Way back in March the world as we know it changed; literally overnight all our familiarities and routines were stripped back bare to a nothing!
A week before we officially went into 'lockdown' I had already started shielding as I was imminently due to have surgery and couldn't risk being ill - needless to say my surgery ended up being cancelled.
For a good 8 weeks (maybe more - I've lost a total sense of time in these times), myself and my family stayed at home, we couldn't go anywhere and it was, without a doubt very hard, especially for a family who are very active and more often or not, outside in the fresh air.
Homeschooling, planning activities all day, doing some 'virtual' Scouting and entertaining ourselves at home became the norm... we even started to plan to become self sufficient in some ways with the children helping to make some new planters from old pallets and planting up some vegetables!
The joyous moment when 'shielders' were relaxed a little bit of freedom to get out.. and this is where my new 'normal' life took a twist.
A friend of mine allowed me to go and visit a local Badger sett where I very quickly fell in love with these beautiful creatures. In all the years I have been out and about these were my first ever sightings of a Badger, and on the first night it was just a fleeting encounter.
This was the start of my new adventures into the lives of Bentley Badger and his 'Crew'.
I visited regularly over a fortnight period and finally got my first photo of these shy but majestic beauties. My perseverance paid off the following evening... laden with peanuts and an irresistible cracker with peanut butter I took my first 'proper' badger photo after 'Scarlet' couldn't resist the temptation of the luscious peanut butter.
This is my new 'normal' going out most evenings to visit Bentley and his family's magical world - it's my escapism from the turmoil currently going on around us, and the worries of my upcoming surgery... it is my calm and my happy place... and you know what, to have all this amazing nature on your very own doorstep makes you realise the best things in life really are free (well... apart from the cost of some peanuts)... and you suddenly appreciate the simpler things in life!