It’s been a while since I ran past here. Beautiful Castle Howard. Looking back at the dates on the photos it was February 2020.
I’m the kinda person who worries. Often imagine the worst things. All that can go wrong (not often looking at all that could go right). That Marvel Dr Strange thing. Endlessly going through all the potential scenarios. Well the bad ones. But back those 14 months as hard as I tried I would not have ever envisioned the crazy and awful events which did take place. A pandemic. Lockdowns.
So what is the point of worrying about what might or might not happen down the line. It doesn’t help at all in the long run. Especially as the worrying is not an exact science.
The other thing is that worrying just about the potential bad stuff misses all the potential great stuff that could happen. Even with the pandemic. It’s been dreadful but look at all the fantastic people who have stepped up and done wonderful things. The heroes helping others. The sacrifices many have been prepared to make for the greater good.
Going forward surely if I’m going to try and think about the future I would be better off starting first with all the potential good stuff that might happen. That sounds like a plan.
When this photo was taken I was in full on planning mode for what promised to be a staggeringly busy year for our little company. Just a few weeks later everything was cancelled.
A year later and it looks like some work is potentially starting to brew again. Summer and Autumn may see a few items hitting the to do list. I actually wrote my first official email in months this morning. How times have changed. Who would have thought that I would be writing the word ‘Biosecurity’ in an email. Thats this muppet officially using that word. WOW. That’s the kinda word that only entered my world in an episode of the X-files. Now it’s a reality. Yes the world has changed….
It’s almost goodbye to 2020. Well that was a year. I blame one person for everything…
Boris Johnson on the 31st December 2019 “This is going to be a fantastic year……”
What an absolute Numpty. I guess it was for him and his cohorts in terms of corruption and feathering ones own nest.
But for the rest of us it was a challenge. I could have used so many other words here but let’s go for the one I can spell. I’m not going to go on about the obvious things this time. Let’s just hope that 2021 is better. This year has not exactly set the bar that high but let’s not tempt fate. I will leave that up to our so called leader.
But here’s the thing about 2020. It’s been truly horrid and tragic for so many. It’s been tough for our little family but let’s also remember the positive stuff as well. So many people have demonstrated what a wonderful, caring and beautiful world it can still be. Old friendships have strengthened. It’s also brought truly wonderful new friendships which have enriched my life.
We can do this.
Happy New Year. ❤️
Another day and yet more mist.
It’s been one of those days when apart from Hawklad, I haven’t seen another member of my species. Not one person walking the fields. No one walking in the village. Not one soul. In fact I haven’t even see one moving car. With the mist no chance to see aeroplanes. Nothing. No sign of human life. Its officially a GHOST TOWN. Time to FROWN…
Well Ghost Village. Time to PILLAGE. That maybe is my Viking ancestry.
The only other option entering my frazzled mind is. Living in a Ghost Village. Better listen to some Steve Hillage. I once had one of his albums.
Anyway you get the picture. ISOLATION.
Definitely the perfect metaphor for 2020. ISOLATION and learning to really appreciate what I have. It’s definitely been a defining year. Sadly the year has done nothing for my poetry skills….
Been far too grey and misty over the last few days. Too much winter. So let’s have a little bit of summer. Yes Yorkshire does get some of that. Sometimes.
This is one of those great footpaths. A footpath across the crop field that the local farmer dutifully maintains. Not easy to get lost of this one. I always think it would be funny if the farmer built in a maze to this path. He could get hordes of walkers lost here for hours. Could be a nice little money earner for him. Send his sheepdogs in to rescue the walkers for a small fee.
In that photo if you keep going straight. Climb the hill. Keep going straight and in about 10 minutes you will crash into our overgrown garden. You could get seriously lost in there.
I feel a little lost today. I think many of us are. A little tired of Groundhog Day. Bored with 2020. Hours , days, weeks and months seemingly merging into each other. Having to constantly look at the date on my mobile and then check the calendar to work out where I am. Is it a Sunday? Not sure.
But there is always hope.
This time will pass. Directions will be rediscovered again. The farmer will work on his lovely straight path again.
I was conscious that this Christmas will be different for us, different for Hawklad.
No end of school term activities and parties.
No Carol singing in the city while drinking hot chocolate.
No Santa Train ride. Ok we are doing our own car version.
No Charity Santa coming through the village on a trailer pulled by a tractor.
No festive walks along the beach and finishing off at a little cafe for his festive ice cream.
No visits to friends.
No family meet-ups.
No trips to the Christmas Market.
No trip to the zoo in New Years Day.
No family Christmas meal.
No Boxing Day walk with picnic.
