TF0820 : Modernised house
taken 4 years ago, near to Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
Parker Bros. of Spalding built these houses in the mid 1960s, in their house style. The porches have a flat roof with a steel pole support, the panel below the upstairs window is tile-hung. Although most of these houses are found in the two large estates to the west of the town, they are also scattered here and there whenever 1960s infill occurred.
The Westwood estate to the south of West Road was not 'open plan': rather the houses had vestigial brick garden walls. And they used a cast concrete assembly at the bottom of the roof, instead of soffit boards, with an integral gutter hidden in it. A small number of houses was built near Mill Drove in the same style.
To the North of West Road the slightly later Westbourne and Westfield estates had conventional roof construction with wooden soffits and plastic gutters, and no front boundaries. The houses were thus closer to the road, there being no grass verge.
Beginning in early February, even before the official requirement to stay at home during the Covid-19 shutdown, I was self-isolating at home. Because it seemed a responsible thing for a couple in less than youthful condition to do. That has somewhat altered my opportunities for photography.
Geograph has a category for pictures of the impact of current events, but these pictures do not fit into that category (I have also added a few there). Instead I shall flag them as those I have taken within my much reduced range of operations. These, then, generally are not photographs OF the pandemic, merely normal ones taken DURING it.
By the end of April I was also making audio recordings of birdsong at some of the photograph locations, exploiting the unusual absence of background traffic noise and the splendour of the birdsong in bright sunny weather. The audio recordings are saved in the Wikimedia Commons system, where a built-in playback device appears on the page for each. I have linked to the individual recordings in the photograph description, and the whole set can be viewed at Link
I am lucky to live at the edge of town, adjacent to Bourne Woods, where I can walk my dogs and take the occasional picture of nature and the like. I could, of course, walk further than this, but not if I combine it with exercising the dogs. One of our dogs is arthritic, and cannot cope with more than about 40 minutes of exercise.
By the time we had reached early May, the poor creature was even less tolerant of lengthy excursions, and the rising undergrowth was making novel and informative photography less straightforward, so the odd trip without the dog was added.
By June national restrictions had been somewhat lifted, but I was in no rush to re-join the throngs braving infection. But by Mid-June I was finding the effort to sustain large numbers of daily posts exhausting, and I decided to cut back activity in that regard.
By now I was wondering if this collection should be closed, as I was breaking my isolation once a week for food shopping, and taking my camera with me. But I remained convinced that precautions were still required, and thus continued my defiance of the circumstances.
In August the public (me excluded) were acting as though it was all over, and the disease came roaring back with the start of the academic year, and steadily worsened after that.
Things worsened. By November Wales was in a 'firebreak' lockdown, and England followed suit until the start of December, supposedly to 'save Christmas'. A 5 day relaxation of the rules was promised for that festival.
But by mid December the upward disease trajectory was resumed, and markedly so. Restrictions remained, and I continued this micro-project beyond 1500 images. Spring and summer were a succession of botanical illustrations, in Autumn I documented the seasonal colours, and in winter was left with just the weather to illustrate. But in England that is of infinite variation.
So, the winter of 2020 and 2021 wore on, and my daily record sustained me through those frustrating months. I managed to find new things to see, and say, despite the dormancy around me, and the arrival of the first flush of spring was accompanied by a government instruction to shield for the month of March. But nothing changed here: we were effectively doing that as much as we could. My daily exercise with the dogs did not break the rules, and did not involve anything but the most distant of human encounters.
The infection wore away as those months progressed. By the beginning of April the extra restriction on our household was gone; the infections in the general population were closer to being under control, and the much awaited vaccinations were being more successful than we ever hoped. But the restrictions on leaving home were still in place then, and the plan was to allow Pubs and Restaurants to open in the middle of the month but only for the outdoor trade. This pandemic has a long way to run. When it all started, I imagined at least a two year restriction on life, and writing here 14 months on I see no reason to modify that prediciton.
In Mid April the end came for my older dog, Inca, who could no longer tolerate the pain of movement. I had nursed her through the winter, and she sustained me too with continual affection and enthusiasm. But all good things must come to an end, and as we spotted some sort of end to the fell plague around her, she met her own far less deserved end. She will be sorely missed. Inca has featured in some of these images, and reviewing them will always be both a solace and a sorrow. For that is the Human condition, and the Canine one too.
April saw, too, some relaxation of the constraints on us that have slowed the spread of the disease. I did allow myself some occasional visits to nearby villages with no chance of meeting folk. They don't appear here.
As spring turned into summer, I took slightly more of these lonely expeditions to places of interest, and by June was planning work visits to customer sites, all of which were cancelled by outbreaks of the disease. But I was starting the question the validity of this collection nevertheless.
Toward the end of the second July, with most of the extended family vaccinated, including the older teenagers, we made a trip two hours across the fens to attend a family get-together, the first such gathering since Christmas 2019. And I have decided that will mark the end of my complete isolation, and to close this collection with that trip. The last images to be flagged as "constrained by the pandemic" are those in July 2021.
- Grid Square
- TF0820, 3453 images (more nearby 🔍)
- Bob Harvey (more nearby)
- Date Taken
- Sunday, 17 May, 2020 (more nearby)
- Sunday, 17 May, 2020
- Subject Location
OSGB36: TF 086 206 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:46.3673N 0:23.4450W
- Camera Location
- OSGB36: TF 086 206
- View Direction
- North-northeast (about 22 degrees)