I FOUND recently that I could return my stack of mobile library books that I’ve had on loan and taking up house space for months to the Barnard Castle branch library.

I bundled the bag of books and the dog into the car and set off.

I’ve not been to many places recently for obvious reasons so I was quite apprehensive.

I dropped the books off at the library, had a lovely chat with the lady outside and then headed for a short walk.

The car park was quite busy and the high street too, lots of people, traffic and parked cars.

The castle grounds had many people sitting and chatting, children playing in the park and dogs being walked.

It was difficult to socially distance and I felt quite tense so I walked down the hill to the river. Not a soul in sight, total bliss. I sat by the weir with the clover, thistles and buttercups all in bloom and listened to the river rushing by and took in the beautiful scenery and the castle, very tranquil and relaxing. Miller the dog enjoyed the different location too.

Even in the most desperate and tense times we should always try to find a positive, a pretty flower, the smell of freshly mown grass, the sound of the river, birdsong, or even just smile at someone who could be feeling as tense and unnerved as I was.

Times are challenging and we all need to try to stay positive when everything around us is difficult. We don’t know how long this horrible situation is going to last so have some positive thoughts and keep going.

Kirstie Walls, Ingleton.