Living in Lockdown 2020 by Mrs Freda Brown, Primrose Hill, NW1 – by Maureen Betts

Primrose Hill Short Story Entry

Well this new way of life for the residents of Primrose Hill has not really affected me because I live in my family fox hole at the back of Primrose Hill and I can come and go as I please. My only problem is getting enough food to eat and feed my pups as cafes and restaurants in Regents Park Road are all shut. They used to leave their bags of food rubbish outside their premises each night for me to raid. The only consolation is that now residents are living in lock down they are eating at home and once a week they leave their overflowing brown food caddies out overnight for the rubbish collectors to pick up early in the morning. I have worked out which roads are collected on which morning so most nights I can find a food caddy I can knock over. Another benefit is that as residents cannot go out to restaurants to eat they are experimenting with cooking more exotic food at home so my diet has improved. I say all food outlets are closed, but the juice bar which only opened a few months ago has stayed open for the past three months. This is good for me and my family as each night they leave all their rubbish under the tree outside their premises and we can sample their fruit juice products for free. The streets at night are now deserted from early evening so my stroll through the neighbourhood is most enjoyable. I can climb walls into back gardens, chase cats and squirrels and generally relax as there is no one about to chase me off.

The day time is more problematic as there are now just so many people walking up and through Primrose Hill and Regents Park. More than on a sunny day before lock down. All getting their recommended daily exercise, but they look so odd walking two metres apart and shouting at each other as they cannot hear each other speak at that distance whilst wearing face masks. And cyclists, where have they all come from, whipping around the outer circle of Regents Park. One has to be so careful when crossing the road. My observations of residents on their walks is that they are gaining weight and growing beards and long hair. Also it seems more empty bottles of alcohol are left in the park on sunny weekends now people are being allowed to meet up in small groups. I overheard one group the other day saying “when this lock down is over where to go first Weight Watchers or AA”.

For the past few months as weather has been so beautiful and warm my fur coat has felt a bit unnecessary although it has a lovely sheen on it from the healthy food I am eating from the contents of those brown caddies. My pups are growing fast and enjoying the lock down as they can play on the Hill at night and early in the morning before the joggers arrive. They can also scavenge the Hill for picnic left overs. My hubby and I took them all for a walk along the canal the other evening and was surprised how clear the canal is without the boats churning up the water. We observed many interesting items which have been thrown in the canal over the years, including cycles, car tyres, metal pipes and much more. The canal even looked inviting it was so clear and it was a hot night, but we didn’t dive in.

We are also observing the different species of birds visiting the Hill and Regents Park now that the pollution has dropped and the sky seems always to be blue. A lesser spotted woodpecker landed on a tree right by the path in Primrose Hill Park the other day and started tapping away and a Kestrel family is using a bird box in Regents Park. The parents can be seen flying high and hunting for food for their young.
Since the zoo has been closed we have all enjoyed visiting it at night to say hello to the occupants in their cages. We can also pick up some left over food. On the way to the zoo we noticed the blackberry bushes with so many flowers on so should be a bumper crop in September.
All I seem to talk about is food, but the life of a fox mainly centres around family and food, as we snuggle down in our family fox hole munching on those stolen chicken legs.

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