What are you thinking?

Here we all are, in the middle of something unprecedented. (Don’t worry, I’m not about to start spouting medical advice because I know I’m not a doctor or a scientist.) All of us will be reacting to it and having to make practical arrangements for the changes to life we can’t escape.

For some, like me, who usually work from home and/or have some introvert tendencies to a greater or lesser degree, the not seeing people part isn’t a massive challenge. But there will be other things large and small that we’ll need to adapt to.

I called this piece ‘what are you thinking?’ because I asked myself that – as a way of trying to calmly work out what the Coronavirus crisis means for me (beyond the big scary stuff).

I found myself thinking about my Nan. She brought up four children during World War Two including being pregnant and giving birth of one of them in 1942 – before the NHS even existed. As someone who lived through wartime and post-war rationing, I expect she’d have chuckled that I was also thinking, that if there are ongoing major food shortages; people hoarding stuff; and/or supply chain issues I might not be able to have two eggs for breakfast every day.

I know I’m lucky only to have to ‘worry’ about something so utterly minor – and truthfully I didn’t worry. I just felt sad, because I really love eggs.

Anyway, as I say, this isn’t about the big issues. This is about the small things. I want to focus in particular on the sort of small joys that will get us through this. The distractions and spirit lifting moments that will recharge us and help us stay strong.

I hope you can think of something useful that helps you. I hope you can discover some small joys of your own. In any case, I’ll endeavour to share some of mine with you over the coming weeks and months.

Here’s the first.

Although I could not stop myself from thinking ‘Daffodil Castle’ after I’d taken this picture, the building is not actually a castle. I think of it as ‘The Folly’. It’s right by Whiteness Gap (which may sound familiar if you read my post about fulmars) and it stands, in the corner of what is now North Foreland Golf Course, above said gap.

It was apparently built by/for the same man who also built nearby Kingsgate Castle. He was Henry Fox, later Lord Holland, and apparently an embezzler of taxpayer’s money which he then used to build the castle, a mansion to serve as his retirement home and a number of ‘follies’ – including the one pictured and another nearby which is now the Captain Digby pub. Apparently the style of The Folly is based on Henry VIII’s coastal forts – but I need to do a bit more research on this interesting little structure – to build on what I found out from a website about Kingsgate Castle.

The small joy though, is the blaze of daffodils, made more yellow and bright by the sun. I’ve always found daffodils and their relatives cheery, especially when there’s a drift of them like this. Sorry that the picture doesn’t do them justice. They are a bit lost against The Folly. Trust me when I tell you that they weren’t just bright and yellow. They were BRIGHT AND YELLOW. There was no way you could walk past The Folly without seeing them and being struck by their brightness and yellowness and it lifting you up at least for a moment.

Stay safe, well and distant readers. Keeping away from each other is coming together.

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