Lockdown in West Cornwall…

Depending on whether you are an optimist or pessimist, the saying ‘May you live in interesting times’, is a blessing or a curse.

Well no-one could describe these lockdown times as anything but ‘interesting’ with commentators struggling to find distinctive ways to sum up this new world – ‘unprecedented’ has taken a pounding, as has ‘bizarre’ and ‘peculiar’. In short we are running out of words to describe this pandemic, with ‘stay safe’ being the current mantra.

How else do you sign off in the world of Covid 19?

Social media is awash with inspirational (or not!) quotations, conspiracy theories are flourishing, well known people are having words put into their mouths and then shared around as weird rants.

Meantime Gabby and her mates are putting themselves out there as the new ‘experts’ in everything from virology, public health management, to news coverage. Welcome to the ‘new normal’ – to coin another cliche.

During lockdown it is fascinating to see how we have retreated even further into our own ‘echo chambers’, sharing and agreeing with people who reflect our view of the world. This isn’t surprising – it makes us feel safe to surround ourselves with people whose views mirror our own – but it is still good to step outside your comfort zone and listen to someone with a different take on things.

That’s why travel can be so enriching but with that now out of bounds, the ‘I know better’ brigade are out there in droves doing what they do – tirading. (Ironically, some of the very same people were spreading the ‘be kind’ slogan just a few months ago).

Yet genuine day-to-day kindness survives against the odds. All over the country there have been numerous examples of people going the extra mile for neighbours, friends and family. People working away, making sure we are all cared for medically, are fed, able to get around and kept up-to-date with what is going on. Some of them losing their lives on this new battle field. The word gratitude barely does the job, yet another sign of how we are all struggling to find the right words.

Talking of gratitude…

Never in a million years did I think I’d get involved with a radio station when I moved to Cornwall back in 2012. Working in TV documentaries, current affairs and feature writing, my experience of radio was limited to the occasional interview on the back of a programme or written piece.

That is exactly how I first got introduced to Coast FM Radio, when the late Pat Quayle invited me to talk about my work. Not long afterwards, I found myself attending Board meetings, learning just how much hard work and dedication goes into running a local radio station.

In these lockdown times, the station has come into its own with presenters producing live programmes from home ‘studios’ and pre-recorded material too. Their shows keep people informed about home food deliveries, travel, health and welfare issues and much more. This alongside the usual dedications, music and occasional fun quizzes to lift the spirits.

Team Coast has certainly done it’s bit for the community down here and the level of commitment shown has been humbling. Just one small word here and again it doesn’t seem enough. Thanks.

Finally, with the Motor Home parked up for the duration – though we’ve been known to sit in there with the odd cocktail! – I’ve been reading a lockdown book courtesy of my niece Amy.

‘Crossing Places’ by Elly Griffiths features the fictional Dr Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist who combines her academic work at a local University with helping out in crime investigations. Overweight and overthinking, Ruth lives alone in a remote house on the North Norfolk coast, the ‘Saltmarsh’ providing a menacing and eerie backdrop. The book was published in 2009, so some investigative references are of their time but the main characters are believable and give some intriguing insights into this specialist field of forensics. There is a great sense of place and atmospheric story-telling – the writing is good too.

That’s it for now. Cheerio – and dare I say it? Oh go on then.

Stay safe.

PS: Photo of Bonnie dog guarding her well gnawed chew – just because…


  1. Good to know you are both safe. It is indeed strange times, but very busy times. As a trade Union branch secretary in Westminster, I am ensuring local key workers are getting the PPE they need and challenging politicians to ensure members feel safe in whatever environment they are working in. And in my spare time I am writing a screen play on the plight of two homeless soldiers.

    • Sounds great Neil and good to hear from you too. I’ve got a short story compilation coming out in early June (8 stories)so you’ll be hearing about that! Lockdown made better by being opposite a lovely beach and the weather has been good too. Have a good weekend and say hi to Bev from us. 🙂


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