Rain

Britain is getting back to NORMAL. That’s what our so called Prime Minister tells us under his still to be combed hair. It was also confirmed by our postman. Apparently this week, three kind souls have either sneezed or coughed over the postie without bothering to cover their mouths – never mind them not wearing masks. With a shrug of the shoulders the postman sadly left with the comment ‘back to normal then’…..

Here’s the thing. Was the old normal that good…..

Surely we should be aiming for something better than just going back to the old normal.

It’s not as if the last year has just been a little blip in the world. We have gone through something which is of historic significance. It has changed so many things. So many have suffered. So much has been lost. Surely with something this significant there should be changes. Some enforced by life but surely some changes should be driven by us. Driven by us to make the world and our life’s BETTER. Not just being happy with the old normal.

Things you never thought

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….

Sleeping Bag

Another morning of home isolation. Another day of home schooling. Another largely sleepless night.

A night spent in a sleeping bag.

Yesterday morning I decided to give my duvet an airing outside as the sun had decided to shine. It wasn’t until 3am when I felt sufficiently tired that I noticed the duvet-less bed. Yes it was still outside. Outside in the pouring rain.

My poor duvet has been on the radiator for 8 hours now. It’s still drenched. So I guess it’s another sleeping bag night facing me. But actually that’s no bad thing. It’s something different. In seemingly ever repeating days of sameness, CHANGE is good.

Bring on the sleeping bag.

Daffodil

Look at this. The first daffodil. It’s always such a lift when they appear. The return of a bit of warm colour. Much needed. Can we now officially call it SPRING. For what it’s worth a quick and very unscientific check of the photos is telling me that they have arrived one day earlier than last year.

If only WP was that reliable. Scheduled posts not working. Finding it harder to post comments that actually appear. Random unfollows. Likes not working. Photos refusing to publish. Messed up editing. Yep I think the WP IOS app has beaten me. Need to get myself a better laptop and switch to the web based option. See if it works better with Windows.

But until then we will soldier on. Do what I can. Don’t get too worked up if it refuses to work properly. There a great quote from The Book of Joy. A quote which has Buddhist traditions but was also told to me bizarrely by a cricket coach who was talking about getting out of a bad run of batting form. Basically it says….. Pointless worrying about what you can’t control and why are you worrying about stuff you can control.

Ok let’s try to remember that. Forget WP and my troubles. Think about the things in my life that lift me up and that I love. That will help push the negative thoughts away for some precious moments.

We can do this.

Vinyl

I accept that those big adventures are seemingly just out of reach for the foreseeable future. Maybe for all of 2021. It’s going to feel like a very small, constrained world. To make this work I need to keep finding ways to live within the castle walls. Even little things can and will make such a difference. Even 12 inches of round vinyl.

Yep I’ve finally dusted down the turntable.

Spent a few minutes listening to some LPs.

There is something reassuring about listening to those slightly crackly recordings. Memories start to flood back in. It’s a nice feeling. A little win.

So what was listened to yesterday.

Richard Burtons wonderful voice.

A little bit of early Pink Floyd

My favourite old group

Yes I did feel just that bit better after a bit of old school listening. Need to remember that. Need to find more time during this year. A little thing that does work.

Soul

We watched the Pixar movie SOUL last night. Felt like perfect timing. Trying not to give the movie away but it makes you think about life and what it means to you. Its really good, funny in places and sad in others. At times I found it uncomfortable as it was a little to close to home for me.

I came away from the 100 minutes thinking

Life is maybe not about the things I thought it was about (confirmed what I’ve been thinking for a while now)

Actually what are the things in life that make me spark and feel alive

Just how time is wasted

Fears of looking back at life and regretting lost opportunities

I can still grasp those opportunities…..

A few hours later and I’m still reflecting on SOUL. Life and the pandemic have kind of hemmed me in (hemmed many of us in). We have been in our own lockdown for almost a year now. Likely to be in lockdown for much of 2021. Time is to precious to just be content with performing endless holding patterns until life changes again. Have to find ways to live TODAY…

Not happening

Still waiting for the above freezing weather to arrive. It should be here soon. Potentially a short respite before the really cold air arrives again at the weekend.

The covid vaccination programme is up and running here in the UK. It’s still a mess with most over 70s still waiting a first jab or being told that the follow up jab is being delayed. That doesn’t apply to the PMs Dad who has already had his second one.

I will become eligible probably after April. Hawklad…….

