It’s a wet market day on the picture postcard streets of Salisbury.
This is a city best known for its cathedral and the nearby ancient monument of Stonehenge.
But in recent days, the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal has seen parts of Salisbury taken over not only by police and soldiers, but by the world’s media.
In a sense life continues as normal. Many residents insist there’s no reason to be anxious, but others feel frightened and say it’s no wonder that the city centre is far quieter than usual.
Cheryl Rose, who lives in Salisbury, told Sky News: “For me it is not knowing what’s going on really. There are a lot of security and police around so I’m slightly nervous walking about. We don’t really know what is going on do we?”
Despite the police insisting that there is a low risk to public health, at the city’s market some admitted they weren’t sure whether to venture into town for fear that the area may still be contaminated.
Various sites in Salisbury are still cordoned off, including the Zizzi restaurant, the Mill pub and an area around the Maltings shopping centre where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed.
Along the cobbled streets are a mixture of police “road closed” signs and “open for business”” chalkboards. Shops in the vicinity say footfall is down as people either think they’re shut or are frightened to venture towards the crime scene.
Mr Skripal occasionally visited jewellery shop Crystals UK in the Maltings.
Shop assistant Cara Tappenden said the incident had seriously affected business.
She told Sky News: “It’s been very quiet around the Maltings. Lots of customers are calling up to see if we are even open.
“They are scared to come in and want to check if we are okay…sales and footfall has been down, but we are very much open.”
Similarly, a few hundred yards up the road, stamp dealer Paul Dauwalder said: “It has been a unique situation really and follows hot on the heels of the winter weather, which we have never had before.
“So there has been a bit of apprehension and this is so different to what people in Salisbury are used to.
“Some customers have admitted they are a bit apprehensive about coming into Salisbury…we continue online. It’s the local business that is affected. People can’t deal with it.”
It has almost been a week since the former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned, exposed to a nerve agent.
However, the mysterious details outlining what happened are still making headlines on many national and local newspaper front pages.
Many of the scenes witnessed in Salisbury in recent days are reminiscent of those in a Hollywood movie, which makes them almost surreal.
Nonetheless local MP John Glen has reassured his constituents and local businesses that a “whole range of tools are at our disposal” once it is established who was behind the poisoning of Mr Skripal.
The police investigation continues, which means life is unlikely to return to normality in the cathedral city any time soon.
Meanwhile, at the local hospital both Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in a serious condition.