12 April 2020. One of the great celebration days has passed by very quietly. Much the same routine as every day at the moment. Breakfast, read, elevenses, snooze, lunch, colouring book, think about constructive things that could be done, read, tea, long dog walk, gin, dinner, discuss the day, furtive flitting through the graveyard with the dog and so to bed.
We watched a short service of Holy Communion by our vicar in Faringdon. And enjoyed the choir of Wells Cathedral all singing via zoom – a great performance. Tried to avoid Twitter or news for today. But the news is not good. The number of dead in the UK now exceeds 10,000. It all still seems very remote but we are hearing of more people that we know who are suffering. Mercifully no more deaths. But one family where there is a lead nurse in the house all have it. All were tested, but complained how long the tests took to administer and then to get the results: five days while a key worker from the JR had to stay in quarantine. Annoyed that Addenbrooke’s can manage the same thing in three hours (allegedly).
Another friend busily sewing scrubs for hospital workers in the Midlands. And a long chat with the security man at school. He was phoned by his brother-in-law in Wales asking whether to get the police: four families had arrived from Birmingham, broken down the gate to his house and set up tents in the garden. Police duly sent for.
Easter sunrise service on Folly Hill has always been a favourite. A quiet walk through the sleeping streets in the soft air. Dawn gradually breaking around us. Slowly more people come into site, all heading for the paths up the hill. We have done this by moonlight and comet-light, and when a bus was burning on the roundabout on the A420. Nothing today. Or so we thought, until a friend sent her photos of a glorious sunrise, with herself and her two children standing vigil with candles alone on the hill.
This is my personal Mass Observation blog. I invite anyone, particularly members of Radley College community, to join in to create a group record of this important period in our history as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.
© Clare Sargent