Lockdown Week 14: Is the end of lockdown really in sight?

It is lockdown week 14 and maybe the heat has got me hallucinating but I think the end of lockdown is in sight. However I could have sworn that Boris said everything (apart from beauty salons and swimming pools) and everybody (apart from OH & I) would be opening up on 4th July. Yet this week, still June, there have been wild gatherings and parties, in parks, on beaches and on our river. Our police have been attacked and injured as they now take over as the frontline in the fight with Covid-19.

OH and dog enjoying the shade in Lockdown week 14

I am guessing that the sun came out and nobody could wait. As I am still in lockdown awaiting OH’s op I cannot allow myself to think about ending lockdown. Everyone else has had enough of lockdown and just wants to feel free both physically and mentally. They don’t need to wait for pubs and restaurants to open up to have fun. Liverpool won the league and the crowds gathered at their home stadium. The sun came out and Bournemouth beach was packed whilst Majorca was empty – missing the Brits?

A novel way to get down the river

Here on the river it has been lovely seeing people using it during lockdown to exercise, on paddle boards, in kayaks or simply swimming. Power boats were not allowed out until recently. Now the river is heaving. It is to be expected when it is so hot however it appears that teenagers, not at school and without the pressure of exams, have borrowed their parents’ boats and are letting their exuberance out on the river. Alcohol comes into play and so we have potential cocktail of danger.

So it was this week that OH and I were watching TV at about 10.30pm on a still, warm evening when we heard constant shouting and screaming. We live next to a lock and boats moor on our land whilst waiting to get through the lock. However after a while we decided I should pop to the riverside and make sure there was no-one in trouble.

I was greeted by three boats moored up, with about 25 teenagers having a party, and this is how the conversation went.

3 girls in yellow polka dot bikinis

Me: “Hi is there any way you could keep the noise down as it made me come and check no-one was calling for help.”
Slightly drunk boy: “We’re just trying to go through the lock”
Me: “Well you aren’t trying very hard as the lock gates aren’t on ‘open sesame’ mode.”
Girl in teeny weeny yellow bikini (isn’t there a song for this look?): approaches: “But isn’t there a man to open it?”
Me: “Strangely not on a Wednesday at 10.30pm but looking at how you are dressed I guess you are unaware of the time?”
Girl: “F*** what are we going to do?”
Me: “Can you all read?”
Girl: “Yes I think so” (!!!!)
Me: “Well go to the lock, if you can walk in a straight line without falling in the river, and read the instructions.”
Girl now joined by a few drunken boys and other equally gorgeous girls: “Are they difficult to follow?”
Me: “No” (mutters under breath – to most people with brain cells that haven’t been fried by sun and alcohol.) And now that I know you can read please can you read to me the notice you are leaning against.”
Boy: “This is private property, by kind permission of the owners you can moor here whilst waiting for the lock. Please turn your engines off and keep the noise down.”
The group: “Oh!”
Me: And just for your information I am not sure groups of six keeping 2m or even 1m distance is happening here. So basically you aren’t getting much right tonight. My advice is go home and sober up.”

They took another half an hour to get through the lock and it was all
done with much screaming!!

I know we were all the same at that age. Life was for having fun and it always involved alcohol but then we didn’t get to use big powerful boats on the river late at night. My OH says the nearest he got was a Pedalo off the beach at Westcliff-on-Sea. Of course adults can be just as loud and out of control in a boat. However seeing these youngsters, who probably had left parents behind at home desperate to have their first evening on their own, I could see how hard it is to lift lockdown slowly. 67 million people have by and large been cooped up and now they are free – small details like waiting until 4th July and only gathering in small groups whilst still social distancing seem low on everyone’s list of priorities. Getting out is what we all want.

Sunset over Henely on Thames in Lockdown week 14

As I am housebound still waiting for OH’s operation – also on 4th July – I am fearful that that this is all going to end in tears and subsequently more lockdown. If we can’t behave we will be shoved back in our boxes. I hope there is truth in the rumour that the sun kills Covid-19 but what does anyone really know? This is going to be the biggest test for the government, the scientists and the British public.

For all of my Lockdown week by week posts click HERE

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2 years ago

Hang in there, Annabel, we are all going a bit mad. You must be very frustrated. Maybe try and look on this as an historic event and it helps perspective just a little bit. Is anyone else like me and find this all a bit alarming, it almost feels like it is building up to something, rather than winding down…

2 years ago

Oh Annabel, the extra lockdown must be so hard for you, not to mention your worry about OH. I’ve so appreciated the blogs you have churned out in fine weather and foul, and even more for the yoga video, which I have followed almost every day. Take good care of yourselves!

2 years ago

I envy your reasonable-ness! i would have called the police and reported them.

Maybe my isolation has made me less tolerant? I’m getting really annoyed by idiots flouting the rules (and don’t get me started on the rubbish they leave behind!). I worry that if people don’t follow the guidelines, we will have a second spike and full lockdown will be imposed again. I feel safe and in control at home and, fortunately, am enjoying my own company (hubby still going to work during the day) but I would REALLY love life to return to normal. I miss not being able to see my family and friends – and now that we can see some of them, I miss being able to hug and have physical contact with them. I would LOVE to go to the beach or a gallery or a restaurant or a stately home or a beautiful garden or meet a friend at a coffee shop. But i would rather wait a bit longer and when we DO go it’s permanent, than to go once or twice and then have to endure lockdown again and wait another 6+ months.

Good luck with your trip to London! (I had a back op 8 years ago, when I was 46, and it has given me my life back!)
Stay safe, stay sane x

2 years ago

Wanted to say that the yoga with Maddie has helped through lockdown. I arrived back from Sri Lanka into lockdown and it came as quite a shock. Saw Dominic Cummings in my local woods which makes me mad when the majority of people are trying hard to stick to the rules. PS. How long has your hair grown!