Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Lockdown Day 1 - Warmest Day of the Year!

Tuesday was our first day of UK lockdown. We expected it was coming as the request made on Friday for responsible social distancing was in many quarters simply ignored as over the weekend many tourist attractions saw crowds more associated with a Bank Holiday. The official lockdown came on Monday evening. It is not as severe as some countries have adopted but nevertheless requires some major lifestyle changes. The rules state that you can have one trip outside the house to 'exercise' once a day. We wondered what exactly could be considered as exercise and whether a trip to the allotment would come under this rule. 
We had to wait until Tuesday morning for confirmation, when a government minister replied to a question on TV that it was indeed okay to work on an allotment provided all the social distancing and other requirements were adhered to. We often have the allotments to ourselves apart from our plot neighbour so we didn't see any great risk in a visit to the plot. 

On a beautiful, sunny Tuesday afternoon we did indeed virtually have the allotments to ourselves. It was easy enough to maintain the required distance from our plot neighbour who is fully aware of the necessity of social distancing. It was very unusual to see a clear blue sky without any aircraft contrails. Tuesday turned out to be our warmest day of the year with the temperature reaching a very pleasant 19.5°C (67.1°F) the warmest day since the 23 September 2019 when the temperature reached 20.7°C or 69.3°F.

On the allotment things are looking up. March has been a much drier month and beds have dried out very well after their winter water logging.
Temperature & Rainfall Records March 2020
There's a few more dry days forecast before it's predicted to turn cold and damp over next weekend. I decided to try to get a few beds dug over before the weather turns and to my surprise the soil was in pretty good condition for cultivating. 
Hopefully, our early potatoes might get planted in early April, once next week's cold snap is over, which would be not much later than normal. 

One drawback of the lovely sunny days has been cold nights. Early on Monday morning the temperature fell to -2.4°C (27.7°F) colder than anything we had in December, January and February. It comes just as the plum and greengage blossom is coming into flower.
Greengage - Mannings
Hopefully, this time people will stick to the new lockdown rules or I'm sure they will be made even stricter and even tighter restriction on travel will be imposed. The lockdown is due to be reviewed in 3 weeks time to see if it is managing to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.


  1. I was shocked here when I read that people flocked to our beaches and your parks as if it were a holiday. The California governor closed the parking lots but not the beaches. Pretty clever, huh? Did you have enough warning to get to the market for what you need? Once again, I was shocked that grocery delivery took a week!

    1. Grocery delivery has gone from bad to worse. At the moment all the major supermarket's web sites are not taking any new order. They appear to have orders covering the next 3 weeks. Anything with a decent sell by date is usually listed as out of stock. When you do get an order you have no idea how many missing items or substitutions there will be.

      We made one trip to the supermarket last week before the lockdown but lots of shelves were empty. No flour, rice, pasta, oil, porridge, milk, canned vegetables, yoghurt, limited fresh vegetables and no toilet rolls of course.

      We're told there's enough to go around but actually getting it can be very difficult. I can understand how people finish up panic buying.

      There's nothing left open here now so we are really glad that we're allowed to the allotment as our exercise for the day. We are much further away from anybody else at the allotment than we are at home.


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