Isolation diary: Loving June

June is my favourite month. English asparagus, Jersey Royal potatoes waiting to be scrubbed, local strawberries, roses, Wimbledon and cricket – what not to love? – not to mention my birthday later in the month.

As a child I thought my parents had been very clever in arranging my birthday almost exactly halfway between two Christmasses. It spread the presents out very neatly. My memories are of sunny days, sometimes on the beach if the date fell at a weekend. And icecream.

We lived on the Isle of Wight until I was nine. Again I thought my parents had been brilliant in locating our family in the middle of an island so that, whichever direction we went, we would always end up on a beach. Although we didn’t have a car, steam trains were still running all over the island and there was a small halt just 10 minutes walk away.

My father was a Baptist minister and he always programmed in this Victorian hymn when the weather forecast warranted it, so I also associate the words and its cheerful tune with June and my birthday:

Summer suns are glowing
over land and sea;
happy light is flowing
bountiful and free.

Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday. He, his wife and I were all born in June 1945, so we are jointly celebrating a semi-significant date this year. We had planned to meet up and enjoy a champagne tea together, but that will have to wait for now.

I realise that some people may think that this post strikes the wrong tone. The murder of one man in the USA has challenged us all to re-appraise our levels of privilege and unconscious bias. The unravelling of trust in our Government is forcing us to examine our democratic structures in the UK. We have lost so many people to this dreadful virus, and it is still with us.

But, at the risk of sounding sentimental, we should still try to find joy in simple things. They ground us and support our mental health. So where did I leave the clotted cream?



Please note

We have been in full self-isolation since 16th March to protect my husband whose immune system is compromised.

If you are in self-isolation then join the Lib Dems in self-isolation Facebook group.

You can find my previous Isolation diaries here.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Richard Underhill 4th Jun '20 - 6:07pm

    Here’s hoping that you have a happy birthday. You are a ray of sunshine.
    Best wishes to your husband as well, hoping his health improves.

  • Thank you, Richard!

  • Do please keep on with your isolation diary. It is the only posting I always read right through, reminding us of our many blessings. But what a difference between the way we sing Amazing Grace and the meaning behind it to so many other people in the world.

  • Love that one, @Ian Sanderson

  • Lorenzo Cherin 5th Jun '20 - 2:22pm

    A lovely piece from the ever cheery Mary, no reasoning in trying to justify being encouraging and life affirming, we need it now, am doing that too as and when possible…

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 7th Jun '20 - 3:08pm

    June is also my favourite month. My “baby” turned 21 on Friday. It was a lovely time of year to get used to being a mum. My husband’s birthday, which also is the anniversary of the day we met (lucky him) is at the end of the month, too. And the weather is liable to be half decent up here. May and June are the best months which show Scotland at its best – July and August usually have spells of dull and wet weather.

    And of course, it’s the month of the longest day. I spent my teenage years in Wick, right at the north of Scotland, and it barely got absolutely dark. You could read a book outside at 10pm.

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