London Life
2020-11-03 09:30:59 (UTC)

The New Lockdown

Sunday 1st November 2020

The announcement was further delayed, but as expected, starting from Thursday England is going into a four-week lockdown, which could have been shorter if the Government had acted when the scientists recommended it towards the end of September, or when the Labour Party pushed for it three weeks ago. I spent the rest of the evening catching up on the Top 100.

On Sunday morning I was walking with Jack to St Pancras when I realised I had to hurry to get to Southwark 30 minutes earlier than planned, to meet the Mayor. It was a quick ride through Smithfield and Bank, and the task was easy to find along Tooley Street. It was more bulb-planting, and I was a bit worried when I saw that we had to use trowels, but the ground was soft and it was easy to dig holes – whereas Sam L preferred to dig a long trench. We were asked to plant the bulbs in specific circles around particular trees. The Mayor wore chains from the pre-1965 Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey. I didn’t know any of the other girls – one of them, Emma, was very posh.

I had a couple of hours spare before my next task at Parkview, and decided I did have time to get to Glasshouse as well – I noticed Ceiling was doing both. I was the first to arrive, but gradually Sam, Ceiling, Becs, Alex D and other turned up. This was the one I’d been to with Jack, when he tried to use an online map and sent us the wrong side of the main road. Catherine, the organiser was with her hyper-active son Liam, as before. Seems this was going to be yet another bulb-planting task, but the bulbs hadn’t arrived, so we were assigned some ad-hoc tasks.

I offered to shovel soil mulch into buckets, and was disappointed to find this was in a fenced-off garden on my own. But when I carried the soil to its destination, I joined Ivy and Julia in re-planting tiny oak trees. Afterwards I cycled with Ceiling to Parkview, another task I’d been to with Jack, one of the first we did after the original lockdown.

Ceiling and me were sent to a square in the middle of the estate, planting bulbs again. We were asked to plant around the edge, and I didn’t think we’d get much done, using spades, but though digging initially felt difficult, because we were trying to dig out squares of turf, we worked out that by standing on the spade and wiggling about, we could get an edge in, fold over the grass, then it was easy to dig a bit more.

Gradually Becky, Jo and a couple of others came to help, and we managed to do the whole perimeter. It was quite a long walk to take the tools back, which gave me a chance for a good chat with another Becky. I knew the back-street way to Victoria Park, cycled home along the canal, looked at some sexy pictures, had a bath and listened to the Amazing Chart.