Frances Glen lives in the east end of Glasgow and is retired. Frances worked as a social worker for 32 years until retiral 4 years ago and worked in the Highland Region, South Lanarkshire and for the last 22 years with Glasgow City Council. This is her written submission.
Every day I walk round the park and circle the loch several times, returning to where I started and going round again, and again. Rather symbolic of lockdown, every day the same as the day before like for the guy in Groundhog Day.
Nothing changes in the park, except perhaps for the ducks having to share their habitat with the hoards now pounding the earth in their daily exercise routine while feeding them the stale bread from their own abode, making them fat, when signs that nobody takes any notice of, say that wild fowl don’t need feeding.
The dogs on long leads that allow them to have a bit of leeway and others allowed to roam freely, growling faces and hangdog expressions, and that’s just the owners. Many of the dogs are dressed like little people in warm colourful coats. The owners smile indulgently while the dogs entangle themselves around the feet of other walkers.
Dogs; and children that roll up behind you on scooters never diverting from their course and forcing you to move before your heels are grated. Their owners look on indulgently too and smile at you and little cutesy. There’s joggers flying by behind you and towards you every few yards, alternatively there is the old dodderers like myself, dragging themselves round at the speed of a tortoise. Some people recoil when they pass being careful of the virus like you might contaminate them with a look, others brush against you as though playing a weird and dangerous game of chicken. It can be difficult to navigate a path.
Real life eludes us for now, no retail therapy, going for lunches, cinema, holidays. In those times walking was a relaxing pastime, getting out in the wide-open spaces and breathing fresh air. Now it can seem rather tedious, a bit of a drag, also we need to stay local, no heading for the hills. Alright if local is somewhere nice.
Anyway. there are little shoots of life to encourage optimism, little bits of colour beginning to emerge within the park, a reminder that spring is in the air and putting a spring in our step. There is hope that life will soon return to some kind of normality and restore some choice about how to spend our time, which will make a walk in the park, once again an enjoyable thing to do.
In the meantime, it’s a case of “keep calm and carry on”, I will be back in the park tomorrow and every day to do it all again, because there’s nothing else to do for now, the only variant these days being the weather and the bug. You might see me there because every day I walk round the park and circle the loch several times.