Coronavirus lockdown is with us once again. Except this time round, on St Martin’s, it feels very different to the last one.
In mid March the whole island was gearing up for the tourist season. No-one was sure what the future would look like. Businesses in turmoil, bookings cancelled or postponed, uncertainty and a fair amount of panic. What followed was financially hard for nearly everyone, but also extraordinary.
People dreamed about one day ‘having the island to ourselves in summer’…well this is the year that it happened. An extraordinary spring and early summer of sunshine, flowers and quietness. Very few flights and boats, no people, almost no international flights overhead.
Eventually tourism came back for an intense few months from early July to late October, where islanders made some money and visitors enjoyed holidays here. Everything worked pretty well and we were (amazingly) devoid of Cornonavirus cases.
So on to November when there is no tourism happening at all. The shop opens every day; pub, cafes and restaurants are shut and there are very few boat services anyway. School is open, people work, and go for walks. Lockdown two really is very little different to normal winter on St Martin’s!
On the farm the usual autumn/winter jobs are here – seaweeding, hedge cutting, maintenance, planning, picking veg once a week for locals. It’s quite a nice time of year in many ways and the quietest for us here on the farm. It’s good not to be pressured and to have sometime to do other things.
Meanwhile, with the rain beating down and the wind blowing outside, here’s a reminder of that extraordinary spring. The temptation to be transported there right now is strong…