Coronavirus diary and where does the time go?
Today I found myself struggling to remember exactly what I had done this week and I realised that one effect for me of this protracted period of lockdown and semi lockdown is that the weeks blur into each other. Tomorrow we are expecting an announcement to the effect that there will be what is being called a circuit breaker lockdown in Wales, a shorter period (but exactly how long?) of serious restrictions in an attempt to reverse the trend of rising infections and hospitalisations.
So in this week's blog I am going to pin down exactly what I have been doing over the last seven days to try to stop the weeks blurring into months!
Sunday 11th October
I went for a run about lunchtime and in the afternoon younger daughter and all her family (the only part of our family within reach at the moment as they live in the same county) came to spend the afternoon with us. It was a lovely day, warm enough to sit outside, as we must right now. We have two horse chestnut trees and much of the afternoon was spent collecting conkers, the children, now five and two falling on them with cries of delight. Ian bashed at one tree with a huge stick and the sky rained conkers. At the end of the afternoon Grace and Toby filled a carrier bag each with their treasure to take home.
Monday 12th October
Yoga in the morning. I am pretty sure the new lockdown will put paid to yoga and pilates classes for now so it was good to get onto the mat and gently work those areas of the body where you hold tension which for me is my shoulders. Afterwards we sat outside for a cup of coffee with our friends, needing more warmth but enjoying chat and a brief semblance of normality.
Tuesday 13th October
An hour of Spanish in the morning on Zoom with my friend from Valencia. I love this window onto Spain and the reminder of our shared experiences with the virus. Luz's English is considerably better than my Spanish but I am still aware of improving from week to week. And we share a similar outlook on the world. How lucky I am to have made this connection. One day, when the virus is behind us, I hope we shall meet face to face.
And then in the afternoon a Welsh class on Zoom. The first couple of times I tried this my brain seemed unable to switch from Spanish to Welsh but somehow this week it fell into place and I did not keep jumping in with Spanish words. The tutor for this class is first rate and runs the whole thing with real energy, skill and enthusiasm. I like the face to face experience but when Zoom is done as well as this it is a good experience in itself. I admit to being shattered afterwards!!
Wednesday 14th October.
I meet a friend in the post office who tells me that a shared friend from my choir has coronavirus. I hope he is OK and recovers quickly. It feels chillingly close to home. Afterwards I run to clear my head.
And in the afternoon we look after the two and a half year old for a little while, still allowed for now under the coronavirus restrictions. Amongst our many grandchildren there are two little boys of almost exactly the same age but different in the way they engage with the world. Daniel is quiet and self contained, poddling about busily and occasionally turning up for a story or to show you something. This one, Toby, does not stop talking all afternoon. He loves to laugh and to make you laugh. It is the perfect balance to the morning's news.
Thursday 15th October
Spanish conversation class on Zoom in the morning. This is a very different experience from my Tuesday call, more jokey, less cerebral but also useful. Afterwards I go to Pilates and then to lunch outside with our friends. This must be the first day for months and months that I have had three appointments and I feel quite rushed. I must have got used to slower days.
Friday 16th October
On Friday I join a group to walk, the members of which are mainly native Welsh speakers where it is expected that the language of the morning will be Welsh. This is really good for my Welsh as a real problem for me has been trying to learn a language in which everyone you speak to is bilingual in Welsh and English. Inevitably, when I hesitate, make a mistake or fail to understand it is natural for the other person to turn to English, almost as a courtesy to try to help me. You rarely have the experience which I have had in French and Spanish of knowing that if you want to communicate you just have to keep soldiering on! So joining a group like this pushes me a bit and makes me try to keep to Welsh, using my Welsh to ask for help if I need it and not lazily sliding off into English! I nearly wimp out of this. Even as I am waiting in my car for the others to arrive I think I could just go home. It is hard to raise the energy to talk in another language all morning but I give myself a talking to and jump out of the car before I can change my mind. I am so glad I did. It is a beautiful walk and everyone is very friendly and encouraging.
|Mae'n Achwyfan, a Celtic cross from around 980 AD|
Saturday 17th October
And on Saturday I didn't do much! I got up late and ate a leisurely breakfast over the weekend newspapers. I pottered in the garden and spoke to family and a friend. In the evening Ian and I shared a bottle of fizz and watched Michael Palin's visit to Japan from the series "Full Circle" from nearly thirty years ago.
Writing all this down has made me realise that even in this strange time my days are full. I must remember that. I mustn't let them blur into greyness.
I hope everyone is OK. I often think of my virtual friends. Hang on in there!