Belligerent… nice word, Fandango, whether adjective or noun! Now who comes to mind when I think of belligerent? Hmmm…

Who – up until yesterday at least – thought he could bully a world-wide deadly virus into submission just because he says so? Pretend so insistently that there was no crisis, it was all fake news, a hoax? Talk down genuine scientific concern and minimise medical advice because Covid-19 threatens to derail his re-election campaign and it doesn’t suit his personal plan? Only an arrogant narcissistic belligerent like Trump could try to wage a propaganda war with a global pandemic, claiming victory in spades before the real battle over a real life-or-death conflict has even begun in earnest…

Throughout this crisis to date it seems to me that Trump has presided over his White House podium like a grotesque Grim Reaper in a fancy-dress fat-suit with a candy-floss comb-over, effectively felling swathes of the American population with each ignorant remark and misleading comment about this virus he’s made. To my mind he’s way beyond being a political liability, he’s been behaving more like a national death-wish in the (unnaturally orange) flesh.

On second thoughts, perhaps ‘belligerent’ just doesn’t quite cut it after all… 😦

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Belligerent

Comfort Blanket

For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday Linda wants us to write about what’s next to us when we read the prompt, not when we sat down to write… Well for me it’s usually likely to be the same thing, because I only ever blog on my laptop and I usually only sit in one place to do that – on my sofa.

So, next to me on my sofa is a crochet blanket I made – one of many – and it’s there because I like to snuggle up under a blanket in the evenings to watch TV. It’s a comfort thing carried forward from childhood, and is also the reason I’m usually wearing a scarf all year round – it’s the comfort of fabric wrapping around me I find so soothing.

And particularly right now with everything feeling so up in the air and insecure because of the corona virus pandemic, and our current Stay at Home policy creating a kind of life-limbo in which we all hold our collective breath and wait for the peak of the virus to pass… Or whatever it is we’re doing as a nation, rest assured I’m happily finding comfort wherever I can 🙂

Daily Diary: ‘Stay at Home’ Day 3

Here we are, day three of our national ‘Stay at Home’ strategy, and I feel unsettled, out of sorts…

It’s not the being at home bit that bothers me, that I’m always happy with. It’s the not knowing, the waiting for whatever happens next in our global Covid-19 crisis, with no real end-game in sight. The thing is, it does seem inevitable that we all need to catch it at some point in order to gain our herd immunity, so it feels like ‘when’ not ‘if’. I understand the importance of slowing it down, stopping a peak of infection that our health services simply cannot cope with, but the sheer nothingness of waiting… just interminable waiting… is what I’m struggling most with right now.

I can’t help but worry about my family – in particular my two elderly parents both with serious underlying health conditions, who I already haven’t seen since the end of January as I’ve had a succession of annoying colds and things I was trying not to pass on to them for exactly that reason. But what if something awful happens to them and I haven’t even seen them recently? And then there’s my husband’s family currently in self-isolation at home in Louisiana, apparently one of the US Covid-19 hot-spots – right now that feels like a really long way away.

There’s also my own ongoing health to consider – I’m technically bordering on the ‘at risk’ category having asthma, and with everything I catch always going straight to my chest we’re being careful with unnecessary contact. Thankfully I’ve been furloughed from work, although my husband now works in a local supermarket so will be continuing to cover his shifts for the duration. The plan is to come straight in, have a shower and change his clothes before even giving me a hug, so caution is definitely the name of the game for us right now.

But in the meantime I’m trying to count my blessings and stay focused on the positives. We have a lovely home to live in, with our own garden front and back, and we live in a beautiful part of the world that is not overly populated. We always have a well-stocked store cupboard and freezer (an old habit from me living for years in the middle of nowhere with not much transport) and I love cooking, so we’re not suffering through no longer being able to eat out anywhere for now.

