Lockdown Ramblings

Usually my blogs are focused on travel experiences, but like the vast majority of people that share this planet, my travelling has been severely curtailed. These days, because of the lockdown in place here in the UK, my travels are limited to the permitted daily stroll around Staplefield, the West Sussex village in which we now live; therefore this post is an opportunity to share some of the photos I’ve taken in and around the village over the past few weeks.

The view across the village green – wondering if we’ll see any cricket this Summer?

We moved to Staplefield in January, together with our cat Truffle, and have made our home in a small cottage located on a single lane private road, which is extremely quiet, it’s just ideal for us.

Take me home … country roads
Playtime with Truffle

Compared to where we have lived in recent years, Staplefield is tiny – a quick check on google shows that it has a population of approx 440 – and the good people here are served by 2 pubs and a church, although sadly no convenience shops – the nearest pint of milk is a couple of miles away, so a car is helpful.

Village pubs are one of the things I missed most whilst living overseas; I’m not a big drinker (honest!!) but I do enjoy a pint of ‘real ale’ in a small country pub – not something that translates well to bars overseas. Our two pubs are The Victory Inn, and The Jolly Tanners – both offering excellent ales, good quality meals, and great company. In the case of The Jolly Tanners, they also host a weekly ‘open mic’ night which I’ve attended a few times as a spectator but once this crisis is over, I’m intending to get the other side of the mic and relive my younger guitar playing days!

The impressive local church, St. Marks

Since the lockdown has been in place, we of course observe strict social distancing on our daily walks, and we have found that every one we meet has time for a wave or a few words – I think one of the silver linings of the current situation is that people seem warmer to each other; we can only hope this continues.

Anyone for cricket?
The area around the village is popular with cyclists

Although we don’t have a village shop, since the lockdown was introduced our two pubs have stepped up to help with local supply – the Jolly Tanners has enabled take away beer purchases, and The Victory offer meals and grocery items via home delivery or take away; all very welcome to the local community. Only a couple of nights ago, we enjoyed fish and chips from the pub – delish!

With the welcome change in weather over the past few days has come the appearance of Spring – suddenly bare trees are bathed in green, with bluebells and blossom brightening up many of our pathways. Having lived in the Middle East for the past few years, its great to once again experience this time of year here in the UK.

Truffle investigating what all this greenery is!

We do feel very lucky to be here, particularly at this difficult time; it’s so peaceful, and our daily walks allow us to explore the surrounding country lanes, which are delightful. These next photos show some of the spectacular sights we are seeing as we ramble.

I hope it’s not too long before we all get back to something more like our normal existence, but also that we use this time to appreciate some of what’s around us that perhaps we miss during the usual fast paced lives that we live these days. Thank you for reading, please take care and stay safe.

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