Last weekend we really enjoyed lockdown for a change. Thursday evening’s sunny daytime BBQ gave way to joyous clapping and over the hedge chats with neighbours. We all decided on our small street to mark the next day’s 75th VE Celebration with a socially distanced ‘Street Party’. One lady kindly donated tons of bunting, and flags from her knit and chat group. On Friday morning, everybody was out on their doorstep to observe the 2 minutes silence ( slightly ruined by my eight year old shouting halfway through “Have we started yet?” After that, we all chucked each other bits of bunting, and worked out ingenious ways to hang it, without breaking any safety rules. I spent the afternoon wearing a 1940’s style dress, collecting fresh eggs from our ‘lockdown’ backyard chickens and boiling them up for egg sandwiches. The boys picked some of our homegrown lettuce and tomatoes. Wayne fixed our paste table to put out on the drive, and then went off to secure our essential beers and Prosecco! At 4pm , our next door neighbour started to play some 1940’s wartime classics, and we all plonked ourselves down infront of our houses for the weirdest ever, but quite fabulous VE day ‘street party’. We enjoyed our sandwiches, tea, squash, cakes and even an extra special treat, a gorgeous “Afternoon Cream Tea” pack of scones, cream and jam - which high street bakery Denela’s delivered to many local Royal British Legion members and local veterans. Just so you know, you can still buy freshly baked goodies from Denelas, as they have an ingenious serving hatch fitted in their door for take-away orders.
The sun was boiling hot, and some joggers, and other friends from our local roads popped by during their daily exercise - keeping a jolly 2 metres apart ofcourse! Our kids clambered on the Landrover and made toys out of twigs and leaves like the olden days. The adults chatted, danced, drank and partied till almost midnight! Athough it was a bit weird celebrating ‘freedom’ , in such a strange time- when we are far from free, it was really nice and made us all appreciate what we have. Ofcourse, most of us are anxious and unsure of the future. Money problems, health worries and missing loved ones is getting to us all. Start by being grateful for the little things, and hopefully the big things will sort themselves out.
If any local businesses would like Radio Shepton to feature them as they think about re-opening, or perhaps you have an interesting lockdown story to tell. Contact me via facebook.com/radioshepton
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)