Life After Lockdown…

Lockdown is easing across the Alps and beyond. We covered the stories of our readers, reporters and others under lockdown. So, what are they up to as restrictions are lifted? UPDATED


We’ve been posting a popular rolling blog over the past few months, Life Under Lockdown.

We now look at life as restrictions ease and people get used to the so-called ‘new normal’….

Skiers face battle to protect their summer sports from Covid-19

In mid March, PlanetSKI reporter George Eykyn was in St Anton for that final week of skiing before the ski resorts closed across the Alps, as Covid-19 took hold.

He came home, had a probable bout of it himself, recovered, and adjusted like everyone to lockdown.

He reported on his exodus from St Anton at the time, Exodus from Austria plus confusion over whether to self-isolate

It was bad enough for George to see skiing close, but now his summer sport is under threat.

George Eykyn

George Eykyn

“Lockdown and social distancing have created real barriers for summer sports like cricket, which I play.

Golf and tennis have been able to resume, in large measure; but cricket clubs all over the UK are facing an uncertain future.

Restrictions relaxed allow 1-1 practice and coaching.

The rules are tight on things like handling the same ball as someone else.

Using sweat or saliva to moisten and shine the ball – as players previously did – is now forbidden.

The latest relaxation allows up to 6 players to practise together, while remaining 2m apart.

Cricket is an 11-a-side sport, and in a game several will need to come closer to each other than 2m, so at club level any matches this summer seem unlikely before August at best.

My club, Gerrards Cross CC, usually depends upon a programme of coaching for large numbers of youngsters through the summer which brings in many thousands of pounds.

It simply can’t happen this year.

Gerrard's Cross Cricket Club

Gerrards Cross Cricket Club

Adult players may understandably hesitate before paying annual subscriptions, when there’s no guarantee they will take part in a match in 2020.

Many clubs throughout the country face an identical problem.

Their financial management is usually a close-run affair in the best of times; the consequences of Covid have imposed a financial crunch and, for some, a threat to their solvency and existence.

They are having to be imaginative in how they bring in funds to stay afloat.

At my club, the adult squad members have all committed to run 100km in June to raise money through sponsorship.

It’s not the same challenge as, say, a marathon; but we have players aged from their teens to those like me in their mid-fifties.

It’s a team effort, and we are all supporting each other to get it done.

We use the Strava app to log distances and times, and we gee each other along in a dedicated WhatsApp group.

The consequences of the Covid pandemic may have ruined much of the summer’s activity, but sportspeople understand why.

And in clubs like mine, they are showing the same mutual support, bonding and care for others that have been evident in communities throughout this crisis.


As June comes to an end we’re almost there….. BIG thanks to all 302 people who have contributed.

If you want to help us reach the target you know what to do….

Progress is tracked on our fundraising page on JustGiving.

Gerrard's Cross Cricket Club

Gerrards Cross Cricket Club


George Eykyn

George Eykyn

Social Distancing on Water

The golf courses and tennis courts are packed as some sports are now allowed as lockdown eases.

Here at PlanetSKI we have just discovered another fabulous outdoor sport – Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding.

It comes highly recommended by us if you want another outdoor activity to break the monotony of lockdown life.

We turned it into our “end-of-season treat” as we didn’t have one this year – kids and partners invited too.

We headed out to Moose Canoe Hire on the Thames at Marlow in Buckinghamshire for a day on the water.

Perfect for social distancing, great exercise and enormous fun (don’t worry we are all in the same household).

Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

On the Thames with Moose Canoe Hire

See here for full details at Moose Canoe Hire.

Sadly, our chief reporter, Jane Peel, couldn’t make it.

She was being a bit more energetic – while social distancing from all other humans – on some other water at nearby(ish) Rickmansworth.


Jane Peel on the water – photo Ian Bennell

Me to My Mum

If you happen to be a friend of the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, on Facebook you will know he has been blogging about his regular phone conversations with his 92-year old mum since lockdown began.

He has been posting a couple of times a week and his kept it very much on his personal page and not on PlanetSKI.

There have been many ski references, but it has been for friends not a wider audience.

Many have urged him to share it to PlanetSKI readers, but he decided against it.

However, he has just been to see her in person for the first time since just after Xmas and it is likely his last post on his conversations and it kind of fits in to this “Life after Lockdown” page.

And so he shares on PlanetSKI, perhaps the final, “Me to my Mum”….

All the others can be found on his personal Facebook page if you are a friend and the pieces haven’t been served up in your timeline by the algorithms.

Me to my Mum

Me to my Mum

My elderly mother lives on her own after my father died a decade or so ago.

She is currently in self-isolation in Tunbridge Wells, supported by my two sisters.

Me to My Mum:

“How was your day?”

My Mum to Me:

“Well, it is very nice to see you again in person after all this time. I think the last time we saw each other was just after Christmas, before you went to live in northern Italy so you could go skiing all the time.

That came to a bit of an abrupt end, but I expect you’ll be back there again next year.

We first took you skiing to Gargellen in Austria in 1966 when you were 8-years old, so I don’t suspect the virus will interupt you love of the mountains

What a lovely day to sit on Pa’s bench on the Common.

I don’t like to share the bench with people, as I have measured it and people can’t be 2m away from each other, so I like to bring my folding chair if I have guests.

It’s a shame there is no cricket to watch, but I assume it will restart sometime over the summer as all sorts of things are getting going again.

I never really understand cricket, but it is very relaxing to watch.

Your father was a fast bowler, but I believe he thought he was better than he actually was.

Men are like that you know.

Now, how was your journey down on your motorbike?

I expect you went on all those little back roads and country lanes that you like, rather than going on the motorway.

