Since the middle of March in Scotland we have been confined to the vicinity of our primary residence - technically five miles but loose implementation if you were walking or cycling. In May the Scottish Government published a route map outlining the various phases we’ll progress through as we ease out of lockdown restrictions. As this is a devolved matter you can imagine that the Parliaments of the three devolved nations of the UK all have their own thoughts on the matter - and they don’t always correspond with those of Boris!
As we diverge further in our thinking, we have the ridiculous situation where it‘s not possible to fly off on holiday from any of the Scottish airports but Scots can drive to Newcastle and fly out from there, or any of the other English airports, to their holiday in the sun. When a similar situation arose a couple of weeks ago and non-essential shops opened in England, those Scots starved of retail therapy flooded across the border to join long queues for Primark and the like to feed their craving. A week or two later and it doesn’t take much imagination to guess what happened - spikes in the number of positive tests for COVID in the Border towns!
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has taken a calm, measured approach to easing restrictions and is enjoying high popularity ratings. Scots have, by and large, stuck to the regulations - although she has come under increasing pressure, especially from the hospitality and tourism sectors which have been two of the hardest hit.
But this lady’s not for turning and has even refused to rule out border controls - we’ll be building a wall next (wait a minute - didn’t Hadrian already have that idea?) As you can imagine, the press are having a field day!
For my family, Friday was a red letter day on the COVID journey. The five mile restriction on travel was lifted and for the first time since March we were able to travel to Loch Alvie Cottage - our home in the Cairngorm National Park. It’s looking beautiful with the honeysuckle and roses in bloom - even if the garden is now more of a meadow!
Thank you to all those who have subscribed to my blog over the past week. I hope you’ll join me as I stravaig around the stunning Highlands of Scotland. In the meantime some pics of Loch Alvie Cottage - maybe some day soon you can come visit in person!