And although we now live close to most of my family (who of course we can’t see at the moment), because we lived in London for so long we’re all used to keeping in touch virtually so already have all those technologies in place so feel ahead of the curve in that regard, which certainly helps. So we’re all dealing with it all as best we can, looking out for each other remotely, virtually, keeping in touch and giving moral support as much as anything. As a family we’re currently sharing a strong feeling of all being in this together, and that is strangely comforting in this scary time of global crisis…

Weekly Prompts: Daily Diary

Snakes and Ladders

When we were kids, we used to play the board game snakes and ladders. Taking turns in trying to get from the bottom to the top of the board one square at a time on the throw of a dice, with the help of climbing a ladder or the hindrance of sliding down a snake, depending on the particular square on which you land. Whether you landed on a ‘good’ square or a ‘bad’ square, it was always dependent on the luck of the die.

It was tough, as a child, learning that sometimes luck plays such a big part in your success in life, and that sometimes things are just not fair. But I think it was a good lesson to learn, because in adulthood you cannot always win, cannot always be first or always top of the pile. And sometimes life is simply not fair, sometimes it feels like an arbitrary throw of the dice is all that stands between us and success or failure.

Weekly Prompt: Ladders

My Boy Next Door

Fandango’s Provocative Question asks this week – How did you meet your spouse, boyfriend/ girlfriend, or significant other? Ah well, now there’s a story to tell!

In 1973, the year I turned 10 and my husband turned 12, North Sea Oil was big business and my father in law moved his family from Louisiana to the North of Scotland to open an oil rig construction yard close to where my family lived. We became near neighbours that summer, and soon my dad also began working for the same company.

We were all friends the way neighbouring families are friends, socialising together in either our house or theirs, and when I was 14 and my husband 16 he fancied me but I couldn’t stand him. Then when I was 16 and he was 18, I fancied him but he was no longer interested romantically, but we stayed friends anyway.

His parents went through a very acrimonious divorce, and my husand left school and moved away. I stayed close to home and married someone else and had three children in quick succession. But still we stayed friends, and kept in touch. Stuff happened, I got divorced, years passed, life carried on for both of us and we grew older, but we always stayed close friends.

And then in our late thirties, we decided that maybe we loved each other after all, so we got together as a couple. We actually lived together for thirteen years before we finally decided to get married, and here we are seven years on, having just marked twenty years together, and this summer we’ll have been friends for forty seven years… 🙂

So Many Browsers

When I first started browsing the internet way-back-when I used Internet Explorer as my web browser, as it was the default software on my PC and I didn’t know any different. But then I moved to Firefox, which I’ve used ever since at home. I’ve tried Chrome on occasion, but don’t really like it much. However, I’ve recently (finally!) upgraded my now defunct Windows 7 Home operating system to Windows 10, and it wants me to use the Microsoft Edge browser as my default, promising faster, better, more efficient browsing. Hmmm… I’m not sure… I might just give it a go and see how I get on… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Browse

To The Wire

I think I mentioned last month that I was finally job-hunting again, looking for part time work here in Inverness now that life feels a bit more settled for us. We’d allowed for around a six month grace period after moving the 600 miles from London to Inverness, living off our savings while finding a house before starting looking for work. And here we are having taken that six months to the wire, now living happily in our new house, ready to move forward in life.

So at the end of January I started job-hunting locally as planned, but discovered to my frustration that in Inverness, January is probably about the worst time of year to look for work. It seems that everyone who has worked on temporary contracts over Christmas is now back on the hunt for work too, but in general companies have not yet begun recruiting for staff to cover the tourist season – and Inverness always expands hugely over the summer months due to tourism.

Anyway, undaunted I initially applied for eight part time jobs throughout February, most on a temporary basis and only a couple offering a permanant contract, and from those applications was offered four interviews out of that possible eight. Of those four interviews, two were unsuccessful, and to my delight two have resulted in prospective job offers. But one of those job offers turned out not to be quite as suitable as the other (due to anticipated ongoing hours of work), so thankfully for me it was a no-brainer as to which job I accepted.

Anyway, I actually had my staff induction in a local department store on Thursday, and have worked my first two shifts over Friday and Saturday, so here I am finally back at work again – woo-hoo! It’s certainly not been as easy finding work in my late fifties as it was in my twenties and thirties, or even in my forties for that matter, but I’m relieved to have found a permanant part time job with exactly the right amount of hours I was hoping for in a store I regularly shop in, in a department that seems to suit me so well 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday