The Coronavirus Diaries, 9th August 2022, Basking in the Sperrins

I am feeling quite smug sitting in warm sunshine under a tree in the garden, a gentle breeze blowing, and a view of the hills in the distance. I see the temperatures are rising in London again, while here it’s hovering around the mid twenties centigrade for the next few days. Perfect.

I came down on Sunday evening. All bus timetables worked out, but I was collected from the house and travelled in ease and comfort in Cousin’s car. I got a great welcome from the dogs. Dizzy the cat took over my knee, and his fellow feline Smudge, curled up on my bed.


I took the dogs out for a walk before it got too dark. I say walk, but for the first half mile it was more stop and sniff.

Westie Boy was hopeful we’d see Poppy Junior, and sniffed and whined at her gate, but no joy. Poppy was similarly disappointed when there was no sign of her Labrador friend Sam and stared hopefully through the fence for a while. Tom has some very assertive sheep in the field next to my favourite tree who instead of running away as we went by, advanced on the gate to stare at us boldly.

There are young bullocks who all look like entrants to the knobbly knees competition. I’d have awarded first prize to a little white bullock who trotted over to us. I say us, but it was Poppy he wanted to see. What is it about Poppy that bullocks find so intriguing? They cluster up to the gate like eager autograph hunters. Poppy is very relaxed about their attentions, even allowing them to lick her muzzle.

A trip to see Uncle Bill on Friday is coming together. Tomorrow we’ll have a little pilgrimage to Upperlands, and on Thursday I hope to meet Cecilia, the best Airbnb landlady in Ireland, and go for a walk. I did take the dogs out this morning, but Poppy found it too warm, so we turned back after only a short distance. I reckon seven this evening would be a good time to try again. It will still be light, but cooler, the returning workers in their cars should be home and not hurtling along the lane. Maybe even Poppy Junior and Jake will be about.


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