COVID-19 Diary – 24th March 2020 – Neighbours

24/3/20

The kids were able to spend a fair bit of time in the garden today, another irony of the current situation being that the tighter the lockdown restrictions get, the more the weather improves. I’ve never been happier to have a bit of outdoor space. If we were still in our old flat in Brighton, or even our previous house with a tiny yard, keeping the kids (and ourselves) from going stir-crazy would be all the more difficult.

Our street forms three sides of a square, so the gardens and houses are overlooked from almost all directions. This isn’t great for privacy (and lends itself to nosiness), but it does mean that we see a lot of our neighbours, especially in the warmer months. Our neighbours are mainly older couples, with kids having left home or about to do so. We get on better with some of them than others, and the gossip, nosiness and some of the political opinions can be frustrating, but on the whole I think I prefer living in a neighbourhood where we know our neighbours fairly well than one where you might barely see or speak to your neighbours for months on end.

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The impact is on the current situation is to give a sense of normality. As we played outside, people were coming in and out of their houses, hanging up washing, tending to their gardens, close enough to their neighbours to avoid a sense of isolation, whilst still observing those invisible two metre boundaries. At the end of our road is ginnel to the park, so even now there are often people passing by, walking dogs, riding bikes, pushing buggies, or otherwise heading to get their one allowed dose of daily exercise. It helps the lockdown feel less like a lockdown, and if we have to be stuck at home, I’m glad our home is where it is.

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