2020: One of the best years ever.

This has got to be one of the best years ever; thanks to the virus Covid19 and the social lockdown it caused in most countries.

It’s still November so perhaps it is a little bit early to be writing a retrospective of the year behind us but I don’t think much is going to change in the final month that is left.

This year started fairly normally and then in March we went into a national lockdown due to fears around the new Covid19 virus. And suddenly the world around us became beautiful. It became silent. Noises that I was barely aware of disappeared. I awoke to silence. Real, deep silence. No cars. No cars on the roads, no cars streaming into town in the morning or out of town in the evening, no cars clogging up the roads throughout the day. Thank GOD. Bliss.

Into these suddenly silent streets, amidst the ridiculously overly-feaful people ducking into their elbows as joggers passed by down the middle of the newly empty roads, came whole entire families on bicyles, like newly hatched ducklings; father in front then mother then childrens, all in a line or spread out because they could: no cars :-). This is what moving around our cities should be like.

The air became clearer. Views became crisper. We walked on hills above Bristol and stared in awe at never before seen detail in the city so clean was the air. This is what views should be like.

Cycling across the downs into the silent town full of useless shops that no one really needs anyway the air felt uncharacteristically clean and a pleasure to breathe in, deeply in, filling one’s lungs with it. This is what air should be like.

As if in response, the weather beamed down on us. Sun, sun and more sun. The plants on the allotment soaked it up. This has got to be one of the best years ever for the crops on the allotment. I can’t believe how well things have grown; the black radishes, the yacon, the hablitza, the peremmial kale, the french beans, the beetroot, the list goes on and on. Days spent lazing around on the plot, sunbathing, drinking home-made ginger beer, learning how to cook over an open fire, watching the onions get bigger by the day, what a fantastic summer. This is what allotmenting should be like.

Feeling a bit sad now that the days are shorter. Made worse by the ridiculous change to BST. Surely we need more daylight in the evenings not less, so we can do something after being in all day at work. BST in the winter and then BST+ in the summer, to maximise evening daylight hours for socialising, having fires and BBQ’s, eating and drinking with friends. But alas we are stuck with the current backwards system we have sadly.

And now, there is a rush hour once again in the mornings and a rush hour in once again in the evenings, the road across the downs is nose-to-tail cars in the morning and noes-to-tail cars in the evening. No sign of lockdown now sadly. The world seems to be returning to normal.No newly hatched families with wobbly children on bicycles filling up the roadspace now reserved for the roaring motorcars.

Goodbye lockdown of 2020. You were fab while you lasted. You made the world a better, nicer, cleaner, quieter and more enjoyable place. I hope people remember the lessons you taught. Perhaps we can recronstruct a world without cars, without noise, without all the unnecessary shops and jobs and toil that really, we don’t really need at all and allow the world of calmness, silence and nature that is there waiting for us to re-emerge once again.

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