A paramedic with North West Ambulance Service is having a moment of respite from Covid 19 emergencies.
He planned to write ‘Thank You’ on the grey bin we put out for recycling. I had leaned out of a high window and yelled my thanks to the sole refuse collector and driver of the van. Usually, there’s driver and a team of four. Next time, a round of applause for paramedics too.
The stonechat sits in the tree where I found him yesterday. He sits, not singing, not in display flight. The morning is cold and overcast.
‘Freezing,’ says a girl sheltering by a wall with her boyfriend.
A flock of goldfinch is calling in flight, rising and falling like carousel figures, knights on horseback. There’s a gurgling of ravens.
We share tales of encounters with wildlife. And our own stories. I might have passed by a paramedic, front-line in this Pandemic, and only discovered by chance that one of my neighbours is doing this vital work.
Nine colts awaiting castration. One hip replacement equals nine castrations. For the NHS too there’s a stacking-up of procedures that can’t be done because of Covid 19. Non-urgent procedures, but also life-threatening conditions, like cancers which cannot be treated because that would leave the immune system too vulnerable.
Through all this the skylarks sing their hearts out and we hear them better than ever - because the skies and roads are quieter. And because for some of us the soaring song of the skylark symbolises hope.
‘Do you think we’re all getting fitter?’ she asks.
‘I think the fit get fitter. And the rest ----’ I’ve seen lots of runners, slim figures. Athletic bodies come of dedication: they don’t appear overnight.
We’re all wondering how we’ll get our hair cut, now hairdressing salons are closed as inessential. ‘And we’ll show in our true colours,’ a friend says. No change for those of us who don’t dye our hair. And when we’re Staying at Home, what do we wear around the house!
My thanks to Rona Wilson for proof-reading. Much appreciated.