Life and death in a time of plague.

Our UKIP voting neighbours now keep their St George’s cross flag on display at all times; hanging down the front of the house from the upstairs window, waiting for the 6 Nations to recommence. Throughout “lockdown” it has been impossible not to think of the red crosses painted as a warning on the front doors of plague victims in the good old days.

Since the “easing’ of “lockdown” a sign of frantic commercial activity has been the reappearance of the local ice cream van – which now comes round with relentless regularity playing its tinkly alpine tune which is redolent of happy Nazis in lederhosen yodelling at Berchtesgarden. Given the prospect of a second spike, the death march might be more appropriate.

The traffic is coming back. Noisy, smelly, polluting, moving too fast, making everything even more edgy. A lot of drivers wearing masks, staring urgently. Honking horns are just too loud, expressing fear thats bottled up.

There has been a double murder in our local park. A secluded place that feels like the countryside once you’re in it. A place people would escape to for peace and quiet and to help their children feed the horses, watch a heron flap slowly up from a pond, take in the view and breathe. A place full of memories of moments of reprieve – now overlaid by crime tape, a photo of two forensic tents, photos of the two dead women stabbed at midnight, bunches of flowers mourning both them and everyone’s loss of a sense of safety.

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