Yesterday Was A Blue Sky Day


It seems the hyperactive Polar Jet Stream has been responsible for the last few months excessive weather events in the northern hemisphere. This particular ‘river in the sky’ (there are others) apparently rips across the globe between the Arctic and the sub-tropical zone at the height of a trans-Atlantic plane. It can be up to 3 miles thick and between 1,000-3,000 miles long. And at this time of year it travels between 300 and 400 miles per hour. You can find out all about it at The Jet Stream.

Anyway last week the weather person promised us a break from its more obvious machinations, and said we were in for some bright, cold weather starting Monday.

And so it happened. Yesterday we woke to wall to wall blue sky, sunshine, fluffy clouds and coolly crisp air. And no rain! So to boost any signs of flagging spirits and counteract the effluent spewed daily by our mass media we set off for the wide open loveliness of Attingham Park for a big dose of fresh air and some brisk exercise.


When we arrived there we found several hundred other people had had the same idea.  Hoards of mothers-and-toddlers, multitudes of dog owners with multiple canines, and a whole bunch of ‘at risk’ age-group folks like us. The several car parks were almost full to bursting.


The National Trust staff, mostly volunteers, were their usual welcoming selves, and soon all the visitors were well dispersed across the parkland. In places around the deer park, where there are several gates to deal with, I noticed that everyone we met was opening them with their elbows and in like manner holding them open for others. At which point I decided it truly was impossible to get a complete grip on how one should react to this current Covid-19 drama.


As I’m writing this I can hear the rumble of the farmer’s tractor in the field behind the house, monster arms of the spraying gear outstretched, giving the emerging crop a food boost. At the front of the house the traffic is still dashing by to Telford. Earlier I spotted Mr and Mrs vicar passing by on their daily dog walk. They stopped to chat with other walkers. The postman delivered the post.  People (some exceedingly aged since that’s a significant feature of Wenlock’s demographic) have been walking by into town to do their shopping…


So yes. I was glad we went out yesterday. There was still quite a lot of flood water standing in the park, but the hawthorns and willows were bursting green. The daffodils were out. I found a crop of violets complete with butterfly. We saw a pair of ravens, making their cronk-cronking calls and doing a spot of aerial somersaulting. Jackdaws were cavorting; blue tits twittering, and the fallow deer looking frisky. And then of course we also saw the 650-year-old Repton Oak (see previous post). So much to be pleased about. Lots to be thankful for and wonder at.


copyright 2020 Tish Farrell


33 thoughts on “Yesterday Was A Blue Sky Day

  1. We got out yesterday too and it seems that the NT will keep the parks and gardens open, just not the houses and shops and cafés, so we should still be able to have our walks, just stay 2m apart! Maybe time for me to take up surfing 🤣 It was SOOOOO good to have a blue sky day and NO rain!!

    1. The deer were lovely, but the NT keep folks at a distance by marking the bounds with the odd notice board – which proved a very handy tripod substitute for some high zooming 🙂

  2. Outside is good . . . and have you seen the NT are looking at how they can keep their gardens open for free during the crisis to enable everyone to continue to get out, stay fit and boost their morale 🙂

      1. We are well thanks Tish. NZ borders closed to all but Kiwi nationals as of this evening. That feels very weird. I’ve been avoiding the news; what is happening in the UK?

      2. Listening to the BBC this morning it seems London authorities are trying to exert more control over movement – a number of tube stations closed down and people told not to use public transport unless it’s absolutely essential as it’s needed for front-line workers. Lots of talk of small businesses in danger of going bust, and problems for self-employed who now cannot work, getting financial help. Up here in Shropshire things don’t seem too different from usual, though people are clearly aware, especially the older cohort, many of whom are self-isolating. Just been to Church Stretton to my sister’s shop where she’s having her stock of the dried whole food variety whizz off the shelves. The Co-op was rationing bread products to 1 per person. Apparently the mills can’t grind the grain fast enough. The loo paper scarcity continues! Meanwhile in Wenlock our very nice Raven Hotel is offering a take-away meals home delivery service. From Monday all schools will be closed indefinitely and exams cancelled. All in all, it’s hard not to feel a bit panicked.

      3. It does sound dire. As always the most vulnerable will pay the highest price. I’m heartened to see on our local local Facebook page people offering to do a supermarket run for others, and generally help how they can. Small things, but so necessary.

      4. A bit of kindness can have a big effect. Just reading the Italian National Health report on their cases. The average age of the tested was 81 yrs. 90% who died were over 70, and 10% of the whole were 90yrs + and pretty much all of them had 1,2 and 3 serious existing conditions. So yes, the vulnerable are at greatest risk. Northern Italy like Wuhan has had (until the lock-down) the most awful air quality – apparently visible from space.

      5. I saw some before and after satellite images yesterday showing the decline in air pollution over Europe (northern Italy particularly). A huge difference!! Some some heartening news — if we can learn the lessons and don’t “celebrate” the end of this pandemic by spending the inheritance on another planet-destroying “party”

        This article has a lot of de-panicking info in it, also the link to the Italian statistics. And it mentions some doctors’ observations that particular Covid-19 test kits being used may not differentiate between Covid-19 and other more common corona viruses. The media statistics are not setting Corona figures against a given nation’s usual mortality statistics from all causes for each day which may be a couple of thousand plus (a day). Panic and fear are apparently making the situation worse in hospitals.

  3. My folks are considered in the higher risk bracket, both in their eighties. As the siblings are all over the world I have one nephew who lives in Chester and calls regularly to check they’re all right. And of course we Whatsapp every other day.
    They too are dog walkers and although cautious they refuse to be overcome with a siege mentality.
    I also went for a walk/jog this morning – as I have done every day since who knows when.
    We are keeping a respectful distance when we can, even from friends.
    As I regard you as a friend I reckon you and I should be safe considering the distance!

    Stay well and stay safe.

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