Coronavirus Diary 8 – Up with the Lark

I’ve been up since around 3.50am this morning.  This has happened several times in the last week or two.  Today it was down to having a slightly sore chest; Wednesday it was down to a rather traumatic nightmare which when having woke up seemed infinitely better than reality.

I’m always up by 5am generally and 6am would be a great and very rare treat indeed.  I’m not one who can ever go back to sleep.  I’ve always been this way; never needed an alarm.  It just happens.  Perhaps the midwife back in 1973 had cursed me.

There are a few positives about getting up with the Lark Waking up early for success but they aren’t so positive when you’re socially isolated and the day drags on interminably with only the prospect of what to eat around midday (not much) to perk things up.

I’m still getting used to my new terraced cottage with its 200 years of quirkiness.  Because I love the Outdoors and nature and indeed am usually out in both, I have a great interest in mundane things like the seasons.   For the first month when I was here I could see the moon every morning from my study.  I probably sat and watched the moon more in those 2 or 3 weeks than several decades combined.  I haven’t seen the moon for a month or so now.  Maybe it has moved or with the long days that March heralds, I’m just not in the right place at the right time.

The dining room in my new house doesn’t get much light even though it faces south.  It is hemmed in by a modern extension to a neighbours house and a less modern one on my own.  Bizarrely when I look out of the window of my dining room, I actually look out over 1 metre of my garden and then as far as I can see down theirs.  Every house on this street seems to be similar, the back gardens heading off at some weird angle from the back door. I’m not sure why everyone doesn’t just unilaterally uproot the fences and angle them so we can see our own gardens more easily.  Instead as is the English way, we muddle through and make the best of things based on some possibly legitimate but not particularly good reasoning from centuries ago.

I am sure when I viewed the house in early August, the dining room was quite light but in February it was definitely dark and the only signs of sun were around 4pm when it had already dipped below the trees and houses.  Through March however it has been getting direct sunlight; at first only vaguely and for a few minutes each afternoon and then only for a tiny part of the room.  I felt like one of those people who stand at Stonehenge and waiting to see the sun line up between the precise avenue of stones so that the light shines through.

As the month has progressed however and the sun is reaching higher in the sky, those few fleeting minutes or Apricity have grown into an hour or so.  I’ve dubbed this period The Red Hour and go into wild delirium to see natural light in here.  You can see what the real Red Hour was like in the video below, rather like what going to a supermarket must be like these days.

What I have really been enjoying however on mornings like today is the sunrise.  I get to see the sunrise hundreds of times each year as I am always up so early but in my new house living opposite a school field and being over 500 feet up I get to see it from my bed.   By 7am even at this time of year the sun teems onto the bed but open the curtain a little earlier I get treated to something like this.

Sunrise from my bed

Sunrise from my bed

Starting the day like this, everything else is bound to go a little downhill from there.  See you tomorrow old friend and I won’t have so long to wait as in the U.K. the clocks spring forward or alternatively I won’t wake up until just before 5am.  Nothing like a lie-in on a Sunday!

Winston Churchill once described Daylight Saving Time as “An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn… We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later”.  If you’d like to know more about why we change the clocks then spend 10 minutes in splendid self-isolation reading  A brief history of time(zones) or why do we keep changing the clocks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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3 Responses to Coronavirus Diary 8 – Up with the Lark

  1. It’s so great to remember to enjoy and relish these simple things Stephen. if anything this quarantine (terrible word) or lockdown (terrible word) which I prefer to call nesting (great word), is here to teach us to appreciate things like more sunlight, sunrises, sunsets and nature. There is always beauty there no matter what else is going on

    Liked by 1 person

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