To Get Hay and Supplies

I don’t know what to write really.

Floss and I made the careful considered decision to go into town (Lerwick) to get some essential supplies for both the animals and people. I had phoned first to see what the protocol was and we followed it to the letter.

This is an ingenious way to enforce “social distancing” – bales of wood shavings used for bedding in front of the tills.

After the feed merchant, we went to get hay from our regular supplier.  He was awaiting my arrival and all I did was open the back doors of the van and stand well back while the hay was  loaded for me.  It was all very odd.  Usually we stand and chat but no, we avoided eye contact and drove off.

And lastly to Tesco’s with the shopping list.  We had to queue the required distance and it was all very easy.  One shopper came out and the next shopper went into the store.

A few items had been cleared out – there is no white or brown strong flour for bread-making to be had on these islands but we got the essentials and then went home.  Everyone avoided eye contact.

I found the whole day unsettling in a weird way and I don’t want to go anywhere again unless I have to. Like I said, I don’t know what to write.  Home is the most “normal” place to be and that is our “normal” (so pretty odd in real life!)

16 thoughts on “To Get Hay and Supplies

  1. Sam

    We are all in this strange no-man’s land of social distancing. I have been sewing fabric masks because the Dept. of Children and Families in my state, has none for home visits. I sewed some for a local home health aide to hand out to her elderly clients. And sad to say, I sewed large masks to go over the N95 masks the ambulance drivers have since they are given only 1 per 8 hr shift. I am not a saint, just a person stuck home looking to help in any way she can. Your blog helps. No matter the content. Pictures of your critters help. Thank you.

  2. Mo Hall

    Yes, I feel the same. Its odd – I am making a point of saying hello to the horse riders and walkers that go past the farm where I am working – I always do – particularly for the horse riders as I dont want their horses to startle if I pop up from somewhere unawares. The horse riders are OK but the walkers are silent. We are all scare and if anyone else is like me – they dont want to talk about it! I think most people dont want to burden others with their worries or impose themselves on each other. I am sure psychologically there is a reason but I certainly feel it and its a relief to actually talk to someone.

    1. Frances Post author

      I wave like mad to at anyone I meet driving. 98% wave back frantically and smile, like me and we briefly know we are not alone.

      1. Kerry

        We had a lovely walk as our essential exercise from home. We did the social distancing dance when we met anyone, but without exception all smiled and said something although nobody lingered for a long chat. Drivers waved and we waved back. It is fine to do this, its a small gesture but immensely cheering

  3. Kerry

    Frances – you have written exactly the right thing. Thank you so much for this. The family have been worried about going shopping for essentials. We have done the right thing by not stock piling but with no slots left this month for home delivery or click and collect from Lerwick, shopping in person is the only option. You have reassured me it is safe and civilised to do so

    Stay safe and well.

    And a big thank you to all those key workers from the NHS, to posties and shop assistants who are out there working at this difficult time

  4. Margaret Robinson

    You’re doing fine. Writing about your home life and stuff that happens everyday (normal or not) is interesting and keeps the rest of us as sane as we’re going to get. If you don’t feel like writing something, just don’t. Outside life will be there when you’re ready and it’s not a priority; your family is, but like others have said and I agree “we’re in this together”. Just remember that.

  5. darby callahan

    It is all so surreal. trying to maintain some sort of order in my life. the times we live in so at odds with the gorgeous day outside, not a cloud to be seen, flowers blooming, birds singing, all so normal. tomorrow I will try shopping for necessary food items at the local supermarket when they open and have hours for older folks like myself. Not sure when I can travel to see my beloved ponies as this is discouraged. stay strong

  6. Linda Loba

    I know just what you mean about everything feeling so weird; it’s like being in a Science Fiction movie, isn’t it?
    But since we’re all in this together, the “weirdness” means we’re all doing our part, I think.

  7. Judith Garbutt

    The lack of eye contact is the bit I find weird! When I’m out for my daily exercise I say hello to anyone I pass, or wave if I’m too far away to speak. It’s as if they think catching someone’s eye and smiling will make them more vulnerable. Pleased you got the important provisions!

  8. Sue S.

    A very reassuring post as your experience was my experience today in our small community in California. My trip out for essentials for animals and humans was a very uneasy experience and I won’t go out again until absolutely necessary. May you, your family and animals be well.

  9. Sherry Walter

    Yes it is some strange days. I went to the local feed mill and a sign at the door instructed me to call them with what I needed and they would bring it out so I did and they did. I went to the accountant’s office to pick up my taxes and a sign at the door instructed me to knock loud so I did, they came to the door, took my name and handed me my taxes through the partially opened door. I found it all very unsettling. I too wave wildly at any drivers and for the most part they wave back.

  10. Robyn

    I agree with Judith about the lack of eye contact being weird. Here in our suburb in Sydney there has been increased activity such as walking the dog and walking in general, small families and solo walkers. People are still acknowledging one another with smiles and friendly nods while keeping their distance. Hope you were able to buy your gin Frances! May you and your family stay well and protected from this terrible virus and may everyone else who enjoys your blog stay well too.xx

  11. Kris

    The other day I went for a walk and upon returning and going up the steps I heard a hello. It was a neighbor from up the street who, staying a distance away, introduced herself and offered to get things from the store for me (I’m a senior). I profusely thanked her but said I was fine for now.

    The next day she rang my bell and while standing back handed me a bag that had fish chowder she had gotten from a local seafood store. The owner of the store was making soup and giving it away to local residents. They were accepting donations for the police to purchase face masks. Pretty sad how unprepared this country (USA) is when we are supposedly so wealthy. Sorry, shouldn’t make this political but it angers me to see so many people suffering unnecessarily.

    Frances, your blog is one of the few happy places we can visit. Please take care of yourself and your big family. We need you.

    1. Frances Post author

      You are the kindest. I think it would cost an arm and a leg to post. We will be fine. OH loves a challenge and we have lots of stuff to finish up. Worst case scenario we can all have congee (which I love) and Baozi (Chinese dumplings which Floss makes brilliantly). But a huge thank you for thinking of us. Tis appreciated.

  12. Linda Loba

    (my 2nd comment) We’re getting a lot of friendly eye contact and smiles on the (wide) trail we take walks on with the dog. It really creates a sense of community, and I’m always happy to return the favor!
    I’ve gone only to 2 stores: Safeway and our health food coop. VERY different atmospheres: Safeway was like a morgue – no one talking or returning eye contact. Coop was filled with conversation, smiles, and laughter. Still using distancing, but much different atmosphere.


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