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Permitted Exercise (3) - It Takes All Sorts

I went out early, just after 7 a.m., for a walk of roughly 3 miles/5 km, not expecting to see many people.  And whilst it wasn't busy, it certainly wasn't quiet...

I turn right from the gate, and across the road, is somone, similarly clad in coat, hat and gloves, striding the other way.  We wave and smile.

I start up the hill, towards the Secondary School, and approaching me, in a high-viz hjacket is someone who won't step left or right, so I move into the road.  They issue a repost, 'A've no go the virus...'  Good, I think, and stride onwards, wondering if they don't understand.

Outside the convenience shop, two young adults wheel a cage of supplies towards the door.  I hang back, giving them room.  'Morning' they say cherrily.  'Thank you for being open' I reply. We all smile.

At the traffic lights I turn right, spotting a lycra clad jogger ahead of me.  We execute a balletic pas-de-deux; they thank me, we smile and go on our way.

I pass the play park, the primary school, and notice the streets start to fill up with dog-walkers, people buying their daily paper or going to work.  We nod, and negotiate the distancing as if carefully choreographed in advance.

I duck through a couple of side-streets, having paused to photograph some beautiful jib-cranes (it takes all sorts!)

Back on the main road, and I see two people chatting outside a convenience shop, clearly not from the same household, and clearly not two metres apart.  As I step into the road to pass them, they spot an approaching police car and step apart on the pavement. I chuckle to myself.

Another right turn, and I pass the retail park.  Ahead of me I glimspe the familiar form of one of the supermarket check out staff, heading in to work.  I glance across and see the queue of early shoppers waitng to go in.  I give thanks for those who keep us fed at this time.

I near the bus shelter and a person meanders down the centre of the pavement, eyes fixed on a phone, tapping with thier thumbs.  They don't even notice as I step into the road.

Almost home and I see a neighbour in a bright floral coat.  We stand in the road, a large gap between us (more like 3m than 2m!) and catch up, before they head to the shops.

I pass through the back gate, cross the car park, in the back door and up the stairs.  At my own front door, I doff gloves, hat, coat, shoes; I wash my keys, wipe my phone and head to the shower.

I have seen all sorts of people, handling this strange situation in all sort of ways.

I am blessed to be permitted to go out for a walk. 

I will pas-de-deux; I will smile and nod; I will breath in clean air; I will be grateful... and I will try to be gracious to those whose reponse I don't understand.


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