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.