It’s a while since I’ve blogged – there are several reasons but a couple are:
1. I don’t want to bore you with blogs just about running and pilates (which are my two mainstays during this odd period of time)
2. I am reticent to comment on the state of play nowadays because it appears living with Covid 19 is bringing out both the best and the worst in people generally…and I really don’t want to see the bad side of anyone!
To be honest, I even feel sorry for the government because they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Take two recent decisions; announcing that masks in shops have to be worn they gave us a couple of weeks notice, announcing quarantining on return from Spain they made an immediate action. They were criticised for giving notice re the masks – after all, surely if they are such a life-saver the announcement should have been immediate? They are now being criticised for giving zero notice for the quarantine period.
Moving swiftly on to a less controversial subject, the garden is looking pretty good just now. My cottage garden is not a perfect garden and I am just a novice but some of the colours are absolutely stunning.
I realise I should have taken advice from a lovely man who has just passed away and removed some of the plums as they are now too heavy for the branches (sorry R, next year I’ll do as you told me ❤️).
I recently gave away a fair bit of beautiful yellow Broom and I am in the process of offering clumps of Crocosmia to people . I never used to like this plant but I’ve grown to appreciate it – it fills gaps as it spreads (and appears to self-seed) and the vibrancy of the orange flowers is a real ‘cheerer-upper’.
Finishing on a positive for those of us who really do not want to wear a mask (although I will when I absolutely need to) I have found a couple of local suppliers for fruit and veg and am awaiting my first delivery. Along with online shopping this pretty much negates the need for me to wear a mask other than picking up any ‘voluntary shopping for those shielding in our village’ – this takes just minutes as the orders are placed and paid for and our fabulous village shop will bring the bags to the door. Our local butcher will also take orders from outside. I feel very privileged to live in a village with such friendly and thoughtful shops and people.
N.B. If I were a key-worker or employee of a business where a mask was necessary of course I would wear one, but I would never CHOOSE to go somewhere like a supermarket or shopping centre and HAVE to wear one…if you do that’s fine, we are all different!
Day 94 – June 25 2020 – Living with ‘Situation Covid 19’
It’s a good while since I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) during ‘curfew’ or ‘lockdown’ or whatever this strange situation is called.
Actually it isn’t, and has never been, a lockdown, nor strictly a curfew, but what else would you call the last three months or so when many people have been advised to self-isolate and all of us have been asked to only mix with the other members of our own household?
The government have recently given out dates for pubs and cinemas to open (whilst still adhering to social distancing rules etc) and told us people can meet outdoors in groups of 6, which has been wonderful for me as I so enjoy running with my friends.
I am not going to go into ‘rules and regulations of what to to whilst ‘Covid 19’ is rife’ as I know I would get something wrong*.
I have to admit I am not particularly following the news anymore because – in my opinion – the media focus on the negatives and I much prefer to look at positives.
I am actually quite pragmatic and if 2020 is a year to ‘delay’ socialising and holidays then so be it.
My weeks are still pretty full and I look after 2 of my grandchildren one day a week now; we have the greatest of times. Today Myles and Isla made cakes this morning (the only help from me was a bit of instruction). Myles made fairy cakes and Isla made ‘Coco-pop and crunchy-nut cornflake fairy cakes’ – her description, not mine.
We then had fun-time (as Myles called it) where he read a story to Isla and then I tested him on spellings. He is nine-and-a-half and very bright so asked to be tested on 11 year old spellings: I actually chose words from the ‘12 year old spelling bee’ page and, realising the words listed as ‘easy’ were too easy for him, moved on to ‘medium’ and ‘hard’. Some words he hadn’t even heard of (for example ‘exasperating’) yet he still managed to spell them.
I love spelling, and he does too, but even I was impressed with him today.
The three of us then packed up a picnic of sandwiches, cakes, strawberries, crisps, pretzels and Ribena and went to collect Katie from school before driving to Bentley Pauncefoot (a beautiful place just on the outskirts of Redditch).
The children paddled barefoot in the Water Splash in Pumphouse Lane for about an hour before we dawdled back up the lane to a little triangle of grass, where my fathers memorial bench is.
Whilst eating our picnic Katie and Myles asked lots of questions about Great-Grandad Jack and kissed his bench which brought a tear to my eye. He would have adored them, and them he.
