Saturday, 17 October 2020

The Blues


 I like the above picture of St Mary's because it reflects perfectly how I feel about my "2nd home".  The last time I saw it was Sunday 15th March and it looks as though it may well be 15th of next March before I see it again. 

Hopes of a national/international triumph over the virus are fading fast as numbers of infections once more rise at an alarming rate world-wide.

Yet still some stupid people are risking their own and everyone else's lives with careless selfish behaviours which are endangering everyone they come into contact with.

However unwelcome the idea of another total lock-down may be, it is beginning to look more and more likely to happen.

For those of us still being shopped for or suported by neighbours friends or relatives or even more usually, volunteers, there seems no end in sight to the massive debt we owe all those wonderful people.

How, or when we may be able to repay this debt is quite a major concern for many of us, while also being aware that the longer this goes on the more likely it is that some, probably most people will begin to suffer from altruism fatigue. 

In the first rush of genuine concern and warmth of feeling many people produced amazing feats of generosity and kindness, but it would be unreasonable to expect the outpouring of good will to last indefinitely. 

We are all, after all human.

I am still offering prayers of thankfulness for all who are keeping me alive, but am also only too aware that expecting such angelic behaviour to continue for ever is asking far too much.

I wonder if anyone has factored in to the statistics the fact that at some stage the entire voluntary support system is likely to collapse. 

God bless the volunteers.




Thursday, 1 October 2020

Octember


 One of the many strange affects of this pandemic is the way one day merges into another seamlessly, so that most of us who are in "hibernation" not only do not know what day it is but often which month we are in.  

At first this worried me, but now nearly seven months since I ventured out into the real world it is no longer a matter of concern.

Soon, as it becomes darker and the days shorter it will no longer matter whether it is day or night.

Like many of us I have learned a new way of using my days/nights and find that in my case it is better to do what needs doing as soon as it appears necessary, or with the switch of a button the monster in the corner otherwise known as the TV will rule all my waking hours.

Yes I still feed the birds and record their daily appearance in my garden for my BTO records, and I still occasionally walk out and dead-head roses and other shrubs.

I walk to the post-box (all of a quarter of a mile) and back and consider my exercise for the day to be complete. 

A phone call from a friend or even the window cleaner has become a major 'happening' filling my day with good feelings, while the silent days merely cause hollow echoes of a previous life.

Since the only outing I now can look forward to is the weekly shop courtesy of my kind and lovely neighbours, I find it increasingly difficult to imagine a time when (hopefully) there will be a church, and a town and library and other wonderful things to enjoy.

Worst of all, is the suspicion that I may now have become accustomed to isolation.

If anybody has a storecupboard full of motivation will you please send me some, by carrier pigeon (suitably masked of course).

Saturday, 12 September 2020

A Little Night Musing


Once again I find myself sleepless and with nothing much on my mind of any interest to anyone, so of course I felt bound to share it with the rest of the world.

The photograph above of the view from St Mary's south door down to the gate is, I think , a particularly atmospheric one.

It has an almost Dickensian feel and I loved it so much that I stole it from our newsletter.  I don't know who took it but they obviously have a sense of drama almost as well developed as mine.

A more compelling reason for using it is to remind me that it is nearly six months since I last set foot in St M's.

Although I greatly value the zoomed service on Sunday, it is a very poor substitute for actually being there, ensconced with the rest of the choir in the chancel and able to sing and take part whole-heartedly.

They have started to hold services again, but with only a very few (30) in the congregation and of course with no 'live' choir, and I can't help wondering if and when that will be replaced with the real thing.

Some people who can get to the church on foot cannot understand why I and many others are not even contemplating getting there by public transport (if any), or by taxi, but so far I haven't dared to risk  any such means.

The virus, I fear, will be with us for a very long time and I'm trying very hard not to feel cheated of my one real pleasure.

Real life these days for me and many thousands like me is a poor imitation of our previous one.

At present I go shopping with a neighbour and that is it.  Once a week and no other jaunts.  Sometimes it feels like a bad dream, but this is apparently the way life has to be lived for the forseeable future.

I apologise if this is a miserable epistle but sadly that's how I feel at present.  My sense of humour appears to have packed its bags and departed.  Can't say I blame it.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Forty Years On


 Sorry about the lay-out Google has changed access to everything.

Yesterday was my eldest brother's funeral some of which I was able to access by zoom.  Not in any way perfect but better than nothing.   
Yesterday was also the 11th anniversary of my husband's funeral, so it was yet another August coincidence. 

Today is the 40th anniversary of the day we moved here into this house, our first and only 'owned' home.

The 28th August was not only my parent's wedding anniversary but also the day John and I met for the first time, having previously only had telephone contact.

The next day, 29th August was John's birthday.

Just to add piquancy to the list John died on the 11th August (and so by an even more bizarre  chance so did his son) two weeks ago.

My mother's birthday was on the 12th August, a fact on which my father always commented "the beginning of grouse shooting".

So one way and another this 4oth Anniversary is over-full of things to remember. Good and bad.

I'm sure the next 40 years will also be packed with odd facts and councidences but not mine of course. 





Sunday, 2 August 2020

Joy in Small Things

This morning after the on-line service a friend from the choir came round to see me, and for the first time since 16th March I let her in.

She came to bring me a card from her and the family and her personal condolences on the loss of my brother 9 days ago.

I wrote in my previous blog how I felt about loss during this pandemic but didn't mention the extra burden of not being able to talk about grief to anyone.

Just having a friend face to face (suitably distanced) made such a huge difference that by the time she left - cup of tea and one and a half hour's chat later - I felt as though someone had rolled the clouds back and let the sun shine again.

Being a stoic and not making a big fuss over things are seriously over rated behaviours, particularly when emotions are acute and the need for even tiny grains of comfort are supremely important.

It feels like a huge change, allowing someone over the doorstep, but oh how worth it it was.

Thanks be to God for good friends.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Loss in a pandemic

Since Lockdown began I have counted 8 deaths of people I knew, starting with a 14 year old girl, a member of our church, and culminating last Friday with the loss of my eldest brother.

None of these deaths were officially due to Covid 19, but i cannot help but wonder whether one of the hidden affects of the virus is loss of energy, vitality and optimism, and  whether these can actually cause a death.

The fact that none of these people no matter how greatly they were loved will receive the sort of send-off they deserved, and which we would love to give them makes the loss much more keenly felt,

Many of us are still not venturing out or taking public transport anywhere, never mind the considerable distances involved for many who have lost friends or relatives.

What kind of long-term affect this  may have on us is not yet known, but I can't help but feel that the grieving process will take a very different form than it would have done pre Covid.

Prayer and lighting candles in our own homes (in my case alone), will only go so far to easing the sadness we feel, with no chance to share the family or friends group of fellow mourners we would normally use as a crutch.

Let's hope and pray that an end to this awful period of our history will come soon.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Scared - Who Me?

Today I ventured out (thanks to my neighbour who gave me a lift), for the first time since 18th March,

To say I was scared stiff is the understatement to beat all understatements, I was terrified!

The mask I was wearing was slowly roasting me and my hands were sweating in the gloves but that was nothing to  my heart rate which was super fast.

Once in the supermarket I was just so intent on the actual shopping that I forgot to be nervous and luckily as it was 4.30pm there were very few people in there, which made it much easier.

It was becoming apparent that if I didn't make the effort to go out I was soon going to be unable to do so, and I'm so glad I did.

If anyone had told me what a terrifying prospect going food shopping would be  back in February I 'd have laughed at the idea.

The huge  change of mind this pandemic has brought about in so many people is astonishing.

One small step for woman.......