We live in the short section of Grimston Lane which finishes in spiked metal and a dead end. Compulsory self-isolation means that although we may hear our neighbours, it is no longer a frequent occurrence to see them in actuality. Last night, at five to eight, I phoned our neighbours Sandra and Clifford to see if they were going out to register their appreciation of the National Health Service. We walked outside whilst I was still on the phone to discover them emerging from their front door. The four of us waved vigorously to each other in the dark and turning around I could see another neighbour standing outside. There we stood, moving around to keep ourselves warm, all engaged in applauding not just the N.H.S but also the shop workers, goods suppliers, care workers and many thousands of others who are keeping the essential services rolling in the strange landscape in which we find ourselves.
I have just received two extracts from Kitty Moss’s journal describing the gratitude and applause of last week and am now publishing her thoughts and feelings in her own words:
I am a Trimley girl, even though I have emigrated to the seafront area in Felixstowe and have sadly lost my wide-open spaces.
Written on Thursday 26th March 2020
Have just come back indoors from a truly emotional few minutes in honour of the NHS. The church bell rang once at 8pm. and the clapping began, slowly at first and then surprise, surprise … nearly every house in my very quiet street tentatively began to join in. Then a saucepan banging began and we all clapped with more gusto and the whole area around us was echoing with clapping and clanging. I cried and am sure I was not the only one. And we all felt at one with each other and with gentle waves of greeting, returned to our lonely isolations.
We are now getting used to these days on our own. I started the isolation with great gusto and enthusiasm for all the jobs I was going to get done. And now, the endless phone calls with long waiting queues, when all you wanted to do was speak to the pharmacy which is only 2 minutes up the road……..so frustrating when the phone tells you nobody is available to take your call. Same with the supermarket……choose the shopping with great care, only to find there are no delivery slots. When is the best time to catch a slot, one wonders? All this is slowing me right down and I can’t see it getting better anytime soon. And the endless media coverage of misery and difficulty and sickness and death. Compounded with the seemingly inexplicable delay of testing kits, PPE wear for the exhausted medical staff… and the messages predicting the end of days popping up all over my phone.
You can tell I was feeling rather morbid as for the first time I am coming to terms that I too am becoming an old lady and my life will one day end. Never really felt that would happen to me. Always somebody else. Hopefully I will wake up tomorrow to another beautifully sunny morning and feel more positive and get on with all the projects I had planned for this unexpected gift of spare time. And I am so grateful that all that is expected of me is to stay at home. Keep safe.
Written on Thursday 2nd April
One of the joys of being in Felixstowe was New Year’s Eve, when all the ships for miles around sounded off their hooters. So, this year, I went for a solitary stroll along the prom at the appointed hour, and although there were a few damp squibs being let off, I couldn’t hear a single hooter from anywhere. I wandered back home feeling very disappointed. But all that changed last night, when, in response for the call to saucepans at 8 pm in support for all the people looking after us, while we swan about at home in splendid isolation, I tentatively crept down my drive to see if anybody else was about. Great stuff … they were all out and then to my absolute joy, all the ships let rip with a huge roar of horns, it was truly wonderful and once again, tears came to my eyes. We were all overcome and clapped and banged with renewed vigour and hope. And after quick waves to each other, went back into our cosy isolation. Wish I had recorded it, as it was so inspiring, and all the nurses etc. would have loved it.
As ever, I welcome any further contributors who might wish to give their own reports of The Great Pandemic in Trimley St. Martin. If you have any comments or would like to be part of this Trimley St. Martin project, please contact me at: