The England Lockdown Easing Experiment Begins

Yesterday, Saturday 4th July, marked the day the people of England have been directed that they’re allowed to start ‘enjoying’ more freedom. Boaters who don’t live aboard can cruise and stay on board. Hire boat companies can hire. Pubs can open. And hairdressers. Not beauty salons though, which beggars belief, whilst verging on misogynistic (feel free to look that one up if you’re not yet aware of the meaning)! They haven’t even been given a date yet. Well they were, it was yesterday, then they reneged for some reason. Not that I want to visit one, but I have a couple of clients who’ve been left dangling with no direction. They have hundreds of clients on their waiting lists.

Judging by the number of caravans over the weekend on the roads near Whitchurch, hoards of folks are setting off regardless. Nothing will change for us apart from being ever more vigilant, being extremely mindful of our intention to not become complacent – which I fear is likely to become the ‘new normal’ for many. Actually that’s not strictly true. We’ve started moving off the Llangollen Canal, as Kim’s now finished her school year and we must get closer to the boatyard we’re leaving Areandare when we fly to New Zealand on Sunday 16th August (thanks for the nudge Dot!). In only six weeks time.

Enjoying a last night outdoors dining at Bettisfield

On Saturday we left Bettisfield and moored back at Grindley Brook, ready to head down the locks today. This canal is one of the most popular routes for hire boaters. With Wales still on restrictions though, we expected nothing much to change for a week or two. Sadly that’s not the case we’ve found.

The Llangollen is known for it’s abundance of lift bridges

Passing Whitchurch Marina we saw a couple being shown the ropes at a safe distance, with the instructor wearing a face mask. Well done 👍. No signs of complacency creeping in there …

Interesting times continue …

Shedding the kgs

I’m not terribly good at ‘dieting’; never have been. But at 60 years of age, I seriously can’t afford health-wise not to wake up and start practising! From Monday I began watching more closely what I consume. No sweets, crisps, biscuits, milk chocolate – basically eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruit instead; less bread; more water; and zero alcohol until Friday night.

The exercise bit hadn’t worked so well until Saturday, as I’ve been building a new account and had client calls to focus on. We’ve also caught up with Lisa and the boys a few more times. Yesterday I completed the first of the NHS App ‘Couch to 5k‘ walk/runs. Blimey. I so need to lose some weight! I’ve managed one kg so far. Jogging gently whilst carrying 75kg is strenuous. But I made it.

A handsome spectator en route

It’s magically motivating having your own personal trainer talking you through it. I chose Laura. Five minutes of brisk walking, followed by 60 seconds of gentle jogging, then 90 seconds of brisk walking. Rinse and repeat the 60-90 seven times so you ‘run’ for eight minutes.

It was challenging but doable. Now the plan is to do the week one routine twice more this week, then go onto week two – but I’m not going to look and see what that is as yet. I may freak out! I know I’ve got just two more runs this week. Next time I won’t wear my jeans – which is what I had on yesterday. Madness.

I’ll hopefully lose another five kgs at least before our long journey south. If things go to plan, we’ve then got 24 hours of flying, followed by two weeks in managed isolation. No running for a while then, it’s more likely to be gentle yoga in the hotel room.

Grindley Brook To Swanley

We made fabulous progress today towards Hurleston Junction. The sheer volume of hire and leisure boaters suddenly on the cut was rather disconcerting. I guess they’ve been impatient to get on board, and who can blame them? It’s rather idyllic and easy to forget there’s a worldwide pandemic still raging when you’re calmly cruising the cut at 3mph.

Our last time at Grindley Brook for a while with the NZ flags flying proudly
Willeymoor lock open for bookings only – sensible choice
I love this notice posted on a tree ‘Pick it or flick it’!
We suspect this is about leisure boater, lots of clean and shiny boats suddenly around!
This evenings’ mooring above the Swanley Locks

COVID-19 Symptom Study

Naturally, we’re still reporting daily, conscious it’s even more important to do so as people start to mingle and mix more with or without, physical distancing. According to the study, the number of daily cases across the UK is now down to 1,445.

On Friday Professor Spector shared his tips for staying safe – there are a few things that probably need to be tightened up in his words like if you have chest pain call a doctor rather than just self-isolate. But I’m sure you can get the gist of his intentions:

Stay safe and be sensible everyone. Just because places and starting to open, doesn’t mean the pesky clever virus has disappeared. It continues to lurk out there, patiently waiting and discovering new ways of multiplying I suspect … So be kind, mindful and careful. We have only one life to live 😉

10 thoughts on “The England Lockdown Easing Experiment Begins

  1. Great blog as usual but think you mean 16th August to return to our fair country. Take care. Dot

    • Oh yikes what did I put? I’d beat go and edit … Cheers Dot. Hope you’re both well and happy x

  2. Interesting times as the (alleged) old Chinese curse goes. Our local boatyard has reopened and good luck to them. I think I’d rather folk spent their time in small groups on narrowboats rather than in pubs. How all this is going to pan out I’ve no idea but the pair of us aren’t taking any risks just because we can. Enjoy getting back to NZ!

    • Absolutely! They’re open just because someone decided 4th July looked like a good day to open them. I’d far rather visit a beauty salon than a pub thank you, and would feel far safer 😉

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