At the beginning of March, little did we know what lurked around the corner. 
 
And let’s face it, it was less a case of lurking, more that it was a huge shock to the system! 
 
Our lives changed overnight, and we are not sure what will happen next. 
 
Like everyone else, we are eternally grateful for the dedication of the frontline staff: medical workers, carers, volunteers, posties, taxi drivers … so many selfless individuals who are ensuring our nation doesn’t grind to a complete halt. 
 
So, we’ve temporarily closed our family-run guesthouse. 
 
It was a sudden decision and one I guess we all knew we needed to make sooner rather than later. 
 
And how our lives have changed! 
 
First of all, we notice the small (yet not so small things). 
 
The sunrise each day … always a moment of complete awesomeness, we now see dawn and the appearance of the sun in a slightly different way … we are thankful for the arrival of a brand-new day. 
We also track the sun as it makes its way across the sky. We are heading towards the summer solstice, so we notice as the sun inches up a little higher in the sky as each day passes. 
 
A good way to enjoy the changing skies during the daylight hours is to cloud-spot … we are learning to tell the difference between cirrus and cumulus! 
 
We can see the gradual onset of darkness as the sun sets each evening. The gathering of the twilight is gentle involving a million shades of purple, violet and blue. 
 
Another aspect we’ve noticed is the quietness of the lockdown. 
 
Fewer cars driving about (if any); fewer pedestrians; the lack of passenger jets criss-crossing our skies. The quayside amusements are silent and any human conversation that we hear from time to time is often hushed. 
While we miss human contact, the relative peace and quiet is quite restful. 
 
Of course, that is until the kids get up each day for their home schooling and other indoor activities (we’ll discuss this in a future blog)! 
 
We’ve also become aware of birdsong, and not just the cry of the seagulls. 
 
We can hear a male blackbird singing his magical notes and sometimes a song thrush showing off its repertoire. 
 
One of the recent joys of the spring sunshine has been the abundance of daffodils and the ‘flutterings’ of the season’s new butterflies who joyfully spread their colourful wings and enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays. 
 
At night we can see the stars from our window. The recent frosty nights have ensured the stars and planets twinkle brightly in the velvety black of the nocturnal sky. 
And of course, the incredible community spirit prevails! Whitby is standing proud with its network of fantastic volunteers. 
 
Perhaps during trying times like these we have to engage with living ‘in the moment’. We can listen to the rhythms of nature; feel the pull of the tides; feel joy if a rainbow appears and open a window so we can feel the breeze on our faces. Even when it rains, the pitter-patter on the glass panes is another gentle sound we’ve noticed. 
 
We understand the importance of lockdown and hopefully the benefit this will have to the human race. We are blessed in so many ways: our family, our friends, our wonderful town. We hope that one day we can look back at these times and see how we have changed, hopefully for the better. 
 
May we wish everyone peaceful thoughts, good health and above all, for everybody to keep safe. 
 
Until next time … 
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