Breathing Space

Think itโ€™s time that my blog took a rest

Gave me breathing space, that would be best

Just a short blogging break

For my sanityโ€™s sake

Till Iโ€™m not feeling quite so depressedโ€ฆ

Keeping Our Distance

Here in Scotland, keeping our distance between separate households is sadly going to be back in force from tomorrow. Zero mixing indoors for families and friends for at least the next three weeks – we can still meet (with limitations) outside in the garden, but hello, Scotland in the autumn so far this year is cold and wet and windy so realistically that probably won’t be happening anytime soon.

It’s upsetting to have to have such restrictions back in place, but not totally surprising. Northern Ireland and Wales have also set the same curtailments for separate households no longer socialising together, although England has not applied quite the same blanket rule across the whole country – rather certain areas have a similar kind of local lockdown, while in other areas the population has slightly more freedom to mix.

So here we are six months almost to the day of the start of our initial lockdown, feeling frustrated yet resigned to the potential reality of this kind of ongoing stop-start, two steps forward and one step back approach to controlling the spread of Covid 19. It seems unavoidable that a second wave is on the horizon, R rate rising as it is above 1 once more. Pubs and restaurants will now have a curfew of 10pm, too, to try to limit the spread of infection.

We certainly could never have imagined back in the Spring that we would be so little further on by the Autumn, but oh, we clearly still have a long way to go before we can even begin to put this virus behind us once and for all…

Quarantine Questions

Having been subjected to stay at home restrictions (to one degree or another) over the past six months, would you say that quarantine has made you a better person? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?

Hmmm. Has this pandemic made me a better person? Different, certainly, but better – no, overall on balance probably not…

Lockdown began with a deep fear of what might happen if I or anybody I loved caught the virus. Scared, I stayed at home for the duration as instructed, and enjoyed being a loner home-maker and a gardener for a while. But as the weeks passed I became increasingly disheartened, disconcerted, distressed. I missed people, and places, and soon it seemed like partisan politics got in the way of everything else and none of it made any sense any more.

As the infection rate and death toll here in the UK first rose alarmingly and then gradually started to fall week after week, I questioned the lack of testing, the lack of track and trace, and seriously struggled with the free-fall never-endingness of feeling trapped in a groundhog-day-style lockdown limbo. It felt like as a collaborative community we could not simply hold our collective breath forever, and that sooner or later something somewhere would have to give.

And eventually when the time came I went back to work. New rules, new restrictions, new possibilities for potential infection to get my head around. People to see and places to go, granted, but cautiously, carefully, all masked up and keeping our distance, dancing around each other delicately as if surrounded by an invisible forcefield like repelling magnets of similar polarity. Social contact, but still without any physical contact. Together but apart. The new normal.

To date thankfully my family are all fine in that none of us have had Covid, but other long-term ongoing health problems have become far more difficult to deal with across the months and the generations. ‘Protecting the NHS’ when it comes to Covid seems to have meant forfeiting so much else health-wise for so many of us, even now that first peak has passed. The importance of continuing family connections definitely means more to me now – I know potentially there is a lot to lose for all of us if things go pear-shaped.

Six months on I now feel frustrated as well as fearful. I still don’t want to catch this damned virus but I also want to live, not just continue to exist: I want to enjoy life again. What I miss most is the freedom to just be, without having to think about it. Go out where I want, see who I want when I want, socialise or not as the mood takes me. Now we no longer have that freedom I do appreciate what we have lost – perhaps temporarily, perhaps forever.

But whereas before I tried hard to be someone with a ‘live and let live’ mentality, I currently find myself far less tolerant of those selfish individuals amongst us who choose to demean, debunk, disregard and blatantly dismiss the scientific reality of our current global situation. I feel like saying to those self-important ignorant idiots – well, screaming at them, anyway – it’s not fake news, fuckwits, get with the program!

So on one hand I’m more grateful for what I have, but on the other hand I’m definitely far less trustful of others. Some of the time I’m wary and weary, emotionally exhausted, easily irritated. The rest of the time I’m just happy to still be alive…

Fandango’s Provocative Question

Temperate Climate

We’re lucky to live in such a temperate climate here in the UK.

OK, so it means we never have really scorching hot summers or really freezing cold winters, and inevitably it means it rains a lot here, giving us every possible shade of grey clouds and a potential multitude of damp, dull, dismal days all year round.

But it also means we get to have beautiful lush greenery and gorgeous roses growing in our gardens, so all in all I have no complaints. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Climate

In My Garden Today

It was never my intention to let my garden become so under-loved and over-grown this summer, but since I went back to work I’ve found it surprisingly hard to find days when (1) I’m off work, (2) I have nothing else important to do and (3) the weather is actually nice enough to give the garden the attention it deserves. So in honour of today’s shift-free sunshine, here are a few shots from my newly weeded, front garden flower beds taken this afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘-tion’

Nine Days, Nothing to Say

Nine days with nothing to say – still here, just been a bit busy with one thing or another and haven’t had a lot of spare time recently to devote to blogging, but no doubt I’ll find something that motivates me again soon enough ๐Ÿ™‚

Plum Bums

‘Plums are just like giant grapes with bums’

Here are just some of the ripe plums we’ve picked from the rickety old plum tree in our garden over the last couple of days – we’ve eaten some as they are, stewed some, frozen some, and given loads away to friends and family… And still they keep on coming!

PS Eldest granddaughter commented that our delicious juicy plums were just like giant grapes with bums – ha ha ha ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

One Liner Wednesday

Flower Power

As well as the three broken gladioli stems I’ve rescued from the garden and put in a vase on the dining room table, my husband also brought home a bunch of deep purple blooms to fill out the arrangement.

I tried to photograph them looking all dramatic and interesting, but instead they just looked boring and dull so I’ve applied an online artistic creative filter effect (free to use) to give them a more abstract finish ๐Ÿ™‚

Flower of the Day