Lockdown Blog 30: Sunrise prose

This morning I awoke at about 5am, with a stiff neck, and a slice of lovely blue light coming through a chink in the curtains. Rather than try to get back to sleep, I thought I’d seize the day. So I got up silently, got dressed (in a manner of speaking), and set off for a solo walk at 5.30am. Ellie’s family house is close to a wood, so my walk took me up through some fields, where sunset was just getting going in earnest, and then left along the hedgerow, down a hill and into the wood. As I approached the wood I spotted three deer. They clearly saw me too; they froze for a few seconds staring at me, and then bounded off deeper into the wood. I managed to get a snap of one of them jumping across the track — but sadly couldn’t get any closer. 

When I was nearly back at the house I stopped a little bit longer to watch the sunlight spread down into the valley, covering a further field every minute or so. This was very beautiful, and I felt like I could even have got sunburn standing there (before the dew had yet melted). 

It’s a noteworthy start in that I barely ever arise that early (only for an early flight on tour). And so it was a special start to what has been a lovely day. We’ve been working on recording some material remotely — a project which is developing really nicely. I’m also planning a Thai meal which I’ve offered to cook for the household on Thursday; it’s one of my favourite cuisines to cook, and I want to be inventive with what I do this time round. 

Elements of lockdown are starting to wear thin. I miss professionally-made coffees, I miss some of my favourite restaurants, I miss chatting with my friends (in person), the novelty of Zoom is starting to fade slightly, socially-distanced shopping experiences are losing their frisson of weirdness, and I miss singing in an ensemble. Choirs of one kind or another have been a more or less constant feature of my life since a very young age and I’m really remembering why that is, now that it’s illegal. 

But any amount of hypothesising, speculating, betting, guessing, best-case-ing, doomsaying and armchair estimating isn’t bringing any of the joy that these things once did. ‘They say…’ can’t replace the perfect espresso. ‘I saw in the paper…’ doesn’t make phone conversations any more satisfactory. ‘They’re saying that…’ cannot replace the ringing chords at the end of a folksong. Who is the ‘they’ anyway?

Some photos:

Sunrise just getting going


Can you spot the flying deer?


The magical forest in the morning light


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