Like most people faced with this situation, the ten of us stuck on our boats here are quite an enterprising lot. Some of the girls got together on the pontoons for a pilates class morning that Ardon had offered to run. Before anyone shouts, I was on gendarme lookout 😊 Seriously though, they kept their distance from each other and it’s logically the same as people exercising in their back gardens. The first class was a great success and they will be repeating it on a daily basis.
|Pilates class. The boats in view probably won’t even be visited this year ☹|
I may have said before that we have split into two families as it is impossible to keep two metres apart when moored next to another boat. We are a ‘family’ with Nikki & Gorette, while Guy & Ardon, Sid & Jan and Bill & Jane form the other ‘family’ at the other end of the port.
|The three boats of the 'other family'|
Cycling is no longer allowed as a form of exercise, but keyworkers are allowed to use bikes to get to work.
|Bill keeping his distance from our family before the cycling ban was enforced|
|Guy and Sid in DIY mode|
Initially there was some confusion as to whether or not couples were allowed to be out together. We had erred on the side of caution and Karen and I were going out separately with Buddy. It has now been confirmed that if they live together then a couple can go out together but limited to one trip a day of no longer than an hour and no further than a kilometre from home.
When the parks and other open spaces were first closed off to the public, some people ignored the warning signs that were posted on trees etc. During this last week, barricades have been put up around these places and only the odd ‘invincible’ person is now seen in them.
|An intruder in the centre of the picture who obviously thinks he's invincible|
|One of the original warning signs now worded to reflect a ban rather than a request to keep out|
|Off for our last walk in a park for a few weeks|
|One of the barricades|
We had noticed there were still piles of barriers left in the park so one evening we took some and erected a further barricade thus providing a safe area between the two barricades, where Buddy and Bailey can roam without escaping onto a road. It will also make a nice shady area under the horse chestnut trees once it gets too hot in the early summer.
|Gorette and me purloining a couple of barriers|
|Putting the finishing touches to our own barrier|
One thing we regret is not getting our summer plants and stocking up on compost before the shops closed down. Luckily Karen had some seeds left over from last year so she has potted them up in used yogurt pots and hopefully they will germinate soon. In the meantime, our roof garden is a little bereft and the spring flowers won’t be lasting much longer:
With the enforced no-cruising regime we have taken advantage of the laundry facilities in the port and have washed our lines and the rope fenders and also the coverings to the dinette cushioning.
Considering the situation much of the world is in we consider ourselves very fortunate and can sit at our table watching the herons on their nests and a kingfisher that often perches on a tree next to the boat. We haven’t been lucky enough to see it dive for a fish yet, but we often see the cormorants surfacing with fish that look too large for them to swallow. The Canada geese are now starting to build their nests and, with no people around, some are building them in areas that they would normally steer clear of. I suspect that the goslings will be hatched by the time people are allowed back into the parks and open areas.
We did think that the one-kilometre restriction in movement would mean we wouldn’t see many butterflies but, so far, we have seen 11 different species around here this year including our first Orange Tip and Speckled Woods on Friday. To finish this week's update here are a couple of the butterflies we saw this week:
|Male Holly Blue|
|Male Orange Tip|