Tuesday 11 May

This is Mental Health Awareness Week. I am not sure that it has had the publicity it deserves. What is undoubtedly clear is that the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions, economic uncertainty, dire statistics, endless reports of doom and gloom, keep your distance, wear a mask etc etc have taken a terrible toll. In many cases invisible. I do so hope that psychiatric nurses will receive the same level of praise as frontline Covid nurses. They are all doing a tremendous job, but some with greater kudos than others.

I am reading “The Salt Path”, which is the story of a couple who became homeless, and he received the diagnosis of a terminal illness, but they decided to put a few possessions in a backpack, and walk the South West Coastal path, 630 miles, wild camping all the way. It is a harrowing account of contending with wind and weather, always wet, always hungry, dependent in many cases on handouts, sleeping on the beach, in the corners of fields, but at the same time, it is so positive, feeling at one with the land, the sea, the wind. And I have walked quite a bit of the path myself and I so love the descriptions of Porthcurno, the Botallack ruined tin mines, the Lizard peninsula. I feel as if I were there.

I received the most wonderful present today. A very kind friend has taken the time to download every single blog entry on to a Word document, collated it, and sent the entire oeuvre on a USB stick to me. The YouTube links do not appear, I guess for copyright reasons, but the photos and everything………..I am utterly transfixed with delight. I can now re-read whichever bit I like without scrolling backwards from today. It is now virtually publication ready ho ho. Who would ever have thought that I would still be writing a lockdown blog more than a year since such a word was coined? But it is coming to an end, just like lockdown itself.

Mark Harmer plays Carolan’s Farewell to Music: a recording made at a concert I attended. A wonderful evening.

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