There are certainly less people about in our little town than there usually are - places to park in the Market Square, fewer folk in the shops and cafes; but it is not an especially pleasant day so who knows or can guess the reason? Whole News bulletins are now taken up by the Coronavirus as though nothing else of importance is happening in the world.
It is therefore pleasant to step outside the front door and find that the rooks are nesting, the tete a tete daffodils are bursting into flower and some of the trees around the estate have big buds waiting to open. And slowly the temperature rises - ten degrees when I drove down to the hairdresser at mid day today (perm, that is why the day and time have changed).
Putting on my trousers this morning I somehow twisted my hip on my bad leg (ankle) so that I am walking with even more difficulty today and can only go at snail's pace with my stick - but I am determined to keep going. The idea of giving up driving and being unable to go out because of lack of mobility does not appeal to me one little bit. Certainly for tomorrow at least I shall go out with my friends for lunch, making sure that I don't go too near anyone else and also making sure that when I reach to top of the stairs I go straight into the Ladies and wash my hands because I can't climb the stairs without holding on to the handrails.
Looking round the shops and cafes in our town this morning I couldn't help wondering just how many of them will survive this year. Most of them rely heavily on tourism - walkers to The Dales, families who rent the holiday cottages and - probably more importantly - the coach loads of tourists who just stop for an hour on a tour of the area - just long enough for a coffee in one of the cafes and a mooch round the gift shops - some of which are very good indeed. I suspect that this year the life of many of these shops hangs by a thread.