Lockdown Diary – Day 44

Slept a bit better last night. Two shots of Glenfiddich before bed might have helped. Still woke up at 6.30am and gave up trying to get back to sleep at 7.30. Spent the morning watching the birds outside the kitchen window. The blue tits seemed to be having trouble finding insects and worms to feed their chicks and I watched them bringing bits of apple in to the box all morning.

So despite saying we would not assist them this year, I ended up going to a local pet store to get them some live wax worms. In previous years I had ordered them online, last year mostly from Amazon, and spent way too much money. Only this morning I googled and found that Pets at Home in Redhill sold them a lot cheaper. So off I went and came back with five little pots of creepy crawlies for just £10. I put them in a small hanging feeder but it took them a long time to notice this bounty placed before them. But once they did they went back and forth from feeder to nest box until they were gone. I would only put out 10 at a time because last year other birds kept coming around and stealing them. This year they have so far all gone to feed the blue tits.

While we can’t see what is going on inside this year, we pretty much know from watching the camera in previous years. I was surprised to see them already trying to tease the chicks out by taking in a worm then taking it out of the box and calling to them. They are only four days old and their parents are already trying to get rid of them!

In the afternoon I got my bike out and had a short ride to the Clears and then up Pilgrim’s Way. A steep hill (a 31 metre rise according to the Strava app) reminded me that cycling uses a different set of muscles than running and I will probably be feeling it tomorrow.

Finished off the day watching the last episode of Chernobyl with Charlie. I think I enjoyed it (if that is the right word for something about such a ghastly event) as much as the first time. Extraordinary television.

Lockdown Diary – Day 20

A day that was dominated by death and sadness. The news of the UK death toll going over 10,000 and the deaths of the famous and not so famous: Stirling Moss and Tim Brooke-Taylor, and a local legend in Reigate.

It was the latter I found the most upsetting. We called him Gangsta Grandad. He was a charming fellow in his mid-70s named Derek Primmer who was seen almost daily walking around town dressed like a teenage skateboarder/hip hop rapper. I would see him most mornings on my walk to Redhill station and he always looked amazing and always had a smile and a bright hello. As recently as last month I saw him and noticed that he was no longer as sprightly and was walking with a cane. Now he’s gone and our town won’t be the same without him walking along the street or sitting having a cup of tea in the cafe in the local shopping mall. RIP Derek.

Not much else to report. Another day spent sitting in the garden. I watched a jackdaw building a nest on top of our next-door neighbour’s chimney. It would fly into a small tree in another garden, snap off a length of twig and fly back up to the chimney. So we will have something besides the blue tits to watch this spring.

Oh, and happy Easter.