Wednesday 27th May 2020 - Where Are They?
The first time I said, ‘Where are they?’ I was referring to the swifts. This comment was prompted by seeing only one swift dipping and diving over the village. Why was it on its own, a proper little Billy no mates, when normally there are too many to count? Then the other day I saw two, and this morning around seven squealed above our heads. Still not a great number but here’s hoping more will fly in and entertain us while we sit in the garden of an afternoon, enjoying our tea and cake.
The second time I said, ‘Where are they?’ I was looking at our flower border, in particular at the erysimum, nectaroscordum (honey garlic) and aliums. These plants usually attract a large number of honey bees as well as bumble bees, but this year there is a general lack of honey bees in our garden. I can only surmise, this is because not far from us, as the bee flies, there was a hive which I guess was moved to a new location a couple of months ago, when the owners of the property moved away. Looks like I will just have the bumbles to watch, as they gently buzz from flower to flower.
Now for the third time, when I said, ‘Where are they?’ This was on Sunday, the second day of the Bank Holiday weekend, a time when the village can expect to be besieged with day trippers. After visitors surged to the coast last Wednesday, I expected a repeat performance; despite the windy conditions. By the number of social distancing signs put up, the District Council thought the same. As we generally stay away from the front and the beach during the main part of the day, preferring to stay protected rather than risk being infected with the killer virus, Covid-19, it is difficult to judge how many visitors there were. But after visiting the dog bin on the car park in the afternoon, it was pretty obvious not many had come to spend the day in Overstrand. On the other hand, our early morning walks, have shown a number of second homes have been occupied as well as a camper van overnighting on double yellow lines. I should add, it is not only me who has made these observations. It was a completely different kettle of fish on Monday when the wind dropped, the sun was out and temperatures rose. Cars funnelled through the village and numbers on foot passed by. We have been told, once again cars were left on double yellow lines not forgetting a caravan with the occupants sat inside, and Coast Road round into Clifton Way was so congested with vehicles left on both sides of the road, if there had been an accident, there was insufficient room for an emergency vehicle to pass through.
Harking back to my last blog, those of us living in an area popular with tourists here in the UK, are not the only ones with concerns over the relaxing of lockdown. We read a couple of Greek blogs and on one of these, an expat living on an island where they have not had any cases of Covid-19, has expressed their fears. Tourists are going to be allowed to holiday again in Greece but not those from the UK, which is perceived by other countries as not handling the outbreak well. Greece is putting in place strict controls, but despite these they are anxious and worried someone could unintentionally bring the killer virus to their island, one which has little in the way of health facilities.
Today’s photos are of birds foot trefoil, providing a welcome splash of colour to the chalk cliffs, and a powered hang glider passing behind our home, trailing a banner in support of the NHS.