Coronavirus week 17 - 12th to 19th July

Well now we have achieved it: all our children and grandchildren have been seen again and I am once more comfortable in my own skin.  This last week we made our longest journey since February and drove down to Devon where we had a meal with my sister and her family and inspected the amazing progress on the new house they are building and then carried on and spent two nights with younger son and his family.  We took the campervan so we could sleep outside and most of the time was spent outside in the garden because the sun shone and Ian was installing two new gates he had made for them.  It was simply lovely to see everyone again and to find that the children, aged six, four and two, were excited and delighted to see us and did not seem to have forgotten their connection with us over the four months since we had seen them.  It was strange to be out on the motorway again, to be stuck in slow moving traffic in Birmingham, to feel as though life had gone back to normal and then to notice that someone was driving along wearing a mask.  That seems to me to typify what life is like at the moment:  so many things feel the same as they used to do and then something happens to jolt you back to the realisation that things are not the same, and may not be the same for a very long time.

Earlier in the week I went to have coffee with friend and Pilates teacher Ann and it was lovely to catch up, to forget about coronavirus for a time and just to feel the everyday pleasure of being in touch.  I remain quite unsure about what we are supposed to be doing and what we should be doing and a week of spending some time in England has reinforced that sense that we are making this journey at different speeds in the different home nations of the UK.  I am continuing to focus on my own small world here and the things I am doing that give me pleasure.  


So besides the big important stuff about seeing people, what else has made me happy this week?
I ran 8k, the furthest I have run since the Chester 10k on the 8th March.  I was slow (but then I always am) but I was really pleased to have done it.  8K! That is five miles.  That is a long way!  I still can't quite believe I can do this.

The poppies are beginning to come out all over the garden.  We always get some that self sow but last year I was organised enough to mark the ones I really loved and to distribute the seed so we have far more of the lovely doubles and the pinks and reds as well as the purples which normally predominate.  


The front path is doing its special midsummer thing with butterflies crowding the buddleia and alchemilla and astrantia and campanula everywhere.  Every time I go out it takes me a few minutes to make my way along the path because I keep stopping to identify butterflies or admire the raindrops on the alchemilla leaves.

I have discovered a new to me crochet maker at chabepatterns  

This is one of her patterns and there are so many really interesting and unusual things using techniques I have not come across before.  I am really looking forward to spending some time just messing around learning new things.

And last night we shared a bottle of wine and enjoyed the comfort of our own bed.  As a lifelong politics addict it feels strange to turn my back on current affairs and the wider world so deliberately but that remains the answer for me right now: sunshine, birdsong, domestic pleasures.

How is it for you?

Comments

  1. Avoid the hype, I am with you , nature heals and nourishes. Do what makes us happy. Enjoy being with myself and all the good I have around me. Hugs to you.

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    1. I've always loved being outside but now more than ever. And working in the garden as well as looking at things is a calming thing!

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  2. So glad you have been able to catch up with people. I'm a little way away from that yet (even though I live in England!) but am glad I am now able to go out to walk. Still haven't been into town or anything like that so it's odd - restricted to quiet streets, preferably when it's grey and drizzly so no-one else will be there, mixed with occasional and very enjoyable trips into the nearby countryside.
    Have been sowing masks. I don't usually enjoy sowing (I'm more of a knitter) but am pleased to be creating something relevant.
    That's very unusual and interesting crochet.

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    1. I suspect both your sewing and my crochet are ways of bringing order to chaos! Perhaps because my working life was very much to do with analysis and the abstract I've become very interested in making things, producing something I can put my hands on. And things I can eat! I rather like the image of your wandering around in the quiet streets! Hope it feels OK to you.

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  3. I continue with get togethers with masks and social distancing with some members of my family and friends. There are continuous outbreaks in Valencia (Spain) now and around, unfortunately.
    We remain cautious about that and when we meet is for a short time. At least we can meet and stay safe!. Also I love staying at home with my husband and enjoying with so many things we can make at home and around!. It´s really a strange period of time. Gracias, Elizabeth, por tu blog!!

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    1. I've been watching the news from Spain as you are just a little ahead of us in leaving lockdown. It certainly seems to be the case that the virus is very ready to grow as we let our guard down. We too are balancing our delight in seeing our family again with a strong sense that we still need to stay home and enjoy what that can offer. We are lucky that we can do that!

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  4. So good that you were finally able to catch up wit the rest of your family.

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  5. Seeing loved ones can make us almost believe in normalcies. The garden and butterflies let us know that the beauties of life are still here and so is hope.

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    1. I think that the natural world has helped me and many people through the period of coronavirus. There is a reassurance in seeing the seasons roll out. For me the fact that lockdown has coincided with spring and summer has really helped. I'm not sure how I would have felt if the confinement had taken place in winter!

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  6. It is indeed a strange line we walk between normal and very abnormal ways of life. Your description of driving through Birmingham and it being very much like it has always been and then seeing someone driving in a mask sums this up really well. And depending on who we speak to, or what article we read, we can be swung in one direction one minute and back to the opposite end the next - or at least that's my experience. And finding the "right" position for ourselves on this continuum is such an individual issue. Yes, we have a responsibility to our fellow human beings to behave responsibly and not take undue risks but if we are to live life then some carefully considered risk is perhaps necessary. After all, we take risks every time we get into a car or on a plane.
    Having written this I'm conscious that I'm very much not a risk taker and have always been cautious about challenging the "rules". However, I'm coming to think that I need to push myself a little to take very cautious steps back towards the "normal" end of the continuum. That might be going to a shop - wearing my mask naturally- as that's something I haven't done apart from going to the local post office and farm shop one or two times.
    Watch this space (but I'm not promising anything!)

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    1. It's a tricky balance to find! I am a risk taker to some extent but I find myself reluctant to go anywhere crowded and feeling very disinclined to go to shops or pubs. Mind you, I would have to confess that the restrictions imposed by coronavirus are likely to be followed in line with me existing prejudices ! I don't like shopping so I'm happy to avoid that, ditto busy city centre bars. I'm sure I will be happy to go to our local pub though and at some point to go to museums and galleries!

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