Sunday, 5 April 2020

The Parish Magazine and Social Distancing


The local parish magazine, published once a month,  is always worth a read.   I have subscribed to it since we moved here, so quite a few years now.   

Initially it was delivered by an interesting little old lady, who probably weighed all of five and a half stone.   She would walk all the way out of the village, with her middle aged daughter,  to put my copy in the letter box, if I was around at the time we would have a bit of a chat.     The years passed,  she was no longer able to do the deliveries so a friend of mine took over for several years.   Then she moved away.

These days they are delivered by my friend,  a farmer's wife, who also happens to be a churchwarden.  I often give her a hand, it gives us a nice opportunity to have a chat.

It costs a little under £5 for the year and is popular with both those who attend church, and others, like me, who just enjoy the read and all the snippets of local information.

This new situation has caused the editor/publisher to have a bit of a rethink.    The magazine has gone online!    It feels as though it has been dragged from the ink and quill age into the 21st century.

I like it in the new format.    I suppose one downside is that there will be some people, the very elderly and those, like Miss Read, who have poor eyesight and have zero knowledge of the internet, who will not be able to access it.

I was assigned a little job today - could I drop a note off to some local subscribers, telling them where they would be able to access the magazine.    I decided that I would have to make it part of my daily walk with Toby, we would have to cut through the village and drop them off as we went.

I left home at 6.30 am, just to make sure that we could do it in peace.


Once the notes had been stealthily put through the letterboxes, my plastic gloves removed and safely disposed, Toby and I headed out across the fields and along farm tracks, skirting woodland and breathing in the early morning air.

Despite all the horrors of the current situation, the world is still a beautiful place.   There was a chilly wind blowing but the sun was shining, birds sang and I could hear the woodpeckers determinedly drilling.     Plants and crops are growing, the spring flowers continue to bloom. 

As I ambled along a farm track I spotted a deer meandering along about fifty yards ahead of me.  Toby was a few yards behind me giving his nose a good workout.    I walked, the deer walked and the dog happily sniffed his clumps of grass.   We continued in this way for about three hundred yards before the deer spotted me and bounced away into the undergrowth.   Magical.

I met only one human being.   A woman also out for some early morning exercise, on her bike.   Of course we met at the narrowest part of the very narrow lane!     I squeezed over to the side of the narrow verge and she steered her bike as far as she could away from me. 

We still managed to smile at one another, exchange greetings and comment on the beautiful weather.

It felt decidedly weird.



Home again.   Time for a cup of tea, a bowl of porridge, then some work in the vegetable garden.

I hope you have all had a good weekend.





20 comments:

  1. Fancy spotting a deer.What a great walk.

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    1. Early morning walks are definitely my favourite.

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  2. Looks like it was a beautiful day for your errand and to work in the garden.
    No garden work here. Our garden plots are closed until May. Mostly we are in our apartment all day. I did my 2 miles walking in the dining room to a video. Sat on the balcony to get my fresh air. Now must wear a mask when I go out of apartment as of memo this evening.

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    1. I am glad that at least you have the balcony and some fresh air, and indoor walking for exercise.

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  3. Strange times we are passing through. Lovely to see the little thumbnail of Arnold.

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    1. Granddaughter and I still miss him, Joanne. Poppy and Jake are nice, but Arnold was special - so was Old John.

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  4. Sounds like a lovely walk and you got your messages delivered too. Win/Win. We are certainly living in very different and weird times. Stay safe.

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    1. The effort which goes into getting up early, and foregoing my coffee, is amply rewarded by the emptiness of the fields and lanes, Rosie. I hope you are well.

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  5. Our April parish Mag just had a note stapled in saying " distribution halted until restrictions lifted"!

    Stay well and safe

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    1. Thanks, Sue. You, too.
      Considering how much I prefer the printed word/books, I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed the pdf version!

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  6. Sounds like you have done a full days work already! Time for a little red riding hood snooze before tackling the wonderful looking veg plot?
    LX

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    1. It is possible that I may have taken a small nap, 'tis true. I know the veggie garden is going to be needed this year but, goodness, the hours of back-breaking work that goes into it. My back can only do it in short spells, otherwise I seize up for a week. Hope you are well.

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  7. Replies
    1. It was very therapeutic, recharged my well-being batteries.

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  8. Abeautiful walk. Podcast service, facebook and online magazines ill soon become very normal. Take care.

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    1. I think our young vicar does a podcast service. All this modern technology is great but it does rather depend upon decent and speedy access - and, like you, we don't have anything reliable, never mind speedy!!

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  9. Your veg plot is a lot tidier than mine, but we are clearing a large fresh area for digging over and planting up, as well as doing more of the logging, more cooking etc and I'm on steroids again so working the night shift too!!

    I hope that someone will be able to pass the gist of the parish magazine can be passed on to those without the internet, it seems a shame they will be missing out.

    I'm glad you had such a lovely walk. My local walks are on hold until my breathing is back to normal. My birthday is soon, and instead of a day out somewhere really special (lat year it was Wightwick Manor, nr Brum) it is going to be a longer than usual walk with the best views about and one we've not done for ages.

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    1. Sorry to hear that you are on steroids again, BB. This time of year is beautiful but, boy, don't the weeds and nettles love it! Clearing the veggie garden is hard work, but we are getting there, bit by bit.

      The local pub usually takes delivery of a large print version of the magazine, for customers to browse, so I imagine that Miss Read and any others with special requirements will get one of those. If needs be, when social distancing, etc, is no longer a requirement, I would go round and read through it with her.

      Enjoy your special day, I don't have any doubts that your family will spoil you rotten - and at least you know there will be a good book to read (Mudlarking!) if nothing else. Speedy recovery, stay well. Happy Birthday.

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  10. Your encounter with the deer sounds wonderful, how special. You are right that the world is still a beautiful place, I am glad of the opportunity to take a daily walk, thank you for sharing pictures of yours.

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    1. It was thrilling. I couldn't believe that the deer was oblivious to me, or that Toby was oblivious to the deer, etc. Surreal, but in a wonderful way. Early mornings are magical, but then I imagine that if I were a night owl, I would find the evening the most wonderful time to be out walking!

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Lovely to hear from you!