I managed to find you a parking place in the block as there is a young man who has a Harley Davidson so I asked him if you could park your motorbike next to his.

He was very happy to offer part of his space.

I understand you motorcyclists always like to help each other out.

I think the low point of this whole lock down was when I had to file my tooth down and do some self-dentistry after one of my crowns fell off and all the dentists were shut.

My tongue kept getting caught on it and then started bleeding.

It’s extraordinary how much blood there is in your tongue and at some time I did wonder what was the point of carrying on as all the blood gushed out.

It all happened on the day of my wedding anniversary too, so it was far from ideal.

I have some exciting news as a new cleaner started today and I’m pleased to say she wore a mask and gloves as you really can’t be too careful.

I put mine on as well so she felt comfortable. Everyone seems to think the virus has gone away but it hasn’t you know.

By the way I do like your scarf.

It looks good at stopping the virus spreading and you can advertise your skiing web site on it too.

Do you think you could send me one in the post or bring one down next time you visit?

My new cleaner is going to come once a month, I don’t really need her as I like to keep my flat clean, but there are all sorts of corners one misses, especially at my age as I can’t bend down quite like I used to.

I asked her to ensure the rugs are especially clean as I had moths once and I don’t want them back.

I always think a home should be clean as you never know who is going to pop around for a cup of tea, even though I don’t let anyone in at the moment.

My mother said you should keep your home as clean as if the Queen was coming to visit.

I think that is going a bit far, but it is important to keep one’s standards up and even more so in these difficult times.

Anyway, let me give you some biscuits and coffee. I would like to offer you some cake but there wasn’t any in my latest delivery of food, but the biscuits are very nice.

I expect you’ll be popping in to see your sister, Elizabeth, on your way home as she lives nearby.

She has plenty of spare tomato plants if you need any, but I think they would be a bit awkward to carry on your motorbike.

She’s been marvellous phoning me every day ay 9.30 and now she comes to visit me once a week too which is very nice, and we usually come to Pa’s bench.

Honestly this bench has been my god-send and I think I’d have kicked the bucket long ago if I couldn’t come down here.

Everyone seems to know me and ask how I am as they walk by.

I probably go on a bit, but it is important to be polite and we all have plenty of time at the moment.

Your father’s friend Peter has a bench on the Common too but it doesn’t have such a good view of the cricket.

Before the virus I used to sit on Pa’s bench with my two art friends and we’d do some sketching and then have a bottle of wine for tea.

I thought it best not to offer you wine as you have to drive back to London on your motorbike.

How’s the family?”

Anthea Cove will be 93-years old this year.

Anthea Cove

Anthea Cove

Our first contributor was one of our regular readers, Lindsey Cairns, who lives in the tiny village of St Urlich am Pillersee in the Tirol in Austria.

So, it seems appropriate we hear from Lindsey as we look at life as restrictions ease and people get used to the so-called ‘new normal’….

The Tirol, Austria

The Tirol, Austria

Austria Lockdown Eases

Well the new normal is hurtling our way in Austria.

Today our lifts opened so the mountains are officially open to everyone.

Hotels and apartments are allowed to open, the local theme park is open, our footballers are even back at training (yeah, like I’m interested).

After 15th June, we will no longer need to wear masks in the shops, schools and restaurants.

We will still need to wear them on public transport, hospitals, doctors and pharmacies.

They have also said in public places where you can’t keep a distance from others.

At the moment, my feelings are that I’m not going to be ready to give my masks up until I’m confident it will be OK.

It will be up to the individuals, I suppose.

Our border to Germany will be fully open again in 2 weeks to welcome guests back to the mountains.

It does feel a little weird to be honest, you get so used to everywhere being quiet that you forget that we should be really busy with holiday makers everywhere by now.

Our restaurants and bars have been open for 2 weeks now and there has been no spike in the virus in fact in our province there are only 22 officially infected people.

I think we are all wondering once the borders are open, if the infection rate will increase.

I suppose we will need to just wait and see.

I feel positive with how the government has handled things here.

There just seems to be less Am Drams in most European countries than in the UK.

I watch both Austrian and UK news and to be honest it’s like watching a soap opera in the UK.

Don’t get me wrong, they are not perfect in Austria either but they just seem more professional.

I do feel a bit embarrassed to be a Brit though with all this crap about Dominic Cummings and Boris defending the indefensible.

We already look like a bunch of eejits over Brexit and then to be shown as coming up short when dealing with this virus, it doesn’t really make me very proud.

Anyway, that’s my political input over and done with.

I am very excited about getting a new ebike, it’s here and just needs to be built by the shop and then I will get my grubby paws on it.

There is nothing wrong with my old one, but I’ve had it while and simply I want a new one, in a lovely new colour….. I know, I’m shallow.

So apologies in advance about the photos that I will be posting and showing off my new toy.

Pete goes back to work next week, which is also going to be weird.

I bought him a face shield today as I’m keen to keep us both protected.

He has had the best time the last couple of months, sorting out the garden and replacing the wood on the outside of the house.

As you would expect, he has done a great job.

So as we move forward to our new normal, I still think about all those people who have lost the fight against this killer disease and how this is going to affect us in the future.

I suppose we are just going to have to wait and see, but it still feels a little like Russian Roulette.

I am positive about the future and how our world is going to change.

How our new normal is just going to become normal and what was unthinkable in February has become our current normal.

As always, if anyone needs to talk, text or rant.

Pete and I are both here for you and remember if you can be anything, be kind.

Anyway, enough from me.

Have a lovely weekend and here’s a couple of photos from the last few weeks.

The Tirol, Austria

The Tirol, Austria

The Tirol, Austria