And now the country is in lockdown.

Our physical interaction is restricted. The message is clear: stay at home, at least for the next three weeks.

It’s about time. We knew it was coming.

Government advice is that we should leave our homes only if we’re shopping for necessities (ideally one person and not as a family); doing one form of exercise per day on our own or as part of a household; medical reasons; travel to and from work if we must.

But even today, people are flocking into a Bridport shop to buy compost. What are people like? Perhaps they’re going to eat it.

Whilst the current situation is bringing out the best in so many people, it’s also bringing out the worst. In Lush Places, the man who everyone knows as the rudest, most ignorant and selfish inhabitant has not got any better, storming from the community shop because his usual bread is not available, deeming it ‘ridiculous’. This is the shop that has volunteers at its core. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr Nasty.

On social media, foul language is being sprinkled around like fairy dust to the point where I’m not going to follow those pages any more.

The best thing we can all do is stay at home and be kind. We’re all in this wobbly boat together, patching up the leaks and baling out the water as and when it threatens to engulf us.

Currently, I’m making the most out of the daily exercise rule while I can, knowing from friends in France and Greece that you need a validated permit to even visit the village shop.

This morning, the dogs and I went up to Bluebell Hill. We strode out in the sun under an absolutely clear blue sky, with no vapour trails kisses because no-one is flying any more.

The birds were singing, the woodpeckers drilling and the dogs rolling in badger poo just like usual.

This is a spot I love. I never fail to appreciate its beauty.

Even more so today, on the day the country went into luckdown. I am so very lucky to live here.

Keep safe everyone – and wash your hands.

That’s about it.

Love Maddie x

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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