I’m free!

It’s a strange thing, being in quarantine.

It’s like lockdown except that you can’t go out of your house or garden. Not at all. No drives in the car to pick up shopping or even walks with the dogs.

The first week goes slower than a Morris Traveller being driven by a blind bat. The second week is quicker, but only because the car’s going downhill and the driver has been replaced by a short-sighted shrew.

Car journeys when you’re not behind the wheel can be pretty boring if you’re not allowed to stop and step out into the view you’ve just seen from the window.

So how ever many jobs we had lined up in the house, the garden or on the laptop, it didn’t matter, we couldn’t get out. It’s no great hardship when you consider what some people in the world are going through. But you realise just how much you miss the big, wide world.

The good thing about quarantine, though, is that you don’t have to wear a mask. The two weeks also saw the quite public demise (at least for now) of Dominic Cummings and Donald Trump. And then there was news that a Covid-19 vaccine is on the near-horizon. So not all bad.

As Mama Cass would say, it’s getting better.

But Mr Grigg and I did agree we’d celebrate once our fortnight was up first thing on Sunday morning. We vowed to go out just after midnight and do a dance around the village square, just because we could.

But we didn’t.

I was asleep in bed when the church clock struck twelve. I’d gone up the timber hill to Bedfordshire after starting to watch the television premiere of Red Sparrow, a horrid, sexist and disturbing spy thriller with no redeeming features whatsoever. What ever was Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence thinking, I kept thinking, displaying her wares for all to see like a carcass in a meat delivery lorry just pulled up outside a butcher’s shop.

It wasn’t even arty, for goodness sake.

I left Mr Grigg to get on with watching it on his own. The Last Tango in Lush Places would have to wait for another time.

This morning, I woke to a glorious sunrise with two eager-beaver dogs and strolled up the hill at a brisk pace for the first time in months.

And the hill was good.

Keep safe.

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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