Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 18 // UK Lockdown: Day 6 // Allotment Journal: Day 3
9 degrees // Sunny intervals and a fresh breeze
All 4 beds are now back in action, after digging and tilling.
Sarah constructs an arch for sweet peas while I plant out the white (snowball) onion sets in bed 1
I plant early potatoes (red duke of york), that Sarah's mum has chitted at home for us into bed 2, with a few leftovers which I plant into bed 4 alongside the strawberry plants.
Bed 4 was the most overgrown of all 4 beds, probably as it's the most fertile. We grew peas there last year, and an allotment neighbour gifted us some strawberry plants, which we planted next to the peas. When I dug up clumps of grass from bed 4, I only lost 2 strawberry plants in the process, so I guess I managed to preserve most of them... [tumbleweed].
A bitterly cold wind blows across the plot today. We don't stay long for fear of offending the gods with my dad jokes.
As of 9am 29 March, a total of 127,737 have been tested: 108,215 negative. 19,522 positive.
As of 5pm on 28 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 1,228 have sadly died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 17 // UK Lockdown: Day 5 // Allotment Journal: Day 2
13 degrees // Sunny and a fresh breeze
I lock the gate and take a few steps into the allotment, before I even reach our plot, a sense of peacefulness pervades. I am calm. I am calmed.
We returned to the allotment for the first time last week. We had neglected it this winter. A combination of work and family commitments meant that it wasn't our top priority.
We had always intended to return in the spring, to start where we had left off last autumn. Nature has its own way, and obviously when we returned, the beds we prepared last summer were now quite overgrown. Not as badly overgrown as when we took over the plot last summer, where an industrial strimmer was required to cull 5 ft high grass, but overgrown nonetheless.
Now we are in the coronavirus lockdown, the allotment has become more of a lifeline than ever, in more than one way; as a means to maintain our physical and mental health, and ultimately to provide us with food.
The plot isn't purely functional though, there is an aesthetic element too. We plan to grow sweet peas, sunflowers, peonies and other flowers that we can cut and bring home to decorate the house.
The clocks spring forward this weekend, which means lighter nights, so after a day's work I will be able to tend to the plot in the longer evenings.
I sit awhile in the shade and compose a text to Pete, my son-in-law. He is doing a sterling job of caring for my eldest daughter Lucia, and their newborn baby Hudson, and I want to thank him. This is really a time when we should all be pitching in and helping their new little family, but the coronavirus lockdown prevents us from visiting. It's hard not to be able to help, let alone being unable to hug your daughter or cuddle your new grandson.
As I dig over the first bed I stop for a moment to feel the warmth of the sun on my face. A robin flies down and lands a mere 2 feet from me. I remain quite still, as he plucks up a worm I had partially unearthed in my digging. He swallows it and flies away. A beautiful moment in nature.
Nature is humbling. I am grateful that the birds, bees, squirrels, insects and the ginger cat that pays us a visit, are so accommodating. I am happy they are sharing their space with us.
I am grateful for many things right now; my good health, the love of my family and friends, and in this difficult time I am grateful for this little plot of land.
Later in the day I stumble upon a Morel growing in an unlikely place. I put some protection around it while I check with some forager friends online, to be certain it is a Morel. I am pleased to have it confirmed. It’s my lucky day!
As of 9am 28 March, a total of 120,776 have been tested: 103,687 negative. 17,089 positive.
As of 5pm on 27 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 1,019 have sadly died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 16 // UK Lockdown: Day 4
Simple Pleasures Pt.2
First coffee of the day. Sitting outside. The quiet. Clear sky and warm sunshine.
As of 9am 27 March, a total of 113,777 have been tested: 99,198 negative. 14,579 positive.
As of 5pm on 26 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 759 have sadly died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 15 // UK Lockdown: Day 3
When I launched my new website in January of this year, it was in an effort to collate, archive and curate 10 years of photography, filmmaking & my creative practice. I'm not prolific with my output, but I was surprised by how much I've created these last few years.
I also started a journal when I launched the new site. I want a written record of what's happening on a day to day basis, or at the very least on a fairly regular basis, and I was also looking for somewhere I could post my own musings away from the cacophonous noise of social media.
Little did I know back in January that this journal would turn out to be a daily coronavirus chronicle as people around the world die and (almost) every country, in turn, goes into lockdown, to stop the spread of the virus and, in the UK, ease the burden on our amazing NHS.
We're only on day 3 of the UK lockdown, but already I am beginning to appreciate the simple pleasures of life just a little bit more than before.
Today we enjoy freshly baked bread, made by my stepdaughter. It's delicious.
487,000 people infected globally.
Confirmed deaths as a result of the virus has now surpassed 22,000.
Source: Financial Times.
As of 9am 26 March, a total of 104,866 have been tested in the UK: 93,208 negative. 11,658 positive.
As of 5pm on 25 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 578 have sadly died.
Source: Department of Health & Social Care.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 14 // UK Lockdown: Day 2
Give Bees A Chance
Pollenize collected their beehive last night, from our doorstep. We waved to each other through the window. The decorated apiary is a Sarah Smalldon X Polenize Plymouth collaboration. The beehive is destined for the roof of the Theatre Royal - Plymouth, but as the theatre is now closed, I'm not sure where this apiary will live for the time being, but the bees are on their way, so need a home!
If you'd like to see it in all it's multi-coloured glory, you can see more photos on my portfolio.
In other news, we benefited from a random act of kindness at lunchtime today. Our brother-in-law ordered us some cakes from a local baker and had them delivered to our doorstep. A delicious treat! Thank you, Dan.
As of 9am on 25 March, a total of 97,019 have been tested: 87,490 negative. 9,529 positive.
