bounce back (don’t even go there).

Silver lining number 3 goes by the name of “Folk.” There are people (folk) walking, cycling, running etc. all over the place. Normally, when we go for a walk, we are lucky to see a couple of wheezing people walking an asthmatic dog (remember the pollution?) Now, “folk” are everywhere. Using the extra time they have discovered by removing the commute from their daily list of wasted time activities they are finding the time to go for some socially distanced exercise. It may be a bit odd when said “folk“suddenly dive into a hedge and steadfastly face away as you walk past but, at least you usually get a muffled, arboreal “Hello” from the back of their head.

Our evening stroll beneath silent skies. Long may it continue

There are many other little things that warrant silver lining status. Might I suggest you try to look for some yourself because, and I can’t emphasise this enough, there is always a silver lining.

My final one for now goes by the name, “Road safety and the bliss of empty roads.”

I’m still allowed to go out on my bike. I think the advice is, “For your normal amount of exercise.” Since normal for me is around 130-150 miles a week I can still get quite a lot of socially distant exercise in. The difference being that now said exercise is on quiet, and subsequently much safer roads. It’s lovely. Mrs P is very happy too.

Mrs P (and Gandalf) demonstrates a silver lining

You watch, I’ll get run over by a bus now. LINK

They really do exist

7 thoughts on “Silver Linings – Thursday 9th April 2020

  1. Good to see you are writing again, we too have found it is very much quieter, less plane noise and very calm with almost no traffic noise. We too are cycling a lot more, lots to do on our doorstep and local walks a plenty. What is surprising is our time at home is quite often isolated anyway so we have adapted well, we do miss the grandchildren and their hugs, and of course the mountains. I have been busy making new driveway gates and the usual motorcycle stuff. All my racing like everything else is cancelled till further notice, I suspect this year will be a write off for racing and our usual European trip in the summer. Once our lockdown is over I am anticipate a slow incremental return to our freedom of movement and normality as the governments herd immunity strategy unfolds.

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  2. It’s a real shame that summer trips may be victims of the current state of affairs. If we are forced to cancel our trip we aim to go away late in the year. Hot rock climbing in Spain October to… well maybe we won’t come back.

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    1. If you are calling him ‘Mithrandir’ meaning ‘Grey Pilgrim’ or ‘Wanderer’ in the everyday language of Elves then you, my tiny friend, must also go by the name of Galadriel, for that is the name he uses for Gandalf. Morning Galadriel 🧝‍♀️ (Of course, you might just be another Elf called Suki). Nearly forgot to answer the question. He’s a bit bored with nowhere to go but, he did get a good cleaning so he’s not doing too bad. Thanks for asking.

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  3. I would normally be very busy with the 4 Grandaughters over the Easter hoildays. Although I miss their smiles hugs love funny jokes and cteative art works. It is a pleasant change; Grandmother rest and recuperation. Also we that is Stuart and I have lots of time to cycle. Although the roads are now busy with cyclists and fewer cars. Yes no planes is bliss we live right under the Edinburgh airport glight path exectly where they like to decelerate sounds a lot like a dyson hover amplified 20 times. In the Summer they come every 3 minutes.
    Lets hope we could all reduce our desire to fly around the world???
    Always enjoying your blogs.
    Barbara x

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