Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A Phone Box Update

I'm finding it much harder than my father to motivate myself into much action at the moment. I need a spell of bad weather (and an end in view to this lockdown) to get me moving with some purpose again. As it is every day is blurring into a spring sunshine bathed blur where the only real focus seems to be around the getting, preparing, eating, and thinking about food. I'm cooking a lot. There's not much else to form a routine around alone in my city centre flat*.

If things were normal I would have been anticipating a trip to Shetland in the middle of May, but they are not normal. One mark of that is that such a remote place has become a virus hotspot (the number of cases by head of population is a bit daunting) which is leading to lots of phone calls from me and my sister down here trying to tell dad to sit tight.

Sitting anywhere for very long has really never been dads strong suit. Luckily he has a lot of space around him so he can still go off down the coast to do a bit of beach cleaning with no risk of seeing anybody else, and he's been able to crack on with his phone box project, the phone box is also a good distance from anybody else.

For that, a big thank you to readers and friends who donated towards it. Dad managed to find a door locally for a lot less than quotes he'd from elsewhere. The hinges were on the wrong side but he's done something about that so it's okay. There was a bit of concern because the door he's got wouldn't close properly (he thinks it might be slightly warped) but apparently a latch has fixed it so it can't blow open in the wind. Shetland winds are fierce things, it's how the last door was lost.

Meanwhile the box has been painted inside and out, and a bench seat put in it. The next step is to gather as many stories and memories as possible about the box and the people who lived near it, and for it to find it's new purpose.
After, and before. It's good to see the box looking smart (and dad too), surprising to see Shetland still in it's winter coat when everything is so green here now.

*Not a complaint, I'm comfortable, well entertained, and have access to some decent outdoor space which seems to be being used responsibly enough. Living alone is at least peaceful, and taken day by day things are more or less okay.


  1. Last year I read "Walking through Spring" by Graham Hoyland, in which he walks from the Dorset coast, leaving there on March 20th (approximately Spring equinox) up to the Scottish Borders, arriving there in June. He walked at about 10 miles a day, apparently the speed at which Spring moves up the country, and planted an acorn every mile or so.

    1. That sounds good, and chimes with trips I've sometimes taken from the midlands to the borders around Easter where you find you're overtaking spring somewhere in Yorkshire. The thing I really like about a northern spring is how when it gets going, it really gets going, so you got flower combinations which don't happen here as early and late spring flowers all come to life together.