Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 7:20am

Some people seem to think our current state of 'lockdown' is really holiday time. The warm sunshine recently has been welcome but has enticed many out of doors to visit popular beauty spots. The Government has had to point out that visiting Mount Snowdon or the Lake District are not included in their idea of 'essential' trips out of doors. So, the 'stay home' message is now being enforced by the Police who have recently granted powers to fine and arrest the persistent offender. Many though have understood and heeded the request to support our NHS by slowing down the transmission of COVID-19 and to save lives. Soap and the sofa it seems are our best strategies at the moment to defeat this nasty virus. Many are turning to boxed sets or streaming their favourite programmes to occupy themselves. The Radio Times this week has a full section on streaming in their latest edition. The whole nation are vegging out apparently. 

You certainly cannot 'veg out' in the other more obvious way - those of us who have been supporting out local growers and using the farmers' markets suddenly find we have restricted access to our veg supplies. The supermarket online delivery system failed to stick to its established customers in the face of the tsunami of new people signing up. We did as requested and teamed up with our neighbours to free a slot for others - only to find a new rule restricting the fresh items to 5 per customer order rather than per household...this occasioned a veg hunt this week at the Vicarage. Veg box scheme? All our local ones are sold out. Supermarket? Long queues bringing lots of people out at the same time - not sure that is in the spirit of the Government's attempts to limit virus transmission.

So, getting our 5 a day is our biggest challenge at the moment - we have some winter veg from the garden but that is nearly over now and come next week there will be a gap as we wait for the crops sown about now to produce their harvest in the summer months. When officials at press briefings try to tell us there's enough food in the supply chain there is hollow laughter in our house. The Government seems to have overlooked the simple logistics of getting that supply to the customers now stuck at home. Meanwhile alongside our NHS staff let us also applaud all those local growers and shop workers who are working round the clock to make up for a shortfall not of their making and let us hope that the imbalance in the food system is sorted soon. Off to the garden now to pick the last of the kale - when all is said and done we won't starve even if our normal way of vegging out is temporarily unavailable. There's always binge watching favourite series to take our minds off things. Remember soap and sofa saves lives...