A message from one of our followers across the pond in Canada.

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As we have mentioned several times in the past our readers come from all over the world, and a few weeks ago  we heard from a gentleman living in Calgary,  Alberta.

Like so many people living abroad, they are avid watchers of television programmes concerning the property market like ‘Escape to the Country’ and ‘Love It Or List it.’ In fact, they often learn more about our beautiful country in 30 mins, than in a visit to our shores. 

Dear Editors:

Tonight my wife and I were binge-watching Love It or List It UK. 
An episode from 2016 involved residents of Cranleigh. We spotted a business on the High Street called The Lemon Tree. Looking up this business revealed development controversy that your publication covered in 2018. You reported due to changes in local policy more homes were going to be built in the village; that many businesses on the High Street would close as a result.
I am curious, as this is 2020, what became of that issue? Did as predicted all these businesses reported as going, going, gone pick up and leave? Did developing the brownfield parcels come about as they were supposed to be? Did the addition of these homes (~3K?) change the quiet nature of Cranleigh?
As they say, this enquiring mind wants to know, and hear back from you. Take care, stay healthy.
Darryl Darwent
Calgary, Alberta
Dear Darryl,
Greetings from lock-down Britain, where the virus is sprouting up faster than the daffodils at present and life is anything but normal. However, our spirits are high and we live in hope and dream about the day when normal service will be resumed and we can get on with life again.
Some of us think that life will never be quite the same, and we may have to do things differently in future. Perhaps this was a lesson we all needed to learn – about the planet and the way we live with it, and not just on it?

Thank you for contacting us here at the Waverley Web – and we are doing a considerable amount of research at present to answer all your questions about life in Cranleigh following all the development.

Glad to hear that your enquiring mind prompted you to write to us, it is always good to hear from readers abroad.  Please do not hesitate to contact us, and perhaps if you have the time!!!! tell us how life and the virus are affecting your lives over there.

Waverley Web

 To answer your question, which did require quite a bit of research.
  • The Lemon Tree, which was a very popular small gift shop, has sadly CLOSED. But another retailer selling Eco goods has sprouted up in its place – and despite the Lock-down is one of the few shops open for business.
  • What will happen to the other shops, is anyone’s guess. We hear that some have already put up the CLOSED signs, for good.
  • Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan for the borough of Waverley, which includes Cranleigh was passed, and development has forged ahead with another 1,500 homes consented – approximately 250 of which have now been constructed.
  • As you will no doubt have heard, we have been enduring some unprecedented times here on our side of the pond, and as we write well over 33,000 of our citizens have sadly died from the Coronavirus, which is casting its vicious net world-wide.
  • Yes, the brownfield sites you mentioned were agreed by local and Central Government including a garden village of some 2,600 homes on Dunsfold Airfield. (Which by the way is the home of Top Gear) and, yes, we believe all these homes when finally built will almost certainly change the quiet nature of the once rural character of the village of Cranleigh. Whether that change is for the better – we rest our case!

