A Lonely Walk

Since the lockdown began, we have been blessed with some excellent weather in Beetley. It has felt like high Summer on many days, and despite the government advice, that weather has brought out a lot of people enoying the local riverside park, and the nature reserve too. Many of those have driven here from elsewhere, evidenced by the unusual number of cars parked locally, and the fact that us regulars have never met them, or the dogs of those who brought dogs along.

I don’t blame them. Most have observed social distancing, and appeared to be family groups. It was good to see the children getting out in nature, instead of binge-watching Netflix, or playing video games in their bedrooms. I was also happy to see people allowing their dogs to run around exploring somewhere new, and Ollie was happy to encounter some new canine companions.

Today, it is a full 10 C degrees colder than yesterday. And it has been raining steadily since 9 am. I have seen worse of course, and the rain cannot be described as heavy, and certainly not torrential. But it is steady rain. Spring rain, and Spring temperatures, much as we might expect had it not been for three weeks of what felt like July.

So I had to change from shorts back into trousers, and the casual shoes were exchanged for the rubber boots once again. I grabbed my umbrella, and wore a reasonably warm coat, and off we went. I chose to depart slightly earlier than usual, hoping to avoid the heavier rain forecast for later today.

What I walked into felt like a scene from a post-apocalyptic science fiction film. Nobody to be seen at Beetley Meadows, no ‘exercising walkers’ who had driven here to enjoy their allowed freedom. No dogs enjoying that change of scene they had become used to during the last twenty-one days. Nothing.

There was just silence, broken only by the sound of the rain hitting the river water.

Twice around Beetley Meadows was followed by crossing the bridge onto Hoe Rough. The car park was empty. The parking spaces in the road opposite the gate were empty, and as far as I could see, there was nobody on the nature reserve. Ollie took off on his usual routine, checking out fresh smells, and marking what he firmly believes is his own territory. I followed his rigid pattern as he traversed the paths in the same order that he does every day. Try to break his routine, and he will stand crying until I go the way he prefers.

After almost ninety minutes of circling the familiar areas, Ollie was soaked, and I was bored to tears under my umbrella. Nobody to chat to, nor even wave to. No dogs for Ollie to investigate or possibly spar with, and no trace of any wildlife risking the absence of people to explore unfamiliar areas.

It was a very lonely walk today, two hours traipsing in the rain as if we were the last man and dog on Earth.

70 thoughts on “A Lonely Walk

  1. That must have felt really strange. Had the rain stayed away, surely a few people would have been out. Still, you must have felt as though you were in a movie or a time warp.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Iknow the owner of the local store. It is the only grocery store in one direction for 10 miles. In all other directions, it is the only store. His wife spoke to Nancy on the phone and relayed that during the week, locals are respectful of social distancing and wearing masks. On weekend people from other places come to fish and hunt (although both are illegal during the stay at home state order) and they come in droves and do not social distance nor wear masks. I guess the rules only apply when one is near home. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems to be some kind of ‘blind selfishness’ that people don’t care about protecting communities where they don’t live. If it’s part of human nature, I’m glad it is not a part of mine.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to say that I’ve enjoyed the new quietude, but I don’t have a dog who likes to play with his chums ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ve had a very keen easterly breeze latterly, so shorts have been out of the question; but neither have we had much rain over the last couple of days. I know of at least 2 people who will have been enjoying the lack of visitors in Whitby, compared to the usual mayhem at this time of year, and I am pretty sure there will be quite a few who share this view, but they don’t have businesses that depend upon visitor numbers. I have noticed that the main road north out of town has been significantly busier over the last few days, which might mean more businesses resuming to some extent? Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am happily embracing the extra peace, though Ollie might prefer to enjoy some occasional canine company. As for Whitby, I fear it would become a ghost town without the tourist trade. Or perhaps a favoured ‘second home’ area for the wealthy, as are many North Norfolk coastal spots near where I live.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. I can imagine Ollie dictating the route, Jackie does the very same, no crying, she just stands at the junction in our path to tell me which way we are going next. If I go the wrong way she refuses to follow me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He will follow me if I insist, likw when I sometimes avoid walking through the deepest mud, or deep ponds that he likes. But if he does back down, I can see the grumpiness in his expression. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this is an American phenomenon and not something happening around the world, but at 8:00 p.m. each night, people across The United States go out and howl. Yes, you read that right. It is supposed to be a sign of support for medical workers and first responders, though I don’t quite get the connection.

    Last night my dog, Lulu, must have heard some of the voices as she went out on our deck and began to join in howling. It was pretty funny. Your post made me think of how dogs like Ollie can still find ways to entertain themselves even when they are alone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s interesting, Pete! Here in Victoria, British Columbia, and other places in Canada, people go out at 7 p.m. and bang pots for the same reason. There’s a lot of clinking and clanging for a few minutes. I guess we Canadians are too buttoned up to sing or howl.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚ I am glad it was a lovely day for you to take Ollie (that cute dog) for a walk ๐Ÿ™‚ I too hope that this coronavirus dies down because it is making all of us so depressed. Anyway, keep up the great work as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife is missing her grandchildren so much, it is making her feel low. I don’t mind a lonely walk so much, but feel sorry for the dogs that they have stopped bringing out to enjoy the countryside.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was strange. I have had lonely walks before, and don’t mind them. But today was different. Not even a car on the main road in the distance, and not one other person encountered in two hours. I felt like ‘The Omega Man’.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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        1. They mostly have been, but the recent summery weather saw people from other places arriving to enjoy the riverside and the nature reserve. The rain put them off today though. x

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  7. Puppies do not care…when time to walk it is time to walk….rain….shine…snow….heat…..I prefer the lone walk…MoMo gets to do what she likes with no problems…..stay dry my friend chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have more rain forecast this week, until it improves at the weekend. I am quite surprised that the people deserted their new daily regime so quickly, due to what was a wet but not unpleasant day. And I feel sorry for their dogs missing out too, after three weeks of ‘fun’. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

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