Day 14 in lockdown – the mountains still stand

Somebody stopped the clock.

Regardless of the growing chaos in the world, the sun continues to shine in our little corner of it. The weather is glorious, in fact. The blossom is out on the trees, the garden is bursting into life and the birds sing loudly from dawn until dusk. 

IMG_3825 (2)


The days stretch out expansively before us as we enter our third week of staying home. Our chalkboard calendar has been wiped clean of all appointments, trips and after-school activities. Gradually we repopulate it with dates of vegetables planted and kombucha brewed, of upcoming streaming releases and family game nights on Houseparty. 

We have fallen into a comfortable rhythm of home-schooling, starting each day with a P.E. class courtesy of Joe Wicks on YouTube – a chance for all three of us to work up a sweat and have a laugh together before settling down to the day’s work. Richie and I alternate the role of learning support for the morning’s lessons.

Key to our survival of this unplanned experiment in home-education is close adherence to the form teacher’s advice of encouraging independent learning. Less getting bogged down in the detail of content we often don’t know very well ourselves and more pointing the child back at his books with some encouraging words is the general plan. At this point in time survival with mental health intact seems a more sensible objective than the ticking of key-stage goals. 

After lunch we all three sit on the terrace and chat idly. We sit on our terrace more times in one day now than we did in the entire month before lock down started. We drink tea in our stripy deckchairs, gazing out on the mountains that brought us here. We can’t climb or hike them right now but they still dominate our view and drag our gazes up and away from our ever-scrolling newsfeeds, hinting at better times to come for all and reminding us to keep training so we can return to them fit and strong on the other side. 

Sitting here, with the warmth of the sun on my face and my son heavy in my lap, chatting about everything and nothing and simply soaking up these views I feel grateful, so very grateful.

I inhale deeply and make a conscious attempt to lock the perfection of this moment away somewhere deep inside, somewhere I hope to be able to call on it whenever I need to. I take a short video as the sun starts to set behind the mountains accompanied by a fervent chorus of birdsong. I am overcome by a desire to share this moment, to remind anyone whose current view is grim that there is still great beauty in this world. That the birds continue to sing and the mountains are still standing. That this too shall pass.



  1. Lovely post Mary! What a positive way to kickstart the week ahead. Gorgeous views and the birdsong at sun set says it all. Thanks for sharing PamX

  2. Bliss.

  3. Hi Mary
    Its lovely to see you writing again and to hear about family life continuing despite the world’s worries and difficulties. Stay well. Phil

  4. Hi there you guys – glad to hear you’re faring okay….strange time’s but good to refocus on all that is beautiful – love the birdsong … Piff x x

Please leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.