A year ago today (28th February), we celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary with a visit to Chirk Castle – not far from home, to (finally) see their famous snowdrop display- and to join the National Trust as we fully intended to visit as many NT houses and gardens as we could in 2020. And then Covid 19 hit. Three weeks later we were in lockdown, restricted to walks from our doorstep; saddened, shocked and bewildered at what we were seeing on the news.

I feel as though I’ve been holding my breath ever since. Not in case I breath the virus in, but because if I let it out, I’ll be like one of those cartoon characters that smacks its thumb with a hammer and rushes outside to scream.

Twelve months of holding this in:


We haven’t travelled outside a 10-mile radius from home in eleven months. Haven’t eaten a takeaway, been on holiday, visited gardens, beaches, beauty spots, cinemas, pubs, garden centres or retail parks.

I had my car serviced last Thursday: I’ve driven 650 miles in 52 weeks, most of that between 28 February and 21 March 2020. Add in trips to the supermarket (12 miles round trip) and to the recycling centre (11 miles each way), four trips to see my brother (nine miles away) and that’s it. I’ve put petrol in my car twice, and it’s still half full!


Our previous visit to Chirk was in May 2005, so I’m sharing images from both days – fifteen years apart – to what has changed. I’ve tried to match similar views where I can, some may be the same thing from different angles. 2005 on the left, 2020 on the right.

Images deleted to free up storage space on my Media Library