Confession…

I have a confession to make. Today I could not face any update on the Covid-19 pandemic, could not face hearing of more infections, more deaths. I have other things on my mind today, family concerns closer to home and no way to give the hugs that are so badly needed. Today I’m feeling the full force of social distancing and it hurts. So I picked up my camera and I went for a walk, alone, as allowed for my one daily exercise in the fresh air.

Fighting back tears I felt the warm sun on my face, smelled the salty sea air, listened to the birds above the vastly reduced traffic noise, and looked around at the beautiful landscape where I am lucky enough to live. The canal path is wide enough to pass others while maintaining a safe distance between you, and everyone I met today was also being sensible and considerate.For an hour or so I walked and photographed, and afterwards I felt a bit better.

This difficult situation will not last forever, and what matters most is that we all do what we can to get through it as best we can… ❤

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Confession

Suspense

There’s a surreal feeling of suspense hanging over us all right now, ominous and omnipresent, an uncomfortable undercurrent of uncertainty rippling outward as we all face an effective lockdown from now until whenever it may be. There are too many questions and not enough answers. These are undoubtedly scary times, unprecedented times, and none of us can know how things will turn out once it’s all over…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Suspense

Welcome to the New Normal

The world feels like such an alien place right now. Schools are closed, all pubs and restaurants and gyms and social spaces are closed. Those shops that are still open have more staff than customers, except for supermarkets which are constantly rammed and desperately recruiting new staff. No-one shakes hands, no-one hugs, everyone tries to keep a safe distance away from everyone else. Staying at home and staying safe for the duration is the order of the day for the bulk of the population. Welcome to the new normal…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Welcome

Going Viral…

Going Viral…
Coronavirus takes us to the brink
Of madness as we panic-buy in fear
Like animals we act on base instinct
Protect the family we hold so dear
Across the globe the virus does its worst
Infection spreads with total disregard
As all humanity feels sorely cursed
The death toll rises, hits whole countries hard
First plagues of locusts, now this pestilence
With biblical proportions swarms the land
Man’s arrogance, so selfish, so immense
Reduced to nought by nature’s sweeping hand
With no immunity, the human race
Must meet this deadly virus, face to face…

Foraged then Forgotten

On Saturday, the first case of coronavirus here in the Highlands was confirmed, and since then it seems like the whole of Inverness has gone crazy.

I went out as usual this morning to pick up my daily bread and milk along with a few extra bits and pieces to top up my storecupboard, and as with everywhere else in the UK (and probably many other countries too) I found many everyday items were completely absent from the shelves. Dried pasta, rice, and flour were all conspicuous by their complete absence, leaving large swathes of naked white shelving looking very vulnerable and exposed. And tins of tuna fish and baked beans were particularly depleted too.

To be honest I always keep a reasonably full store cupboard and freezer at home – the result of growing up in the middle of nowhere with transport issues, including often being snowed in during the winter months, and old habits die hard. So I always have enough dried and tinned goods to see me through a couple of weeks of whatever emergency may arise. And I have a pretty good handle on how much food we may need if we do have to self-isolate for a fortnight, and it is definitely not a ton of dried pasta, rice and flour!

It makes me wonder who is buying all this stuff, and why – I mean, if you are the kind of cook who regularly uses these basic staple ingredients when cooking, then you will already have some in stock at home and may at a push need one extra pack of each just to be sure. And if you are the kind of non-cook who doesn’t regularly use these dry ingredients, what exactly are you expecting to do with them? Especially flour? Make cakes, make white sauce, bake your own bread? What about the other ingredients required? Do you even know how to make such items? No, I thought not.

The cashier who served me this morning was lamenting the craziness of multiple trolleys full of whatever people thought there might be a shortage of, regardless of whether or not they may need it or want it or use it. He was concerned that much of what was bought in such a panic just now would eventually end up either in the bin or mouldering away at the back of a cupboard somewhere, foraged for the sake of it, then forgotten. And I fear he may be right.

There is not a world food shortage, no long-term food rationing about to be brought in to force, we are not at war. There is simply a virus – admittedly a new scary and potentially nasty virus – that if we catch it we may need to stay at home for a couple of weeks or so until it passes. Two weeks. How much food can you possibly manage to eat in two weeks, especially if you are not well? Yes, it is worrying, but not enough for common sense to fly out the window. Get a grip, people. Stop and think, then act accordingly.

If, once all this panic is over, some selfish people find themselves with stored mountains of dried pasta and rice and flour unopened and untouched, I do hope they donate them to food banks rather than let them go to waste. I hope they think of others less fortunate than themselves and pass on their unwanted produce. But I suppose if they’d thought of other people in the first place, they would never have bought up the entirety of the supermarket supply in a blue funk.

Meanwhile all we can do is keep calm and carry on under restricted movement with whatever care and concern is required, and if we become unwell, then we must self-isolate, look after ourselves, and hope for the best…

Momentum and Me

‘Momentum equals mass times velocity’ – or ‘p=mv’ according to my physics formula from school. These days I don’t seem to have much momentum – plenty of mass still, but not so much velocity.

When I was younger, during my twenties, I was a working single mum bringing up my three kids as best I could, and life was physically busy, busy, busy all the time. I worked hard, and I played hard, burning my candle at both ends. And as a full time university student in my late thirties, my brain was actively busy, busy, busy soaking up all the information I needed to pass my degree.

In my forties I maintained keeping busy out of habit, but in my early fifties menopause messed with my momentum both physically and mentally. I slowed down, and somewhere along the line I lost my need for speed. My hurry flat-lined spectacularly along with my hormones, and after a period of adjustment I’m finally ok with that.

I’ve finally learned what Ernest Hemmingway meant when he said ‘Never mistake motion for action’. I still actively ‘do’ life, I just like to do it as much through being than doing these days, and my favourite kind of busy is ‘busy doing nothing’ every opportunity I have… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Momentum

The Power of Colour

‘Colour is a power which directly influences the soul’

Wassily Kandinsky

I wonder sometimes why I love being surrounded with colour so much, and frequently the answer that comes most often straight to mind is ‘Because your internal life is so grey’. I choose to colour my world in bright and strong and vibrant hues, almost proving a point to myself that yes, I can do colour, while inside I regularly feel nothing more than shrouded in a subdued, moody monochrome.

Depression does not provide a sunny-day-colour internal landscape, nor even allow for a veiled silvery sheen like muted moonlight in a clear night sky. Instead it smears my soul with thick, sticky mud, soaks my very fabric with foul, clouded misery until the sheer weight drags me down and I feel chilled to the bone, infused with a deadly damp that refuses to warm my sad, aching heart.

But I refuse to be beaten. And so I keep trying hard to bring colour to my life on the outside, in the hope that some of it may seep inward slightly, brightening the edges my dark dull mood…

One Liner Wednesday & JusJoJan 22

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Refuse

Escapist Colouring Club