A minor, yet uncomfortable experience

Sunday 31 May 2020 – St Leonards-on-Sea (ish)

After completing the tenth lockdown post last Sunday I decided to make it the final one. Ten is a good solid number, and it seemed to be the right time to end. To be truthful, I was bored with them myself. A week later and I am not just bored with the blog, I am just bored. Period.

We are entering a new and more relaxed lockdown this coming week. Groups of up to six can meet outdoors, and they can meet in a garden, not just in a public place. I am utterly convinced this is too early to be relaxing any rules, the weather has been too good so there has been much relaxing of rules already, and the infection rate is still too high. But, what do I know? I am an IT guy, not an epidemic specialist. I won’t mention the Cummings thing and what message this sends, it made me too angry.

While it is good things are relaxing and some form of normality; this supposed new normality, is returning, I am not convinced that this covid event is winding down so I see any longer term plans as being foolish and not really worth making. Hence the bored. I am seeing the current way will be normality and it is not as good as the old normality, and I am one of the lucky ones. I have a good job, a great partner, I live in a good house with a garden and am lacking for nothing. Apart from being able to plan for travel and doing the things I want to do without any real or imaginary constraints. I want to go and see a band!

Anyway…

I had an online flat resident’s association board meeting on Tuesday so used my common sense and drove down to the flat on Monday afternoon, walking down to the beach soon after arriving. I could just as easily done this from London, but it was easier to be closer to the issues if I was there. That was my reasoning anyway. The beach was busy, I am fairly sure there were more people on the beach than I saw on any day last summer. Lockdown rules. A number of people were swimming, however I just had a couple of cans of lager, listened to music and read. It was nice and I felt better for it.

I took a few photos from the flat in the afternoon, I have not taken one from bedroom looking back towards Hastings and over the Marina Court building before, it is a great view. One of the things I am trying to deal with as part of my board membership is getting the neighbours to trim their leylandii trees. This window is on the fourth floor of my building.

The sunset was pretty good too.

On Tuesday I took the opportunity of actually having a lunch break to go for a swim, it was high tide early afternoon, and yes it was cold. I did not stay in long, but at least I got in. I intended to repeat this on other days but didn’t.

For my morning walk on Wednesday I walked around the Burton part of St Leonards and took photos of some of the old buildings. Starting in 1827 James Burton, and his son Decimus, designed and built St Leonards as a seaside retreat for wealthy Londoners. My novel is set in this period and I wanted some printed photos of the place to help me visualise the area.

In the evening I walked down to the shops to buy some fruit and biscuits. On the way home I had one of those uncomfortable ‘do I or do I not’ help situations, exacerbated by social distancing and worry about either getting sick or making some else sick. A couple were walking up the hill ahead of me when the woman starting having what looked like a minor fit or seizure, her partner grabbed her and was trying to hold her up and walk her to a nearby bench. I ran up and asked if they were OK and he assured me they were fine, and she just needed to sit down. As we were speaking her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she just started to slump toward the ground. He was struggling to not drop her and I momentarily wondered whether I should help. Only a for a split second, though my immediate thought was ‘is this safe?, if I touch them could I get sick?’ you know, those sort of things. Of course I helped, grabbing her from behind and helping to gently lower her to the ground where we stood. Someone pulled up in a car from the nearby care home, and another passer-by was calling an ambulance. As we tried to place her in the recovery position, she snapped out of it and appeared to be instantly fine. Once she was sat up and speaking I carried on home. Washing my hands more thoroughly than normal.

The following day, Thursday, I was back in London. With Eleanor’s son now coming back to London and starting teaching again in a couple of weeks we have decided to move down to St Leonards for the duration, or at least for a few week. I am looking forward to this.