463 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have sadly died.
Please note these figures do not cover a full 24 hour period.
Source: Department of Health & Social Care.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 13 // UK Lockdown: Day 1
My one daily exercise routine; walking me and the dogs.
We see a police car driving through Central Park, enforcing the UK lockdown.
We see more people in the park tonight than I think we’ve ever seen, but they keep their distance, thankfully.
As of 9am on 24 March, a total of 90,436 have been tested: 82,359 negative. 8,077 positive.
As of 1pm, 422 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have sadly died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 12
The highlight of the day is taking these two chumps to Central Park to chase a ball. Sometimes they let me have it back.
The government has increased restrictions on movement tonight. It’s a lockdown. They’re closing non essential shops, banning weddings etc, from tonight we can only:
1. Leave the house for basic necessities.
2. Leave the house for one form of exercise a day.
3. Leave for any medical need.
4. Travel to and from work, but only if completely necessary.
As of 9am on 23 March, a total of 83,945 have been tested: 77,295 negative. 6,650 positive.
As of 1pm, 335 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have sadly died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 11 // Allotment Journal: Day 1
Back To The Land
I took a couple of pairs of disposable surgical gloves which I wear to unlock the allotment padlock, and use a fresh pair to lock the padlock on the way out, and dispose of the gloves in a bin.
We observed social distancing guidelines. We stick to our plot. See maybe 3 others, but just wave from a safe distance.
I live in hope that everyone respects the social distancing guidelines. The amount of people out and about in groups this weekend, in parks and at the beach, is utterly bonkers!
All I can think of right now is this quote: To Plant A Garden Is To Believe In Tomorrow ~ Audrey Hepburn.
As of 9am on 22 March, a total of 78,340 have been tested: 72,657 negative. 5,683 positive.
281 patients who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 10
World Poetry Day
To celebrate world poetry day I have written a self-isolation inspired haiku poem in praise of books
With Just Books For Company
Is Heaven On Earth
As of 9am on 21 March, a total of 72,818 have been tested: 67,800 negative. 5,018 positive.
As of 9am, 233 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have sadly died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 9
The first day of spring. I am excited by the arrival of spring and the prospect of the new growing season. I will visit the allotment this weekend. The council has advised that we can only have a maximum of 2 people on a plot at any one time. If the weather holds we will be working the plot a lot this weekend.
UK cases increase to 3269, and 144 patients are confirmed to have died.
15,000 doctors invited to return to NHS frontline to fight coronavirus.
Cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK have been told to close tonight and not to reopen until further notice.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 7
Support Your Local Shaper
Tom of Ding-Go Starr Surfboard Ding Repairs, picks up the longboard from the front step [observing social distancing]. Get those dings gone!
UK cases increase to 2626, and 103 UK patients are confirmed to have died.
Royal Cornwall Hospital, Cornwall // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 6
I introduce to you; baby Hudson Peter Jason Tuckley, my grandson. Born this morning & weighing in at 6lb.
No visitors allowed at the hospital.
UK cases increase to 1543, and 55 UK patients are confirmed to have died.
Plymouth, Devon // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 5
A few hours after our walk in the park the government advise social distancing and advise against "non-essential" travel and contact with others, as well as suggesting people should avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, and work from home if possible.
UK cases increase to 1391, and 35 UK patients are confirmed to have died.
Par, Cornwall // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 3
Bringing It All Back home
After 3 days in hospital, we are taking her home. The smirk belies her physical weakness right now. We are worried about her.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rose to 1,140 and the total number of people who had died in the UK had increased to 21.
Worldwide // Coronavirus Chronicles: Day 1
WHO announces COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
As of this morning, there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases and there have been almost 1000 deaths in Europe.
WHO’s Dr Kluge stated that the number of cases is expected to increase further. He urged countries to continue to implement a containment strategy while accelerating their efforts to control the disease. Swift action is essential and each day can make a difference.
The total of cases in the UK was reported to be 590
Art is often the answer, but not with coronavirus. What’s needed is a vaccine. Here is some Art in the meantime... David Austen at The Dundee Contemporary from 2019.
Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall, UK.
I Would Walk 500 (and 72) Miles For You
After travelling 572 miles, I got to the hospital just in time to see my youngest daughter go into theatre. She has sepsis from an appendix operation last week. Scary times.
Crieff, Scotland, UK.
Scotland trip is brought to a premature and abrupt end due to the escalating corona virus (covid-19). Time to go home.
Plymouth, Devon, UK.
Home in time (to watch a seal eat a fish) for tea.
Leeds, Yorkshire, UK.
Work hard, play not quite so hard.
London, Paddington, UK
Meeting in the big smoke today
The Wave, Bristol, UK
On The Crest Of A Wave
Lefts & Rights
Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland.
Luck Of The Irish
Let the Guinness flow...
Plymouth, Devon, UK.
Half way to spring!
Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, Devon, UK
Always meet you heroes!
I’ll be forever grateful for the free print and a hug from the great man himself, Anthony Burrill.
Par Beach, Cornwall, UK.
A walk on the beach
Central Park, Plymouth, Devon, UK.
A stunning start to the day, sunshine and warmth...
The Bird, Bath, Somerset, UK.
Smells Like Team Spirit
I am truly blessed to work with such an amazing team
Marjon University, Plymouth, Devon, UK.
Drawing On The Walls
Sarah’s incredible murals at Marjon University. You can see more photos on my portfolio.
Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK.
Headed east along the south coast today. The paipo stayed in the boot of the car.
Dartmoor, Devon, UK.
It’s a pea-souper on Dartmoor today
Whitsand Bay, Cornwall, UK.
Sliding into 2020...