In the time of the virus: getting through the next phase

Before I go on, just a quick update to let you know that I’m no longer feeling ill, just very depleted energy levels.  Whatever it was, that was one very tenacious bug.  Thank you so much for your good wishes – when I wrote I was feeling particularly low as I had thought I was recovered only to seem to go backwards again.

I wrote (most of) this post several weeks ago, and for no reason I can now recall, failed to finish it and hit the ‘post’ button.  Nothing that has happened since has encouraged me to think I was wrong; quite the reverse.. 

So here we are, with the past few months let-up having been wasted by the government and trust in government squandered somewhere around Barnard Castle.  If you want to get to there, you wouldn’t start from here.  But we are where we are, as increasingly we are forced to acknowledge, and here is where we go from.  The cliches just keep on rolling by.

Like many others, Malcolm and I have been reflecting on what got us through the past 6 months, and how we’ll get through the next.  In some ways what we’ve already done was the easy bit: it was the spring and then summer, the weather was mostly good and most of us were able to really make the most of whatever outdoor space we had.  That’s still the case, but now we face diminishing sunlight, colder weather, and if last year is anything to go by, possibly much wetter weather.  We need to get our strategies in place, and make a start.

Reflecting on what worked for us gives us some hints as to where to go next:

  • We absolutely loved our Sunday morning virtual coffee trips.  We prepared well for them, and were able to bathe in the warmth of past real-life trips
  • Malcolm’s developing love of birdwatching and photographing birds has given him plenty to do , both while out and afterwards working on his photos and video.  I’m enjoying joining him from time to time
  • My sewing machine and I are now officially in love, and looking forward to good times together.  I will never be that person who will sew their own clothes, but I am increasingly in love with the concept and reality of visible mending
  • Our virtual holidays in Scotland and Germany were great successes.  The optimists in us have actually rebooked those trips for 2021; the realists acknowledge that the trips may not happen.  In the meantime, we’re working on a plan that over the autumn and winter we’ll have virtual holidays in lots of places we’ve been before and maybe some we haven’t yet been
  • Cooking.  Like many others, we’ve done even more cooking than ever.  We’ve both enjoyed experimenting and trying out new recipes (or reprising old ones).  We’re thinking we’ll have some themed meal/snack planning – based on places we have or haven’t been, or maybe cookery writers or recipe books.  I know I tend to go to tried-and-tested dishes, but I’d like to extend and expand my repertoire (especially on the vegetarian side)
  • Walking, and lots of it, is a must not a nice-to-do.  I had a regular leg check last month, which confirmed my feeling that my leg had become more enlarged since it was last measured.  Not too bad below the knee, not too good above.  Since then I’ve prioritised my daily walk, and (until I became ill) succeeded in averaging at least 10,000 steps a day.  It’s a health thing that both of us needs.  Actually of course, that all of us need
  • My allotment has been a godsend, but I’ve sorely neglected it over the past couple of months.  I’m not sure why, but that has to stop.  I need the allotment for the calm and respite it provides, but also for the fresh food I produce there.  I don’t want to sound too gloomy, but the combination of coronavirus and Brexit isn’t going to be a happy one: another avoidable disaster swiftly approaching
  • Box sets.  We’re still working our way through ER, and still enjoying it.  But sooner or later we’ll come to the end.  Something will take its place (The West Wing looks like a contender – for consolation or rejoicing after 3 November?)  
  • Over the past two Christmas/New Year periods we’ve enjoyed a Director’s Film Season.  We’ll do the same again this year – our pick is Mike Leigh
  • Reading.  Hilary Mantel’s trilogy has featured for both of us

So there are plenty of signposts for us to follow through on, and I’ll be following up on all of these over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, if you’ve other ideas that worked for you I’d love to hear them.  We’re going to need to share more than ever.


About deborah @ the magic jug

Now I've passed 60 I'm still doing all sorts of things I haven't done before, as well as carrying on with the things I already love. I live a happy life with my long term love Malcolm. In my blog I explore local and low tech ideas, food, growing, making, reading, thinking, walking, and lots of other words ending in 'ing'.
This entry was posted in Do what you can with what you have, In the time of the virus, Reflections on life (and death), Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In the time of the virus: getting through the next phase

  1. Marian says:

    I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better, Deborah. I meant to write after your last post, to wish you a speedy recovery, but then somehow didn’t. In fact, I think there are several posts that I’ve meant to respond to and simply haven’t, for which I’d like to apologize. I’ve been struggling with overwhelm the last few months, which has been making everything difficult, and I’ve somehow allowed many important things to fall by the wayside.

    We’re now in our second wave too, and I’ve also been giving a lot of thought as to how best to get through it. Books, knitting, and sewing have kept me more or less sane over the last seven months, but exercise has fallen by the wayside, and I know I need to get back to that, not just for my physical health but also for my mental health. I’ve started listening to the LeVar Burton Reads podcast while knitting, which has been a really lovely way to change the channel in my head, and I’m now wondering if I should try listening to audiobooks. I’m also hoping to do some gardening research over the winter as we’re planning on greatly expanding our veggie garden as well as converting more of our yard to native vegetation. (Speaking of native vegetation, have you seen the Kiss the Ground documentary? It’s the only climate change documentary that I’ve ever watched that has left me feeling hopeful.)

    The afghan (I believe that’s what it will be?) you’re crocheting is beautiful! Did you finish the stained glass one you were working on? (I’d love to see a photo if you have.)


    • As always, lovely to hear from you Marian. And no apologies – I’m in the same boat as you with many things left undone, unreplied to, and still struggling to find the emotional energy to stay in touch even with close friends sometimes. Even my garden and allotment have been sorely neglected over the past two months. I’m hardly daring to hope that the outcome of 3 November will be a good one – though torn between not daring to hope, and feeling that I want to grab and hold tight to any small bit of hope while it’s still there.
      I haven’t finished the ‘stained glass’ blanket yet – it’s sitting there waiting for its moment to arrive. I’m hoping that will be later this autumn or at latest during the winter. I have a small plan for it to be a present for someone dear to me, but will wait and see how it turns out.
      In the meantime, with continuing depleted stamina and energy levels, I’m learning to pace myself and make achievable daily lists rather than my habitual over-ambitious/bound-to-fail lists. We try!
      All good wishes to you and yours, Deborah xx


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