The Distance Project

Hiroshima Day

Social Distancing Project 255I saw much social distancing and some masks outside the temple. There are about twenty adult faces visible in this photo, and six of them are wearing masks. You might not be able to see all of them in this relatively small online image.

 

The Distance Project 35

Two and a half weeks after lockdown pretty much ended, I went to the Hiroshima Day Ceremony at the Buddhist temple. It was the 6th of August.

Around one in five adults still wore facemasks, both inside and out. But those who stayed outdoors were quite well spread out, most still keeping their distance. Indoors, they sat all next to each other, masked or not.

Most of the people who chose to stay outside could have squeezed into the shrine room, but it seems they preferred not to.

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Release

Social Distancing Project 248


The Distance Project 34

On Monday the 19th of June the lockdown pretty much ended. Freedom at last.

On Friday the 23rd of June I went to see my first live band in a pub for over 16 months. I’d missed my regular Friday night gig and found this to be a great release, and not just for me.

The band was Wait For Jude, the pub the Fox and Hounds, Stony Stratford.

People danced and sang and didn’t seem to care if they were near anybody else or not. Actually, there was a lot of deliberate close contact going on; mates rubbing shoulders, women hugging, men and women dancing in lines.

It was like we had never been away.

I’d been planning how to photograph this event for months, and this is what I saw.

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Mask Survey

Social Distancing Project 247

The Monday Photo

The Distance Project

It’s Thursday, the fourth day since the lockdown eased right off, but my visitor is still wearing a mask.

It’s because he is a council surveyor, and required to wear a mask when visiting properties. I’m not surprised.

On my visit to Central Milton Keynes on the first eased day, the previous Monday, I saw that about a third of shoppers were still wearing masks. I think a lot of people are still going to be wary for quite a while, and the council have to bear this in mind.

We discussed the matter. I was quite willing to wear a mask while he was in my home, but I was also happy if he took his mask off. I’m double jabbed, (he most likely was too) and windows were open in every room. In the end, neither of us wore a mask during his visit. A helpful and knowledgable chap.

This is just one of many posts from The Distance Project, which has been running since April last year. That link will take you back to the very first posts, or if you want to see them in reverse order, click on the link in the categories list that's on every page.

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Freedom!

Social Distancing Project 239

 

The Distance Project 33

It was Freedom Day, Monday the 19th. I went to Central Milton Keynes to see what was happening; would everybody be maskless?

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Getting the Needle

Social Distancing Project 236

Distance Project 32

On Monday I cycled the short distance from my house to the Open University campus, for my second Covid jab, another dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

My first dose had been at Saxon Court in Central Milton Keynes, where I was not allowed to take photos. This time at the OU’s Michael Young building, the paramedic who injected me and the two guides out on the road were happy to help.

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The Flag of Tibet

Tibet flag raising day

The Monday Photo

Tibetans are not allowed to raise their flag in their own country, Tibet being occupied by Communist China.

But once a year the flag is flown in Milton Keynes, and this year, as before, it was raised in the garden of the Buddhist temple at North Willen lake.

Usually 70-100 people attend the event but because of Covid this wasn’t possible. Only six people could be in the temple, and only six runners could take a flag each around the lake. This man was one of them.

The Tibetan flag is full of symbolism. The six red bands on a dark blue sky are for the six original tribes of Tibet, and a pair of fearless snow lions represent Tibet’s unified spiritual and secular life. The lions stand on a great snowy mountain, the great nation of Tibet. Between them they hold two jewels; symbols of reverence to Buddhist principals.

At the peak of the mountain is the sun, shining over all. The yellow border represents the spreading teachings of the Buddha. The flag was designed by the previous Dalai Llama, the 13th, in 1916.

The ceremony took place on Sunday 16th May, the day before the social distancing rules were eased. I don’t know yet how the relaxed rules have now changed for religious events.

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