jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 22nd April 2020
CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 36 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Monday 20Th April 2020
Something I have always fancied doing is walking the Coastline of Britain. It would take far too long when you have responsibilities and a family. I therefore thought the next best thing might be to drive around it. Something I thought I would do in retirement. But alas, the stroke came and took part of my sight making driving impossible.
The moral has to be don’t wait to carry out your dreams, do it now.
Consequently, one of my favourite subjects to read or TV documentaries to watch is long distance walking. The following article, lockdown related is therefore my cup of tea.
Former paratrooper self-isolating on ‘uninhabited’ Hildasay
Chris Lewis was sleeping in a tent when the lockdown was imposed on 23 March.
A former British paratrooper is isolating on a previously uninhabited island after lockdown measures were introduced midway through a fundraising challenge to walk the UK coastline.
Chris Lewis has walked 12,000 miles after setting off from near his home in Swansea in August 2017.
He has now been given special permission to live in the one house on Hildasay, Shetland, with his dog Jet.
The 108-hectare island sits off the west coast of the Shetland mainland.
The 39-year-old was sleeping in a tent on mainland Shetland when lockdown restrictions were imposed on 23 March to limit the spread of coronavirus.
However, he and Jet were taken to Hildasay by boat and have remained there ever since.
Their new home is a former shepherd’s hut without running water, heating or electricity. He was offered the keys by the family of the man who owns it after they heard he was camping.
After lockdown restrictions are lifted, Mr Lewis and Jet will continue their journey around the UK coastline to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity – with donations already reaching almost £98,000.
“I’ve mainly been in isolation for the past two years due to the nature of the places we’ve been walking,” he said.
“When I heard there was going to be a lockdown, I was kindly given a boat to get over to Hildasay, which is an uninhabited island.
“I thought it would be better if I wasn’t on the mainland – I didn’t want to be in the way.”
‘Happiest I’ve ever been’
Since then, Mr Lewis has survived thanks to a regular boat drop bringing fresh water and coal.
He said he collects driftwood, forages and fishes for his food, and always makes sure he has a three-week supply of dog food for Jet.
Hildasay has been uninhabited since the late 19th Century, with Mr Lewis and Jet joined only by 15 sheep and thousands of birds.
“It has really given me a chance to enjoy the island,” he said.
“I’m able to reflect on the walk so far, just realising what this has done to help me personally and the amount of amazing people there are in the UK.
“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”
Almost 40,000 people have been following Mr Lewis’s journey on a Facebook page, Chris Walks the UK.
Mr Lewis said he struggled to cope with life on “civvy street” after leaving the Parachute Regiment and finding himself homeless.
He slept on the street and in cars before SSAFA, which he describes as “truly amazing”, stepped in to help.
He set off from Llangennith beach on the Gower Peninsula with just £10 in his pocket and a few days of supplies to raise money for the charity.
When he is able to resume his fundraising challenge, Mr Lewis will make his way to the north of Scotland before heading down the east coast of the UK.
A Book to Read In Lock Down
If you too like long distance walking stories a tremendous book to read whilst in self-isolation is The Salt Path:
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
Paperback: 288 pages
The uplifting true story of the couple who lost everything and embarked on a journey of salvation across the windswept South West coastline.
‘A beautiful book, it really lives up to the hype . . . an enjoyable, gentle yet moving read’ Pandora Sykes on The High Low
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER, WINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE CHRISTOPHER BLAND PRIZE & SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD & WAINWRIGHT GOLDEN BEER BOOK PRIZE 2018
Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.
Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.
The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
ME & TODAY
Today the day has been a cold one, windy but occasionally sunny. I spent the day writing Coronabobs Times for the four grandchildren. I made a 10-minute video of me reading “Dumbo” for them as a Bedtime Story.
Ruben Shaw Garden Centre delivered our bedding plants which was excellent. I set to work straight away, just watering them. I’ve put some grass seed on the bald spots.
If only I could do that with my hair. Talking of which Mamma decided my hair had grown too long. But I don’t have any. So, she decided to cut it. I wanted to grow it through lockdown turning me into an ancient hippy when I emerge, like most in my generation and other generations.
But I had no choice, I was soon under the scissors and without the decency of anaesthetic. But she videoed it on her phone for all the family’s amusement.
Mamma completed here online Tesco order. Why does it take three times longer to do an order online than actually visit the store?
Naturally our two grandsons viewed us from the front wall. A regular occurrence.
Mamma also had more Christmas tree lights lights delivered for the Christmas tree. This is for her Santa’s Christmas Grotto. She is building it to cheer us both up. These particular ones are a string of lights with 40 bulbs in the shape of bees. They are battery operated. And automatically stay on for eight hours, 8.00pm until 4.00am. They make me feel very joyous!
And on TV we watched a programme which was the main Pick of the Day from most critics especially the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail, “The Restaurant that Burns Off Calories” with Fred Sirieix and Zoe Williams on BBC 2. The critics raved about it.
But what a complete load of rubbish. So mind-blowingly boring. Another hour lost I will never get back.
And yet another example where I find myself and the critics are on alternative planets. If I think a programme is amazing, they slam it. If they say it is brilliant it tends not to be my taste. Especially the Daily Telegraph TV critic.
DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY ESPECIALLY WHILST IN ISOLATION
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller
Happiness is…walking around the coast of Britain
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
Bullets are weird. They only do their job after they are fired.
Love is…a relationship full of surprises
TOTAL STAIRWAY TO EVERST CLIMB CHALLENGE
DAY 16 20 Times – 180 Feet Cumulative Total 2,349 Feet
TRACK OF THE ISOLATION DAY
Keep A Knockin’ – Little Richard
no.21 21st December 1957
- Keep A Knockin' Little Richard 2:15
HORRIBLE LITTLE NUMBERS
Country Confirmed cases Deaths
1 US 813,509 44,673
2 Italy 183,957 24,648
3 Spain 204,178 21,282
4 France 114,657 20,265
5 UK 130,184 17,378
6 Belgium 40,956 5,998
7 Iran 84,802 5,297
8 Germany 148,453 5,086
9 China 82,790 4,632
10 Netherlands 34,318 3,929
UK deaths yesterday 828
Updated 22 Apr at 08:55 local
Confirmed 2,565,059 +86,425
Deaths 177,496 +7,107
Recovered 686,634 +34,898
©2020 Phil M Robinson