I knew Lyttelton was a special place when I arrived here in 2004. Now I thank my lucky stars to be in lockdown in Whakaraupo.
My brother lives in an apartment in Valencia with his wife and young son. They have been in Covid-19 lockdown since mid-March and he has only been allowed out to walk the dog within 200 m of his home. He was super excited to tell us that from the 27th April the Spanish government will allow him out to walk with his son. Up until now, young children have been forced to remain at home all the time.
One of my sisters lives in London with her young family. The spread of the novel coronavirus has been far more extensive in the UK than in New Zealand and she worries that it may be months until it is safe to visit our parents (both in their seventies) in Dorset. And though the village of Briantspuddle is idyllic, Mum and Dad will go batty if they aren't allowed to leave it for much longer. Though I think Mum should try doing yoga classes on Zoom (a bit harder for Dad with lawn bowls).
Excerpt from an upcoming Arctic Circle Sunday (it is so hard write 8 weeks ahead right now!):
My other sister lives in a flat in Auckland. Even there it is difficult, as she has to time when she goes out to exercise because of the crowds of people who are in the parks and at beaches.
So I know how lucky I am to be living in Lyttelton. I write this even though the back of our house is missing because lockdown started two weeks into renovations. This means we are cooking in a camp kitchen and our shower is in a toilet on the lawn. But I’m still glad to be here because we have so many more degrees of freedom than if we lived in other places during this pandemic. At Level Four, I could walk in the hills, cycle around the bays, or play dodgy tennis in my bubble. But I am relieved to hear that building work can restart on our renovation as we go to Level Three. And that, if the good weather lasts, I can go back out on my paddle board.
What an amazing place to be stuck in.
And what a crazy month it has been since I last wrote. For those of you who don’t do the social media thing, scroll down to the bottom to see my sketches which sum up what has happened since then.
Wishing you good health and happiness wherever this missive finds you.
Ta ta for now.
PS. If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it on.
PPS. We had some rain, but still need more. I have planted a LOT of seeds.