All in all it has been a wonderful day: at 7.30am I went for a run with some of my favourite running buddies, I then dropped into Mums to drop some shopping off and then dropped a newspaper and some fresh eggs to a vulnerable person in our village before picking up the grand-children for the day.
Writing this made me think; although Myles isn’t at school he did maths when cooking, calculating how much of each ingredient he needed where he also multiplied and divided the weights; English cam in the form of spelling and reading and then geography when we looked at different colours of stones and discussed how stones change in water. The geography lesson finished when I googled where Bentley Water splash actually went to (the answer is the sea via the River Avon via several brooks).
People keep talking about the ‘new normal’. I have never known what normal is (surely normal is a different thing to different people) but if today is anything to go by I embrace it.
Grand-Tree (this is my new tribal name according to the terrific three)
Day 57 – Curfew – Tuesday 19 May.
When I began my ‘Curfew Journal’ I had no idea what to expect after the initial 3 weeks; I guess I knew curfew wouldn’t be fully lifted, but I only planned to write daily for 21 days hence I am now writing every week or 10 days because:
1. I find there is little change in day to day activities
2. I don’t want to bore my readers
So, with ‘less is more’ in mind I’ll take you through the last 9 days.
We had the funeral of my late step-brother-in-law last week. A small affair with just 5 of us, it was nevertheless a good send-off. Marsden was a writer (not published but a very descriptive and detailed writer), so the story of his life was told using his memoirs. It was a beautiful sunny day. Looking over the huge, open countryside from Redditch crematorium the views really are awesome; somehow this makes a funeral service more bearable, it’s almost as though you can imagine the spirit of the deceased floating out of the crematorium onto another beautiful and peaceful plane…and this from someone who doesn’t really believe in an afterlife!
I’ve now been able to meet up with several friends (one at a time) for runs and walks which has been wonderful. A person to person conversation with a friend should never be seen as unnecessary…or as an idle chat – it’s all about making connections and we all need to connect with others.
On Sunday I drove over to meet my daughter who lives in Cheltenham. Cleo and I took a walk down the disused railway track to Pittville park where many children were enjoying riding bikes and scooters and others were simply playing imaginary games in the little wooded area with a stream running through it. We spent a lovely few hours there with cakes and coffee supplied by Cleo (Miss Organised).
Since ‘Stay Home’ (🏠) changed to ‘Stay Alert’ (🚨 is apparently the relevant emoji) the roads are busier and there are more people out and about but we are nowhere near back to pre-virus living.
I don’t quite understand the mask-wearers who put their masks on and take them off constantly – for example to smoke a cigarette. I saw a guy do this yesterday and wanted to say, ‘You’re more likely to die from smoking than the virus’. Seriously though, if you wear a mask surely you should keep it on until you are home or taking it off completely?
Wearing a mask then dropping it down to sit around your neck and then putting it back over your mouth and nose must mean any contamination is then going to directly go into your nasal and oral cavity? I’m sure when a dentist or surgeon wear a mask they wear them as a one-use protective piece of equipment.
This is just my personal take on it – officially we all seem to be slightly confused as to whether or not to wear masks. My Mum wore one when I took her to the doctors last week and she found it extremely uncomfortable.
I feel sorry for all those key-workers who have to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) all the time…imagine 8 hours wearing a mask or shield?
I do admit to rather enjoying the time (and glorious weather) that I’ve ‘found’ to spend in the garden over the last 9 weeks. Even the little gate and fence which leads to our front garden has been painted! The latest flowers to bloom are some beautiful Iris’s; they didn’t bloom at all last year.
My gooseberry bushes are full of fruit and I have been told to ‘Give them a gentle squeeze’ in a week or so as they should be good to pick by then. My daughter’s partner’s dad – R – has been asking for gooseberries the last couple of weeks, but they are not available in the shops yet so as soon as I have a crop I will send him some for sure.
We will have to gradually get back to normal; a new normal it may be but we cannot keep children away from school and people isolated in their homes forever.
A friend of mine ‘M’ popped a comment on FaceBook yesterday: ‘Paying people to sit at home is like enabling the slow death of the country from disease, poverty and mental illness, more dangerous than any illness’. Though provoking for sure!