Dear William,

Sorry for such a late reply. It has been 60 days since I was told our office would be shutting down due to COVID-19 concerns. I am a federal government worker; an administrative assistant in the tax department. Since then my wife and I have been isolating in our house in northwest Calgary. Overall we have fared very well. My pay continues to come in.
We have been buying groceries online, and the store delivers them. We deferred our mortgage for three months. We had a person who was renting some basement space at the time the restrictions came into being; we stressed we would like her to stay home (both my wife and I have existing medical conditions). She being younger than us, and single felt we were imposing on her. After about forty-five days she decided to move out. Since then my wife and I have been enjoying our time together. We have never been bored. There is plenty to watch on TV; we have lots of books to read; we have music; we have each other. My wife sews. The “honey-do list” is fairly long. The only thing about that last item is that I have discovered my ability to procrastinate is just as strong as when I did not have enough time to do the work. Ha ha.
Initially, I took on the attitude that the government was paying me to stay at home. Thus, I was going to master that task. Other than the short walk to the mailbox, I was achieving that goal. On the few really nice sunny days we would sit at the top of our driveway to enjoy the warmth and speak to neighbours passing by. I recognise now that I should have put a priority on being active (i.e., walking or using an exercise bike). I had lost weight after New Year’s. Unfortunately, it has come back onto my bones. Last week we drove out to the surrounding countryside. Both of us are hobby photographers. As Spring is upon us here we thought the trip would be inspiring; that we could witness some wildlife returning after a cold winter.  It was a great experience. We limited our contact with others by staying in our vehicle.
This week I have started to work from home.  I had to go to the office last week and on Tuesday to pick up some computer equipment. It is all set up in my basement. I am tuned in to the needs of my managers. It has been a bit slow to begin with, still, it’s nice to have some purpose. After twenty years in my position, I am hoping this experience will be a catalyst to show my employer that I can do this job from home. Before restrictions were put in place I was commuting an average of two hours a day on transit. This often meant leaving home at seven in the morning and coming home at six o’clock. Immediately I’d make supper, clean up the dishes, then decide what to do with the next ninety minutes afterwards before going to bed. I don’t like a rushed life. I value spending time with my spouse and/or the time to go somewhere in the evening. I have 6-7 years left in my federal career before I retire. The ability to work from home would be good for us to see what that might be like, and create a plan for when that time arrives.
Life at home has been good. We hope for a better society to come out of this crisis. So we pray.
I wish you good health.
PS. As I mentioned in my first email we have been enjoying videos/shows produced in your country.
I know that Britain has had a real bad time with COVID-19. I hope that you personally haven’t been touched by this tragedy. From what we have been viewing we think you Brits are a great bunch of people. We hope someday to travel and tour the U.K.
Sincerely yours,
Darryl Darwent
Calgary, Alberta

Oh! for the luxury of a basement!

2 thoughts on “A message from one of our followers across the pond in Canada.”

  1. What a lovely message. Just goes to show we are ALL in it together.

    I love working from home – I can listen to the birds whilst I struggling with VAT returns etc.. I am still having to make one journey to London each week, the roads were so much quieter I was able to make the trip in just over an hour… But I have noticed a marked increase in the amount of traffic this week, which is understandable when the Government tells people to return to work if they can do so safely and preferably drive, walk or cycle.

    The Self Employed Income Support scheme was simple to set up and will help with the down turn in income when it eventually arrives in my account.

    I haven’t been into Cranleigh since I was able to do online grocery shopping, however the OH has been in to pick up the items that were not able to be delivered, and he says it is pretty quiet.

    I hope local businesses will survive and as in Alfold our local restaurant has taken to doing Take-aways – Which are lovely and many others are doing the same.

    We are so lucky to live in the semi rural part of the country, we can still walk our dog and rarely see anyone and if we do, we keep at a safe distance. I have noticed a kindness in people here that I hadn’t witnessed before to this degree; with people asking for help and being offered it by local residents, whether it is lending equipment, helping with supplies or just people in their gardens saying hello when you walk passed. Long may this continue when this wretched Virus is contained.

    All good wishes to All at the WW

  2. Thank you for your good wishes and we are so pleased that you are making the very best of the lock-up and lock-down. Yes, we are in it together as our friend in Canada describes, life over there is obviously not too dissimilar from life over here. He is eager to come over to the UK to visit all us lovely people, so lets hope we can all travel soon.

    Sounds as though life is idyllic in your neck of the woods in Alfold – and being able to walk in the countryside, which once we all took for granted, has now become a real treat, especially if you have man’s best friend.

    Here at the Waverley Web we wish all our readers – at home and abroad, good health and hope we will all keep up the good work on the help and support front, when that nasty virus has buggered off back to Wahun?

    We too join you in hoping that all the local businesses survive.

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