84. Dash To The Country

I finished the last blog post with uncertainty about getting back to our home in Somerset. This is still unsettled, as you’ll see below. Those of you looking forward to hearing about my London incarceration should not give up hope yet! And just for you, the header on this post is of my last view of a London sunset.

Day 5. Tuesday 24th March. Having arranged Denis, my intrepid driver, to pick me up at lunchtime, I packed as many of my clothes and other necessary items as I could. Whilst I was waiting, two other residents drove up with car boots bulging with food and toilet rolls. Getting ready for London lock down.

Ready to go!

We set off and there was hardly any traffic on the roads so a smooth run to Somerset. No road blocks in evidence. No fuel at the Fleet service station on the M3 but that didn’t bother us.

M3 in the middle of the day

As our house sitters were still in situ and germ free I went into isolation with some friends who have Adie’s brother. He was so excited to see me, I hope I get the same greeting when I get home. Although it is possible it wasn’t my presence as he kept looking for his sister. I must have her hidden somewhere about my person, surely!

Looking out for his sister

I self-isolated in the dedicated bedroom / bathroom and the garden, where Alfie kept me company. In the evening we ate “together” but not too close. It’s great being back in the countryside and seeing green everywhere. I missed the daffodils while I was away but the tulips are coming out and blossom on the trees is appearing. I ordered a load of vegetable seeds to plant out for a little self-sufficiency when I’m home. I may have some old ones left over from last year but my memory doesn’t go back that far.

Day 6. Wednesday 25th March. JD found his missing logbook but too late to tax the car as a new one is on its way. The car passed its MOT and is insured so that’s the last step before he can drive. He’ll probably come down to the house mid-week after the weekend. In case of confusion, our house sitters confirmed that I was not going to go over to the house until they had left, as they didn’t want to risk any contamination before leaving for the USA. I went for a walk with Alfie and one of his owners, maintaining a social distance (the road) between us. It was so quiet, not at all what I’m used to on that stretch of the A road. You can hear the birds singing, I must try to (re)-learn what they all are. The chiff chaff is pretty obvious, as is the Great Tit (“teacher teacher”) but the others I get confused with. The robin and wren I can usually recognise but I couldn’t tell you what they sound like.

Somerset sunrise

Day 7. Thursday 26th March. Another day of isolation, walking around the garden and staying in my room. It is a very nice room, south facing so sunny all morning. The picture above is my view of the sunrise. Things got confusing today as our house sitters reconsidered their actions. Their new plan is for Mrs HS to stay at home in the USA with their two dogs and for Mr HS to come back once he’s settled them in. All well and good but that means I’ll be going back to London with all the stuff in the photo above. We should find out after the weekend what the final plan is. Maybe. To take our minds off the confusion, before dinner we had Cosmopolitan cocktails. I know they are a classic but I’d not had one until now. Very yummy.


This was followed by Thai green curry ON A PLATE! Things are looking up. I am being thoroughly spoilt by my hosts and I don’t (can’t) lift a finger. As I felt a (tiny) bit guilty I did the ironing that was there. I am assuming that any nasty germs I may have brought back from my travels were killed off by the heat of the iron. Seriously, I have no symptoms so I think we’re all safe.

Thai chicken curry

Day 8. Friday 27th March. I was taken to do a bit of food shopping for essentials by my host, in a farm shop with only three other customers. We all kept a healthy distance from each other. The choice was very good although as a farm shop they do not sell the new essential toilet rolls. That’s OK, if you look back at the first photo you’ll see I came prepared. As the house sitters had left for the airport, I then came home. Not a rapturous welcome from the dogs, more of a “oh, you’re here at last are you” shrug. Captain Catt (Polly) was a bit better.

Polly and me

So here I am, in splendid isolation, wondering what next week will bring. I’ll leave you with a quote from JRR Tolkien which is very apt for these times, although written with reference to the last two world wars.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”. From The Fellowship of the Ring, the first in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and my thought for the day.

3 thoughts on “84. Dash To The Country

  1. Hi Sam, glad to hear you finally made it home to Farncombe, ‘ peace and quiet and open air, time to think, time to care’, a line from the song ‘Somewhere’, west side story and probably appropriate after your time in Subic Bay. I once worked there but have never felt a desire to go back. I have enjoyed reading your blog, please keep it up.

    Marie Claire and I were booked to fly to Tenerife today, but alas corona changed that, can’t even go to our house in France. Day 4 of lockdown and I am already bored.

    Best regards Alan & Marie Claire


  2. Enjoy the peace and quiet knowing that YBB are home. Saw the same quote the other day and so appreciate. Stay safe F&am xx


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