Social Distancing


We are living in a very strange world at present. Streets are eerily quiet, people are being let into shops one at a time and the majority of shops have closed their doors for who knows how long. Thankfully, we live in an area that is sparsely populated and we can at least go for a walk either in the hills , through woodland or on the beach without seeing more than one or two others.

Today, our self distancing walk took us from St Medan’s beach (above) to Monreith and back along the coastal path. On the whole walk we passed just two other couples – (and kept the statutory two metres apart of course).

We paused for a while on the seat that had inspired my Seat by the Sea poem, written some years ago.


The Seat by the Sea

‘For Frederick who

loved this place.’

 There on the cliff top

a wooden token

left for others

to share the sights

and sounds of the sea.

A little lop-sided,

as you were.

Leaning back,

as you did.

Hands in pockets

admiring the view.

In times like this, when we are deprived of ‘up close and personal’ social interaction, exchanging emails, phone calls, sending messages via Facebook or whatever can help to keep us sane. Poetry comes into its own as, more often than not, it’s a poem that will, to use a Quaker expression, ‘speak to our condition’.

We need to find

A peaceful place –

Where the sea washes sandy shores

Where gulls cry overhead

and wind rustles leaves and grasses


A restful place

Where woodland birds sing

Shy deer slip between trees

and bluebells bow their heads.

Places like this help to keep us sane. We have no idea when life will return to ‘normal’. Will we see life differently after all these changes due to Coronavirus are in the past? I think we probably will and I am optimistic that some good wil come of it all. People will appreciate the natural world more, be less obsessed with shopping – as they will have found out that it is possible, and cheaper too for that matter, not to be constantly buying ‘stuff’. Sadly many businesses will not survive, but life has a habit of sending folk off in unexpected and initially unwanted directions but very often, as we have found, life is – well OK, maybe challenging, but usually better and more interesting as a result.

Whoever is reading this – keep safe, keep well and keep happy!