I went for a stroll on the morning of Sunday, 17th May, and found myself wondering what the pandemic would mean for many of our wonderful charities.
They do so much good work, but now -
With their shops closed, and so many of their fundraising events cancelled, the future is going to be challenging, to say the least.
Which, as ever, will most hurt some of the most needy in our society.
That seems to be the depressing way with this vicious virus, whether its attacks be social, economic, or healthwise.
It delights in victimising the vulnerable.Read more
A more upbeat feel today, Sunday, 10th May.
The news is full of stories about the lockdown being lifted, which is probably responsible for the more hopeful outlook.
Whether it's responsible journalism is another matter.
In my BBC days, I used to hate sloppiness with language, and I still do.
Surely easing the lockdown would be a far more accurate way to put it. We're still under stringent restrictions, after all.
Hey ho, so it may go.
But who wouldn't smile with a sight like this to enjoy -Read more
There's something about seeing a Sunday in central Cambridge without people.
The city is normally so full of locals and tourists, but not now.
I fear for the economy, and how many businesses will be blown away by the silent storm of the virus.
This one sight, on Sunday, 3rd May seemed to sum it up -
Post laying uncollected in a shop. I wonder if it ever will be picked up, read, and acted upon.
On a bright and sunshine Sunday, like 26th April, 2020, you'd normally expect the riverside to be crowded in Cambridge.
No longer. Not with coronavirus.
And here's another unexpected casualty of the crisis.
The swans are used to begging their fill of bread from passing donors, which is why they hang around, hopefully, near the path.
These days, they're largely disappointed, and instead have to fend for themselves.
Sunday, 19th April
A thoughtful tale from the riverbank -
I got talking to this young mother on a walk, discussing what her young children would remember of these days.
I think a memory of my own childhood may have prompted the conversation.
The power cuts of the 1970's, and the lights suddenly going off in the pub where I grew up...
Locals drinking by candlelight, eating only sandwiches and other cold food, the mutter of muted conversation...Read more
Sunday, 12th April, and for once, there were a few people about in Cambridge -
Enjoying the sunshine on their one permitted outing for exercise.
And perhaps a show of defiance against the virus on this beautiful Easter weekend.
I got talking to a couple (from 2 metres plus away, of course), who were sitting on the low stone wall outside King's College.
Why? Because we were all enjoying the antics of their young daughter -
Normally the college lawns are sacrosanct.Read more
I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing the streets of a usually busy, modern city, look like this.
Monday, 6th April, and the East Road, normally nose to tail traffic...
These days you can see all the way along it.
Once vital, pedestrian crossings have become largely redundant.
There's even an opportunity for starting a new game for the kids - Spot The Car.Read more
Another down day was Sunday 29th March.
The weather turned and it was freezing cold, which only added to the gloom.
On a brief trip to get some supplies, I saw this, which made me shudder -
It really does feel as if the party is over... for now, at least.
A good run on Monday 30th March made me feel better.Read more
Monday 23rd March brought the news of the full lockdown, and so the next day, Tuesday 24th March...
That's normally a busy path between parts of the city centre, but now...
And this is the way the bustling modern city of Cambridge continued to look, even the very heart, tourist honeypot of King's Parade.
This, above, was Thursday, 26th March, for me the saddest day of the crisis so far.Read more
This begins at the beginning, as extraordinary stories often do...
But only now, as we begin to talk about a release from lockdown, I've managed to find the spirit to publish.
In the last few weeks, our smart, sophisticated modern world has changed in ways we never would - maybe never could - have imagined.
I know, because, as a writer, if I'd suggested the story of coronavirus to a publisher...
It would have been dismissed as a plot too impossible to indulge.
But the old saying about fact being stranger than fiction has stung us again, and all that follows really, actually happened.
Finally for this introduction, although it pains me to say, words couldn't quite capture all that has unfolded.Read more