Coronavirus week 13 - 14th to 21st June

Is it easing a little now?  Watching the news on television it certainly looks like it.  Living up here under Welsh rules in a rural part of the country it doesn't seem very different.  Hospital admissions are slowly decreasing as is the daily death total.  There is more traffic on the roads.  

I have given up watching the daily press conference from Westminster.  This is partly news overload, and partly an irritation with politician speak.  There seems to be a refusal to admit mistakes, and a weird tendency not to make changes in a clear way but to trail changes that will be made as though testing to see if they will be palatable.  I read an article in the Times about the money being spent on polling at present by government and it seemed to fit that sense of a government which is almost too reactive, being led by rather than leading public opinion.  I am not making a party political point here.  I remember having a similar sense when Tony Blair was in power of government by focus group.  And I do appreciate that it is necessary to bring people with you, especially as we begin to move out of lockdown.  Maybe it is just lockdown weariness on my part.  It is clear that the social distancing rules are going to change, with the two metres being reduced, probably to one metre with greater wearing of masks.  That will need to happen if schools are to go back.  But I am really ready for some clarity and some leadership.

Wales has announced that in two weeks time there will be a relaxation of the requirement to stay local.  That will be welcome and might allow us to see at least some of our family.  Two of our children live at a distance which would normally need us to stay overnight for a visit, which at the moment does not look possible, but we are hoping that there might be sufficient relaxation for us to make use of our campervan for an overnight stay.  We shall see.  Something to look forward to anyway!

Here I have seen one of two different people this week!  I took my car into the garage to be serviced.  The head of servicing was carefully taking me through all their safety precautions in relation to Covid 19.  I realised after a minute or two that I wasn't really listening.  I was sitting there thinking how nice it was to talk to a near stranger after so long! Later in the week I dropped into a friend's house with a contribution to a birthday  present for our friend and Pilates teacher and it was lovely to stand in the garden and catch up.  These interactions are ones that I have missed during lockdown.  Family and very close friends have kept in touch via zoom or facetime but there are lots of small connections which don't merit a facetime call but are part of the fabric of life: a cup of coffee after yoga, a chat before Pilates, a catch up over a cup of tea in the break in a choir rehearsal.  Earlier this week I was reading about some research into loneliness in adults which had found that, while close family and friends are important, those who did not have those relationships but reported frequent interactions with others, even if those interactions were as small as a chat in a shop or on a bus, also reported much higher mood and life satisfaction.  How strange that such micro interactions should be so important.  We are social animals.


So what else can I offer as reasons to be cheerful this week?
  • a long catch up with a friend on Zoom full of chat and laughter
  • a mini video from two and a half year old grandson asking "what you having for snack?"
  • fish and chips in the garden with friends, all of us well wrapped up in coats
  • a photo of three of the grandchildren each with a baby chick
  • my third fastest time for a 5k run since I started running eighteen months ago
  • a truly delicious bottle of red wine which we had been keeping for a special occasion, the special occasion being still being alive on Saturday.
Still here, still (mostly) smiling!  Can I go and see my people now please?

Comments

  1. That looks a good list of reasons to be cheerful. It will be good when you can go further afield.

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    1. I think it will be quite strange. Life has been intensely local for so long!

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  2. Looking for things to smile about and not giving up hope for tomorrow will get us through this time.

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    1. I agree completely. There is so much to enjoy in the day to day that it's important not to lose that in to strong a sense of what you can't do. I'm sure we will get there!!

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  3. So many good reasons to be cheerful. Meeting up with friends is just wonderful, isn't it? We had an outdoor meal with friends this weekend, which was just the best. I don't see my family much even in normal times. Once a year, or twice in a good year and so it doesn't feel like I am missing out on seeing them just yet but my children sure miss visiting granny in Switzerland. They really miss her and miss spending time with her.

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    1. It is great to reconnect with friends. I think the children /grandparents relationship is an interesting one. I lived close to my own grandparents and was close to them. When I had my children I wondered whether the distance between where we lived and my parents would mean they didn't have the same relationship but it didn't seem to matter. That has played out again with us. Some of our grandchildren live quite near, some much further away, but the bond with them all is strong. But eventually you do need to see them!!

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  4. I've been catching up on some old favourite blogs this week - far too long away. Enjoyed reading your Coronavirus diaries - such a strange time for us all. I could write a dozen more posts on the subject but not sure they are right for posterity - I need to move on... Which probably means I'll write three on the crisis next week, such is the fickle mood I've been in.
    I wrote an article that was widely shared - one especially on the role of the countryside in helping us through the crisis - which led to other things and an incredibly brief interview in the Guardian - invariably misquoted too - as ever! https://viewsfromthebikeshed.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-role-of-countryside-in-helping-us.html
    Hope you're keeping well generally - the garden looks wonderful; how I long to visit to North Wales; hopefully soon

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    1. Interesting article Mark. Thanks for the link!

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  5. How right you are about small,apparently insignificant, interactions with others being important. The current situation has made me think very hard about how much longer we should live in the house we've occupied since 1985. The fact that we are still here after 35 years reflects the many desirable aspects of our location; just a few miles into the city centre and a similar distance to the heart of the Dark Peak part of the Peak District. A parade of useful local shops 3 minutes walk away and, relevant in previous years, excellent schools on our doorstep.
    But I don't feel any real sense of being part of a community. Yes our neighbours are all very pleasant and outwardly friendly, but we see very little of anybody from the immediate area week by week, month by month. I think this in part reflects that we are now some of the oldest residents; the aforementioned schools being a big draw to younger families. So....when I was sent a video of the recent dedication of the well dressings in Youlgrave in Derbyshire, I felt envious of the obvious community spirit that brought people together (albeit socially distanced) to mark and celebrate this ancient ritual. I don't want crowds or over intrusion but a little more of a sense of belonging would not go amiss.
    Lots to mull over as we move soon into another month of the new way of life......
    Thank you for providing the space for my introspections!

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    1. I wonder how many people will have been led by the experience of lockdown to think about how the house they live in suits the life they want to lead. And whether they will act on it? Interesting to see how it works out. Our experience of living in a smallish community after years in cities and suburbs has been very positive but I do think that sense of belonging to a community is something which takes a time to build. Perhaps a reason to get on and do it!?

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  6. Another week of new normality in Spain!. It´s not really easy to get used to this new life, in particular, because everything is new and we are totally different.
    Every moment, every day I have good and small things to be cheerful. In fact I have rediscovered getting pleasure from small things. Life goes on in different ways.

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    1. I am totally with you on the importance and pleasure of small things Luz! This morning I had poached eggs on spinach for my breakfast, our own eggs and spinach from the garden, and for some reason everything about it was just right. I hope I can hold onto this appreciation and not lose it in busyness!

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