staying safe

Yesterday I wrote about the experience of travelling on public transport during the pandemic and about how inconvenient it is to wear a face mask.

Of course any rational human can listen to the arguments and understand how important face masks are, both for our own protection and for the protection of others. And, when I travelled last weekend, most people seemed to have accepted the official advice and be abiding by the recommendations.
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being reasonable

I don’t think that I’d really realised how Anglo-centric the UK news is until the recent lockdown. All the reports about recommendation, rules and regulations that I’ve seen are based on the law in England. But I have family in Wales and the rules there are rather different. For example, while here in England the once-a-day limit for exercise outside your home is merely a recommendation, in Wales it has actually been the law for some weeks.

Or has it? I’ve read the guidance on leaving home to exercise published by the Welsh government and although Regulation 8 section 2b says one of the reasonable excuses to leave home is “to take exercise, no more than once a day”, the guidance immediately continues “(or more frequently if this is needed because of a particular health condition or disability)”.

So you must only go out once a day, unless you need to go out more than once a day.
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spaced out

Whether you think of it as a habit or a hobby, queuing is often seen as quintessentially British. And now, with social distancing a must, long lines of people waiting patiently have become a common sight outside the few essential shops that are still open.

Not only are such shops limiting the number of customers allowed in at one time, they’re also insisting customers shop singly. Which means that partners and housemates hang around the shop entrance alongside security guards, supermarket bouncers and trolley fetchers in disorderly groups that contrast greatly with the orderly, wide-gapped queues.
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in the current circumstances

It’s been a long time since I wrote any poetry. But, despite the lack of inspiration, and the fact that it’s probably the longest “dry” spell I can remember, I don’t think I’d really thought I was suffering from writer’s block, nor was I particularly worried that the muse would never come back. It was just a question of waiting.

In the meantime, I’ve written some prose and a lot of articles and copy for clients and for my business. I’ve been working with some other writers on their books and have just brought out a new book for business professionals who want to become authors.

Still, though, there was no poetry.
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tangentially topical

The new General Data Protection Regulation came into force in the EU yesterday and the topic of security – albeit cyber security – has been in most people’s minds, which makes the photo at least slightly apposite.

The poem – written in Spain seven or eight years ago – is a repost, but it’s the best fit for the photograph – taken recently in England:

Camaraderie

In the greystone shadow
of the old jail, three men share
smokes and anecdotes. Two
wear drab and polished black,
the third raises his cigarette
between cupped hands.
Metal glints at his wrists.