The UK Government stance is that under 18s will NOT get vaccinated – no exceptions unless serious life threatening underlying medical conditions exist. Children are deemed to be of lower risk to serious covid complications and are not a government priority. They have not asked the vaccine manufacturers to test on under 18s. Only Pfizer has conducted any tests on the under 18s. Two of the manufacturers are about to start some testing safety and effectiveness on children in the US.

So where does that leave our little family. In Limbo.

I will at some stage probably get vaccinated but that doesn’t mean that I can’t carry the virus. Hawklad is not likely to get vaccinated at all. So as we stand our self imposed lockdown will have to continue indefinitely. That includes me even if I do get the jab.

The return to the world is NOT happening.

Cold

Do I fancy walking through that. Captain Chaos most definitely does. Maybe even squeeze in a good roll about in that glorious mud. It would certainly be a cold experience.

So the first day of the National Lockdown has passed by. To be fair I didn’t notice much change. Didn’t see any one walking on the street and the fields remained empty. Hardly any traffic on the roads. Spookily quiet. But actually it was like that before the lockdown started. That’s village life for you. So I seemingly had the world to myself as I walked the dog early in the morning. It was a good time to think and contemplate life.

If 2021 is another year of isolation, which it could be….

What do I want out of this year?

Here’s the thing about depression with me. It clouds my mind with so many negative thoughts. Makes me look back anxiously rather than look forward with hope. So on this particular dog walk the ‘what do I want’ question wasn’t yielding the uplifting messages that it should have. Best I could manage wasn’t much more than

  • Not completely messing up the homeschooling gig,
  • Trying not to put on weight,
  • Keeping the bank off my back,
  • Hanging on to what I have,
  • Not losing my marbles,
  • Trying not to go backwards,
  • Just surviving….

All too negative. So yes I have much to work on. But I will. Can’t thank my friends here enough. You have been so supportive, caring and encouraging. Thank you ❤️. Because of you I feel more confident that I will find my way again. Then I can walk the dog across the fields and come up with more uplifting goals.

WE can do this.

Galapagos

So no new animal photos this New Years. A year without the holiday zoo trip. So we replaced it with a few hours watching a David Attenborough DVD. Which worked out quite well and significantly cheaper.

Dad I’d like to go to the Galápagos Islands

Your mum went there on one of her adventures. I must find the photos she took.

What did she think of it.”

She really loved it. Well until one of the volcanoes had a minor eruption which restricted where she could go and then she caught a minor tropical disease as she left.

What happened.”

She ended up being holed up in a hotel room Ecuador. She missed her flight back.

Didn’t you fly out to check on her?”

What do you think. If she’s had a tropical pesky then she could keep it to herself. 6000 miles was as close as I was getting….

Yes I’m with you on that Dad”.

**********

15 years after that tropical virus the ‘avoid the pesky’ strategy is in overdrive here. It has been for 9 months. It will be for many months to come. I’m fairly relaxed about things but Hawklad most definitely isn’t. So we batten down the hatches. Get ready for the long haul. It might be an idea to stock up on those Attenborough documentaries. They are probably going to get some hammer during 2021.

Depression

I’m sat in the back room listening to Pink Floyd drinking gallon loads of decaf. Hawklad is in the other room watching a comedy movie. Just wasn’t in the mood so I made an excuse of needing to do a bit of work.

For a few weeks now I’ve noticed a downturn in my mood. Not dramatic but definitely a subtle move downwards. I’m tired but not overtly tired. My overall energy is good. I’m lifting more weights, doing more press-ups, holding the pesky plank longer. I’m doing these things better than I ever have. The housework is getting done well. Even the baking is top draw (ok that one is clearly a big fat fib). So there are positives.

But my mood doesn’t reflect that. Definitely feeling more often than not UNHAPPY. Kind of sad. My view of myself isn’t great. Feeling more unsure and indecisive. Not feeling like the mum/dad I should be. Feeling a bit beaten up and mentally worn out.

I’ve suffered from depression in the past. I know what it feels like. Feels a lot like this. I also realise that with me it’s not about ‘curing’ it, it’s about managing it. Trying to keep on top of it. Recognising that it’s probably a life long process.

So the start of 2021 is about being open. Not hiding this, especially from myself. It’s about finding ways to get back on top of things again. Just like depression, my happy side doesn’t ever leave me. It’s still there. Just need to encourage it back to where it should be. Front and centre. I will definitely need to make some changes. A few mini leaps of faith.

It may take time but I can do this. I’ve done it before…

WE can do this.