Colonies Covid Chronicle 2 – Quiet streets

Routine ~ Ross Robertson, father

It’s 5.47am, the call begins to register, subconsciously at first but gently it teases my waking mind, “Daddy, want to read me a book? Please, Daddy.” 

Really, do I want to read you a book? Probably, given the option I’d rather an hour, possibly two, more of sleep. The heating won’t come on for another forty-three minutes. So, I find myself with slippers and dressing-gown

I approach your door and you’ve heard me coming, your young voice is quiet now. My mind is opening to this day, focus hasn’t yet prioritised itself and another call steals my attention. It belongs to the finch, wren or tit outside. I look up and I notice the light brightening above me through the skylight. My first conscious thought begins and it’s for the day to come. A day that will be filled with play, adventure and learning. It will be filled with thinking and working for you, and I’m thankful for your rhythm.


Music of The Spheres ~ Margaret, Dunrobin

The theory of Music of the Spheres, or Harmony of the Spheres, has fascinated me for a long time. This last week with time to think and pay attention to what is going on around me, I had three fascinating occurrences which brought this theory to mind.

Sitting drinking tea, while Radio 3 played quietly in the background, I watched my washing blowing on the line. Slowly I realised it was blowing in time to the music. How lovely, I thought. Two days later a young Spanish friend sent a video of her 3 year old daughter showing me a painting and dancing on the spot. I became aware of the jazz on my radio. Nara and I could have been listening to the same radio! Incredible, I thought.

Another couple of days, again drinking my afternoon peppermint tea and admiring the daffodils in the vase near me. These were given me by our kind street convener. They were given tightly shut and I have had so much pleasure watching them slowly unfurl and smile for me, but they were beginning to fall. A symphony was coming to an end and slowly, in time to the last dying notes, one daffodil gently lowered its head.

Imagination? No. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or just more time to be aware.

Let’s think more of our Planet, our small part within it, and help to renew The Music of the Spheres.


Hello me – Pat Bryden

Hello me, let’s meet again,

face to face, warts and all!

I haven’t had this chance  –

let’s make the most of it:

old photos to sort, remembering

the years that went so fast, people

to contact, companions on the journey

of those years;

using help, where once I managed.


Yesterday my hair turned grey: rusty iron:

yes, I am OLD. Well, old me, how is life?

Slow, sedentary, trying to sort things out;

talk on the phone, email, text: who to contact next?


Quiet Streets ~ Hilery Williams

I stood at the door on Thursday evening – interrupting a Zoom book group meeting – to join millions across the country applauding NHS and care workers. It was genuinely moving, sadly spoiled by the knowledge that there are those (some of whom clapped the recent decision not to raise nurses’ pay) who seem to think the NHS functions like Tinkerbell, which may be frantically clapped back to life.

Here I am, again, at the window, not watching the world go by. The school kids no longer swarm on their way to PE. Occasional runners pass by, intent on taking their daily exercise unfazed by the hidden presence of germs; as do dog walkers (with their yapping charges). I can predict that the incessant barking of local canines is going to challenge my equanimity. Yep, 1st world problems!

The idea that everyone else is doing what I’ve been doing for months is odd.


Not writing – 0130, 31.03.2020 ~ Jane

At all life-changing times, I am compelled to silently vocalise my innermost emotions, to record for posterity, for myself, the most treasured of memories, the most mundane of pre-catalyst events, comforted that the tangible written word will be there if my older brain fails me.

So why has the coronavirus pandemic seen my pen unlifted, my stash of reusable paper untouched?  

Until now…

Two weeks in, adapting to new patterns by day and by night, the essential realisation strikes:

My muse presumes I have a future.


P.S. from Diana – two helpers I really miss: the window cleaner and the piano tuner.