Last November and this November started the same way; heading to the English Lake District with my parents. However, this year in order to facilitate that for a couple of weeks beforehand, I avoided close contact with people and going in cafes and shops. Conveniently I had a covid test as part of a study that I was randomly invited to take part in. I tested negative and therefore could be very sure I was not putting anyone at risk by travelling or my parents by sharing a house with them (as a single adult household becoming a bubble with them).
Next further differences started emerging on the journey to the Lakes when news came in that the prime minister was to give a press conference at 4pm. Subsequently the press conference got delayed until after 6pm. The news was that England was to go into lockdown from Thursday 5th November. This needed to be voted on in parliament on Wednesday 4th to become law. In due course this did become law resulting in the biggest change to our ‘week’ in the Lakes in that it was curtailed by us leaving the Lakes on Thursday 5th November to comply with the new law.
On Monday 1st November we managed to get some light from the situation when we went into Wetherspoons and thought about how absurd we would have thought our trip was a year before. Going into Wetherspoons involved wearing face masks, sanitising hands and table. finding somewhere to sit away from others then drinking pints for 99p! The pints were 99p as Wetherspoons had reduced the cost of real ale to get rid of as much as possible before the lockdown as if not used before the lockdown it would go off during the lockdown and therefore be wasted.
Similarly on all outings from our accommodation we carried masks in case we needed to go in anywhere. on walks I carried hand sanitiser for if gates were touched; going into shops plenty of hand sanitiser available! Where ever we went it was a case of giving people a wide berth; crossing over the road if applicable.
I walked through Keswick centre on the morning of Thursday 5th November before leaving. It was very quiet! The usual Thursday market had been cancelled. The Moot Hall tourist information was closed. The only shops open were Boots, corner shop next to boot, Brysons (although one staff member was stood outside as no customers) and Cornish pastry shop. All the pubs around the square were shut. Some shops has lights on as staff were working in them. Friar chocolate shop were taking down displays from their window. Earlier in the week when purchasing from Friars I got free chill jelly sweets that they were giving to all making purchases because they they would otherwise go out of date during lockdown. On the journey home they turned out to be very spicy but I got used to them once home! It was sad to see the square so dark and empty when used to seeing it so bustling during a working day. I took some photos of the signs on closed shops to remember this unusual day (see post from 5November on Wonderwall360 instragram).