Why would we ever think of leaving Piccotts End?

Happy new year everyone. 2020 has given everyone plenty of time for reflection. What have we learned to value from such a dreadful year? Counting our blessings might be one. Sue Leach and her husband Michael, pictured here, have lived in the village for nearly 20 years. I was chatting to Sue last week about the community spirit she and her Riverbank neighbours showed in ringing bells on Christmas Eve. ‘We do have a great sense of community here and lovely neighbours at Riverbank. After our Christmas celebrations Michael said to me “why would we ever think about moving away from here?”

We are indeed lucky having such a strong spirit of community. Events like our summer garden party, the safari supper, the fireworks party and the book club are what bring people together and provide the glue that binds us. Perhaps it’s because Piccotts End is that Goldilocks ideal of being neither too big nor too small that enables it to be so embracing.

Many of our social events are only possible of course when a pandemic is not forcing us to stay indoors and venture out only for exercise, work or essential shopping. Step outside the village limits and there is a greater reluctance to get involved in any conversation, even a socially distanced one.

Out on our daily walks we seldom get even a cursory nod from fellow walkers. They are often grim-faced, either buried in conversation or have earphones plugged in. In many cases they are clutching that fairly recent winter fashion accessory, a hand warming drink. Never mind its physical impact, it may take some time also to recover from the mental stress of the virus.