I have just returned from one of my around Longridge walks. One keeping to the hard surfaces. It is wild and windy, cool with more rain due shortly. I acknowledged and chatted to friends in passing, even their dogs are getting to know me. It is surprising how many have tested positive  for the Covid virus and been ill, I’m glad I have kept myself semi isolated. and I’ve had one vaccination six weeks back now.

The not so Merry-Go-Round continues as we are urged to stay at home, I did the same yesterday and no doubt tomorrow I’ll repeat a similar walk.

But cases, hospital admissions and deaths are coming down, and schools are back.  So what may we plan for in the coming weeks?  I need to remind myself of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ for coming out of lockdown. As I think they apply to me –

         From 29 March:

  • People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the “rule of six”, including in private gardens
  • The stay at home rule will end, but the government will urge people to stay local as much as possible

       Stage two (no earlier than 12 April):

  • All shops allowed to open, along  with hairdressers.
  • Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in the UK in self-contained accommodation


     Stage three (no earlier than 17 May):

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors
  • Pubs and restaurants  can seat customers indoors
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
  • International leisure travel may resume.

There is little guidance on social distancing, hand hygiene or face mask wearing. Perhaps the scientists will remind us of those in due course.

All the above depending on –

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan.
  • Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying or needing hospital treatment.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions.
  • New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions.


Where does that leave me?  Well from the end of March I can walk locally with up to six people which is an improvement. My son who lives local can come for a brew in the garden but I’m not sure if I can meet up with my family from Manchester, too distant. In April, I can get my hair cut and stay in self-catering accommodation, though a lot is already booked up. I assume travelling further afield is then permitted. Not until May could I stay in a hotel or B&B. I have no desire to rush abroad whilst European cases are high or variants about, Ryanair’s emails to me suggest otherwise.

I have a few short backpacking trips in quiet areas of the UK on the slow burner so they are a possibility either with B&B’s or taking a tent to be independent. I’d better retrieve one of my tents from the back of the cupboard to check it for worthiness.  Even better I should be able to meet up with friends I’ve not seen for a year for some exercise and a pint. I have a feeling that any outing is going to feel rather strange, I will have to get into a different mindset – a lot has changed in a year. I think any alpine trip can wait till next year but what about the Canaries next winter? I did spot this on the fell last week…


Oh well, don’t hold your breath I will be around Longridge again tomorrow. Treat yourself to a little Pete Green…


  1. shazza

    I do really feel hope now that things will get semi back to normal. I reckon hand sanitizer and masks may become part of that normal, but that’s a small price to pay. 🙂

  2. Michael Graeme

    One thing the pandemic year has taught me is how to save a tenner every month or so by cutting my own hair, albeit just a pair of clippers and a number three all over – took a bit of nerve that first time though. My sons are quite the dab hand with it too, even capable of adding a bit of “style” as befits the young. I suspect the barbers will be a little down on trade when they do open up.

    Nice reminder of the Peter Green Fleetwood Mac era!

        1. ms6282

          I’d have ended up looking like That bloke from the Prodigy if I hadn’t had it clipped 😂 My sone was a ringer for Howard Hughes until we finally persuaded him to get it cut.

  3. Eunice

    You could always grow your hair long and become an older hippy 🙂 I think ‘stay local’ means different things depending on different locations – I can drive for six miles or so and still be local but someone living in a village out in the sticks will be very limited. I went to Manchester on Sunday to take some photos for my blog but only as I was accompanying a friend to Piccadilly station, I wouldn’t have gone otherwise. I’ll be glad when we can go further afield as I’m itching to get out there 🙂

    1. bowlandclimber

      An ‘ageing hippy’ might suit me. He is to be seen wandering across the fells muttering to himself, something about a girl in San Francisco and flowers in her hair.
      Glad you are staying local.

  4. ms6282

    Like many of us, I’m also looking forward to be able to venture a little further for some walking. The West Pennine moors will be first up but maybe round your way would count as reasonably local. Parlick and Fair Snape fell – I haven’t been up there for years – expect its peak bog atthe moment though 😀

    1. bowlandclimber

      I haven’t been up Fairsnape this year, too many people parking and I just had this fear of a simple slip leading to a helicopter rescue and a bad time in casualty. A lot of the medical staff at Preston have stopped cycling etc because they are aware of the problems of getting decent treatment. I feel more mortal now than I’ve ever done before – it will pass I hope. Strange times.

      1. ms6282

        Yes, a trip to hospital hasn’t been something to savour – even more than normal. Mind you I have a trip to one in another month for a minor procedure (which will slow up my return to the hills). Good job I’ve had my jab 💉


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