Now that I have become one of those who “works from home” along with many at the moment, I have left the car in the garage but have been going out most days for a government-approved bicycle ride. It is a while since I used my bicycle because I find the road traffic difficult. Now, however, the traffic is much lighter and I am happy to ride along the roads. It is also easier to avoid passing within 2 metres of other people on the road than when out walking. Cars now seem a lesser risk than pedestrians! Although there was a scary moment on the Eccleshall Road when two big tractors came towards me side by side, probably they were having a race. But it left me with only three feet of space on the road which felt like very little. I am not yet ready to cycle a very long way so have been cycling mostly around the town, noticing which shops have long queues and which don’t (M&S always seems to have a queue outside).

As I go round the town I think of people whose houses I am passing, maybe you could call that a prayer. And I don’t know all of the addresses of everybody in the church. I have been as far as Oulton church, have considered Moddershall but the hill is steep.   

Once, some years ago, I cycled to Moddershall to lead an afternoon service, with my robes in a rucksack, and arrived in a sweaty state after the hill-climb. When I put my robes on, I was even hotter but I hope that nobody noticed how sweaty I was underneath. Returning was easy but a severe test of the brake blocks.

I see a few other cyclists out and have been overtaken four times by cyclists but they were all wearing Lycra so that doesn’t count. People who go out in Lycra have to think about their image and being overtaken by someone in a shirt and tie would be a serious embarrassment.

Back at the desk for a video meeting, one of my colleagues appeared on-screen without any hair. Normally he has a full head of hair but now the Barbers’ shops are all closed, he decided to shave it all off to save any further effort. Can’t remember anything else from that meeting. Normally most meetings begin with a long period of “Can you hear me? Wave your arms if you can hear!” “I can’t see you, enable video on your screen” etc. One person at work, new to all this, sat in front of his computer at the allotted time and expected it all to appear on his screen without him touching anything. We had to send emails and phone him to get any response. This is not helped by various people preferring different meeting software. I normally use skype but now we are all learning about Zoom, last week I had a Lifesize meeting, then tomorrow it will be Microsoft Teams. And there is Facetime.

Dave Bell