Strange times

Finally spring arrives, bringing with it a few days of sun, normally these would be days I would take full advantage of, heading out on a days photography but the current situation with Covid – 19 and the latest governmental decree, sees us all being told stay at home where possible.

Of course, the inner photographer would love to get out there and document the empty streets, hardly what would be called a necessary journey, so it is through these strange times that I must find other diversions to satisfy my low boredom threshold.

For the first time in years, I have rekindled my interest in the game of chess, probably the most used app on my mobile phone or tablet, in an attempt to shake the ring rust off my already below par ability, yet enjoying whole re-learning process as I do so.

As I have not had a television for over 4 years, my book cases are healthily fed with an array of different subjects, where once I was a fan of horror and science fiction, the shelves are mainly travel books or biographies, with a sprinkling of WWII and Roman history for good measure.

My enjoyment of the written word leads to my enjoyment of cryptic crosswords, thereĀ  is something very pleasurable in attempting to crack the enigmatic minds of setters such as ‘Portia’, ‘Aquila’, ‘Aelred’ and ‘Lucifer’ to name just a few, while listening to music and of course a cup of tea to lubricate the ‘little grey cells’ as Hercule Poirot would say.

More recently there has been an explosion of Japanese number logic puzzles featured in the daily press, starting with the standard Sudoku puzzles, there is also killer sudoku and kakuro (a numerical crossword of sorts), which I have begun to master over a period of time.

Finally, my interest in food has been retained, years after I came out of the catering industry, working as a chef, I still like to experiment flavours and try foods I have not eaten before.

Once these days of social distancing can safely come to a close, I will appreciate so much more, the days when I may amble at will across beach and moorland once more, until then, I shall keep trying to crack the Saturday Times cryptic in one sitting…