I noticed something different as I stepped outside for my permitted daily walk.
But what was it? At first I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it struck me: it was the silence. No underlying rumble of traffic on the A34, no sound of planes on their way into Heathrow. It was similar to the silence encountered early on Christmas morning, or when there has been a sudden heavy snowfall overnight.
As a result, triumphant birdsong can be heard much more clearly. It’s a lovely reminder that the course of nature is unaffected by Covid-19. Also immune from lockdown, of course, are the spring flowers, now starting to appear in all their myriad colours.
And talking of myriad colours, have you noticed that the buses still serving Kidlington are bursting out in their own panoply of different colours? There are yellow buses (see picture, taken in Mill Street), cerise buses, and orange buses, all providing an exotic lift to the streetscape.
KV has been investigating this strange phenomenon. “Oxford Bus Company have 90 vehicles off the road,” explains OBC managing director Phil Southall. “They have been SORN’d [Statutory Off Road Notification in DVLA-speak] for the foreseeable future.” This of course means that licensing money can be saved, a very sensible economy in present circumstances.
So the remaining OBC buses are often to be seen well away from their usual routes. Let’s hope that the particularly large number of potholes they will encounter between Oxford and Kidlington don’t provide too much of a shock to their springs!
Giles Woodforde is a long-time resident of Kidlington village and was once a familiar voice to listeners of BBC Radio Oxford. He is best known as a feature writer and reviewer for the Performing Arts for The Oxford Times newspaper.