No festive trip to the cinema to see a blockbuster and then whatever festive film they have showing.
No carol singers coming round the houses on Christmas Eve.
Basically it will be just the two of us and pets. Sticking to the house and garden. Maybe only one trip out to do the Santa Car ride. I was feeling bad about that so I brought it up with Hawklad. I explained the differences to him
……. so it’s going to be really different this year. How do you feel about that Hawklad?
“So no family at all?”
“Absolutely no visitors?”
“No festive trips out?”
It doesn’t look like it.
“Dad, can we order in extra pizza over Christmas?”
“Well that will be just fine then…….”
That’s one of my favourite electricity poles. Why? Because when I used to run it was the first thing I saw when I got close to home again. Always a welcome sight.
I was thinking that after this trying year we could all do with a welcome sight or two.
For everyone that welcome sight will be different. For me what would it be….
Maybe a rock concert,
Maybe going to see my team get beat again at St James Park,
Maybe it’s the view from the top of a mountain,
Maybe it’s the Sea,
Maybe it’s seeing Switzerland again,
Or just maybe it’s seeing a friends smile in person.
Let’s hope that whatever that view is, you and I will see it in 2021.
This was last year. One hour into my trail run. Apart from missing the exercise I hope you can see why I miss running free.
Eventually you have to accept reality.
Hawklad’s anxieties are still rising. More routine tasks are becoming more difficult for him. He can largely control the dynamics within our house and garden. Lots of washing, extensive quarantining of items and being careful what he touches. He is ok within his castle walls. He is not ok with me venturing out.
Beyond those walls and that’s a completely different world. An alien, dangerous world to him. His doctors are clear – this will take a very long time to start to address. It’s not going to start happening until a pandemic is well behind us and as one of our leading scientists pointed out – with a fair wind we may start returning to something like normal life at the end of 2021. That’s assuming the new vaccines work and roll out soon….
So for me the reality is that our personal lockdown will likely stretch through 2021 as well. My mindset has to change. Away from getting through the next few months TO living the much longer new reality.
So back to the photograph. Running has become a bit of a drug for me. Now I have to completely wean myself off that. I’m nearly there as it’s been so long without it. Time to permanently replace it with other things.
2020 is definitely a year of firsts. Still a few weeks to go but maybe it’s safe to call the result in some areas….
- First year in decades without a visit to a hairdresser,
- First year in decades without a visit to see my football team get beat (a moan is good for the soul),
- First year without caffeine,
- First year with Tai Chi,
- First year in decades without buying a parking ticket,
- First year in decades without standing on a mountain top,
- First year in decades without mooching around a record or book store,
- First year of not meeting up with a member of my family,
- First year of turning up at a family birthday party and suddenly realising that I bought exactly the same present last year,
- First year without buying fish and chips,
- First year without walking on a beach,
- First time lockdown applied to me,
- First year without a visit to an historical site,
- First year without accidentally bumping into someone you didn’t want to in the supermarket. Then spending the next 30 minutes trying to shop and avoid that person. Hiding behind a mask is way more easy,
- First year without visiting a garden shop to buy a plant and then killing that plant off within weeks,
- First year of not popping into a sweet shop and asking for a quarter of midget gems,
- First year of not popping into a climbing store and looking at all the new gear (even though I don’t climb anymore),
- First year of not making a single journey on public transport,
- First year of not popping into a bakery for a quick top up on a pasty,
- First year of not going to the cinema,
- First year in decades without going for a bike ride,
- First year without getting half way round a bike ride and thinking – why is Yorkshire so pigging hilly,
- First year were I haven’t bothered checking the wear on my cars tyres as they bar not being used,
- First year of not physically meeting up with a friend to do something,
- First year in decades of not venturing into a DIY store (Yeh!!!😀😀😀),
- First year without going clothes shopping, buying that item which might be fun and then driving back thinking – what have I just done.
So yes I don’t think we will forget 2020 in while.
Proper Fireworks from KISS. Was that really 15 months ago. July 2019. Seems like a lifetime ago. So much has changed. The world has changed. Our world has changed. Could we have predicted that over half of that 15 months would have been spent in lockdown.
We had our own little firework display last night. As I was trying to set it up I started to think. So much has changed since the last time I was doing this. The last time the soil filled plant pots were being dragged onto the lawn. The last time the missile launch site was prepared.
Goodbye school. Goodbye outside trips. Work on hold. No family meet-ups. Ni friend meet-ups. No trail runs. No cinemas. No concerts….
Then a thought struck me. Will those things be back in play the next time I set the fireworks up. I’m not entirely sure. That’s a sobering thought.