Batten down the hatches relates to preparation of pending difficulty or crisis. The crew would close all the ‘hatches’ on the ships decks and use lengths of batten (rods) to secure the hatches in the closed position. A crisis such as the Spanish flu caused this in the past and now the coronavirus must be controlled too.

We are allowed a walk. Luckily I am in a countryside area so it is rare to pass others on a walk but certainly it does occur in towns and streets. But a distance can easily be kept. Thank you to all who follow the orders and a reminder to those who don’t. I have been approached three times too closely, perhaps their sight is poor, hearing limited, or well I feel it is good to have the police now protecting the situation. And the military too.

I was delighted to be chatted to by small children on my sunny walk. At the correct distance clearly held by them and their Mum, the little girl was delighted to show me her holiday shorts in the sunshine, and the little boy a daffodil.

The sunshine has brightened everyone’s days I hope. As we are in a difficult time and ‘under orders’ now as so many folk cannot go to work, and need time off for children who can’t go to school. The self-employed are in a difficult time, yet there is now simple and clear advice, I feel, with ‘Universal Credit’ online.

I feel Boris Johnson and parliament are doing a great job, they are a step ahead of us with advice and rules for protection. We are now under orders, yet certainly a shame that Boris and his group were hit by the virus, yet the knowledge re that publicly shows us how close it can be.

Communicating has become distant physically yet we have the computer systems via facebook, e mails, internet etc, that cover so much connected for medication, advice, reports, feedback, instructions, and more. A lot of folk can work at home yet it may be difficult for some. And a simple telephone call yet wave out of your window is very neighbourly. Neighbours, yes we are opening up to assist and watch for any help needed.

Contacts in Greece and Italy advise all to ‘stay home’. They are under written orders and need written permission to leave home for one shop per week.

It is wonderful to hear the nursing homes I am in touch with have not suffered with the virus. Well done all staff! Myself, well, spring cleaning is going well; four rooms so far. Amazing weather this March, for washed curtains to dry outside on the line. I am using half the normal dose of soap powder and softener to save pennies for possible urgently needed goods financially.

The goods I shop for are available, you have to obey the rules, but personally I haven’t been without anything looked for. Particularly vegetables, fruit, eggs and bread as healthy options for Vitamin C carbohydrates and protein particularly. Yes, the apple a day option continues. And all shop staff deserve a ‘thank you’ as new rules of entry and basket cleaning is wonderful.

So I better finish as more cleaning to do. My Doctor will be phoning me, Universal credit are phoning me, and ah, there’s the postman, with letters I am also expecting.

Bye for now, batten down the hatches, and stay safe.

Linda Price, Fyfield