THE internet is proving an invaluable tool for keeping in touch with friends and family in the bewildering situation we are now all facing with coronavirus.

The situation has developed so rapidly that several sets of friends who set off in January on extended holidays abroad, have returned to a country in lockdown.

Our eldest granddaughter has had all her summer plans turned topsy turvy as she won’t be taking her A-levels. Instead, she is applying for a university place based on assessments of her course work.

Luckily she does have an unconditional offer; so as long as she finishes her course, she can go to the university of her choice. But this summer, with the parties for herself and all her friends turning 18, sporting competitions that she was due to partake in as part of her Olympic Pathway training and just the fun at the end of school days, has disappeared.

My youngest granddaughter is now being home schooled, courtesy of Boris. She is thrilled. Well, it is all a new experience. Although no doubt the novelty of no playtime with her friends will soon wear thin. My daughter Jo has created a timetable for each day which she hopes will mean that her day, working from home as a legal executive, won’t be too disturbed. Dream on Jo.

At home our lambs are thriving. I watched them today, confident enough now to leave mum’s side and gambol and race across the grass. Until a warning baa brings them racing back. And the chickens are thrilled to join in the nightly feed of sheep pellets from the troughs. More hens than sheep tonight eating their fill.

Perhaps that is why the hens are laying so well. We should feed sheep nuts instead of corn. But where I mentioned previously that carrion crows are a threat to newborn lambs, equally evil are the magpies.

Now I find it hard to cast magpies in the baddies role. They are such handsome birds. Intelligent. Sleek distinctive plumage. But do not be deceived. They are just as evil with the added danger of a fearsome intellect.

Whether Covid-19 presents an equal threat to livestock seems to be an unknown quantity. But to lighten the mood, granddaughter Sophie has created a sign to put on the balcony of their house. Her objective? To spread joy and positivity in the neighbourhood. Amidst the panic, the uncertainty and the fear, a reminder to lift our spirits.