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Twenty seven days.

Lecce castle oil painting

If you’ve been under the hammer lockdown for about two weeks now, you are probably feeling pretty kak about the whole idea. It’s the point where the novelty wears off. It has been a bit like going into a tunnel with dark glasses on. But now your eyes are beginning to adapt to the dark, enough to see the gloomy mess of crashed plans. But you still can’t see the light at the end.

Here is an excerpt from my 2018 BIKE RIDE diary…

“The tunnel was unexpected, a frightful 88 meters of velvet darkness and glaring headlights.

Suddenly I was in it, together with the enormous noise of unseen motor vehicles.

My dark glasses rendered me instantly blind, I squealed like a bat out of hell as my feet flipped off the pedals and floundered around. The echoing boom of truck engines roared ever closer, louder and louder until my bones rattled!

A pinpoint of solid light appeared ahead. The bright spot steadily grew and grew, until I shot out into the peaceful green and blue of a sunny spacious heaven. Laughing with relief and promises to never ride into a tunnel like that again”.

To tell you the truth, I did ride into tunnels again. With terrible trepidation and anxiety. I also rode over very beautiful high mountain passes to avoid tunnels. My bike trip, a 4200 kilometer journey in two months, was quite similar to being in lockdown. That sounds strange, but the principles are the same. One is forced to organize your days with brutal determination and you learn to put up with your very own glum personality.

After 27 days in strict lockdown, we have settled into simple routine. Simon has meetings with his colleagues online. We make a miraculous lunch on the terrace, with no shortage of bread and wine. The neighbourhood gardener did not pitch up to clean the weeds yesterday. At 18:00 every evening the speakers blast us with the National Anthem. We wait for the daily press at 18:30 where the coronavirus stats are presented. Our Marino numbers are now at 27 sick and 3 dead. We watch all the news channels, and see all the drama going on around the world. All the shocking strumpf.

Good news is Italy seems to have peaked. But where there are peaks, there are also dark tunnels.

(oil painting owned by Hilde – Lecce Castello)

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1 week in lockdown

watercolour illustration - cyclamens

Tuesday today, so we’ve been in lockdown for only 1 week. It feels like a month! But we do have plenty of food and supplies thanks to Simon’s hunting skills. I would recommend all husbands bring home your meat and pack the freezer. Because the wives don’t want to stand in a miserable queue for meat.

The situation in Lombardy is not good. Anyone over the age of 60 will not get a respirator.
The morgues are overflowing and no funerals are allowed. Nobody can go into the old age homes to say goodbye to their dying parents, aunties and uncles. This makes me cry so hard.
Be it a warning to you to make every effort to be loving right now before the covid-19 does it’s gruesome damage. And to our precious oldies, be brave and know you are loved, whether the virus comes or not.
Who knows, maybe miracles will happen and it will all be gone soon. HOPE.

Cyclamen painting for you – winter flower fairies.