If you can suspend your disbelief for long enough it’s really not hard to find the upside in our current predicament.

We’re mostly spending out working days at home in tracksuit trousers, living la vida cosy, the streets are noticeably quieter and now you can do your bit to keep the racket down by parking in more areas than usual.

Several local councils have relaxed their rules on where motorists can and can’t leave their cars, with wardens warned against issuing tickets for cars parked in resident only bays.

It’s been suggested that enforcement takes a “common sense” approach, which doesn’t bode all that well given London collectively took its children and grandparents to the same four parks last weekend. 

But let’s give traffic wardens, surely one of the toughest gigs imaginable, some credit and assume they’re going to collectively know when to practice leniency. They’re a great bunch, traffic wardens. They routinely remember that our cars need love too, and go to the trouble of giving them a card. I won’t hear a word said against them. This leaves two practical questions.

Are these new free parking rules the same as Monopoly? And if so, are we also in for a surprise windfall, with random amounts of money pinned behind our windscreen wipers when we park in the right spot?. 

The government may be playing by the official rules, which any board game pedant will tell you makes Free Parking a meaningless square, but then those at Westminster seem in the mood for dishing out money at the moment… Unless you’re self-employed.

Secondly, how exactly can we benefit from more parking spaces being available when, by and large we aren’t driving anywhere? That takes less inventive thinking. This is a great opportunity to really wind up your least favourite neighbour. 

Elsewhere the Mercedes F1 team has added its engineering might to the cause, developing a breathing aid with the help of University College London and University College London Hospital. This could help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care.

And the father of the 5:2 diet Dr Michael Moseley knows all about your current diet of biscuits and port and wants a quiet word. Read his six healthy tips for getting through lockdown sensibly.

Here’s Helena Horton with the rest of today’s cheerier news.

  • James McAvoy, the X-Men star, has donated £275,000 so NHS staff can buy more PPE for their hospitals. This means 75,000 masks and the same number of visors can be ordered. Almost half a million pounds has been donated to the NHS for PPE.
  • Chelsea Flower Show was cancelled at the beginning of the lockdown, meaning there are many spare plants being held by gardeners. Some of these are now being planted in NHS hospitals, with colourful poppies and thyme decorating the quad in a Plymouth facility.
  • Postmen across the country have been cheering up the elderly who cannot leave their homes, leaving bunches of flowers, tubs of yogurt and cartons of milk on their doorsteps while they do their rounds.
  • Jane Lyde, who usually decorates event spaces with balloons, has found herself unoccupied during the lockdown. She built a giant rainbow out of balloons to cheer up her neighbours in Tooting, South London.
  • The first food boxes for the vulnerable have been rolled out across the country, landing on doorsteps over the weekend.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan has repatriated stranded holidaymakers from Peru to Miami on a charter flight. Passengers included people from the US, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan.
  • The Metropolitan Police force has thanked the public for being polite and understanding during lockdown measures, and quietly moving back inside when asked. Officers also thanked Londoners for bringing them treats and food as they worked to keep the city safe last week.
  • A jogger has managed to run a half-marathon – while in self-isolation. Sam Hustler, 27, completed the 13-mile trek by completing 5,000 “laps” of the 10ft balcony at his flat.
  • He had been due to complete yesterday’s London Landmarks Half Marathon, which would have seen him take in sights such as the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard.
    By Helena Horton


Three pleasant things to put into your head 



The following from Coronavirus Positive fan Chris Wallace, who writes:

Amongst all the bad news over Corona, for the first time we saw our two male hedgehogs together last night, Troy has 3 legs is behind and Ozzy, who is blind, were sat together quietly socialising. We have a third, Marina who is still hibernating. It made us smile to see “our boys” getting on. None can be released but they seem happy to have the garden to roam and Maverick our Lab doesn’t mind them. We love our hogs!

Two hedgehogs – CHRIS WALLACE


  • Do you have some good news to share? What’s made you happier in the past 24 hours? Have you seen a pleasing picture of a bird? Please send it all our way, either by commenting below or emailing [email protected] 

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