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.
I was born by the Sea. Brought up by the sea. When I’ve been struggling in life I have often headed towards the Sea to breathe. A brilliant place to head to as a parent. Some of my best times have been by the Sea.
Even when I moved inland I would frequently find a way back for a few precious hours. Then life happened. A Pandemic changed everything. It must be over 18 months since my last trip to the Sea now. My longest time away.
So when life changes again AND IT WILL – guess where I’m heading.
Finding time to live.
I think as you get older you start to realise the true value of time. We don’t have a finite amount of time to do the things we want to in life. In 2016 that point was brought into the starkest focus for me. Time can suddenly run out…..
So when the penny starts to drop the question then becomes Do you then do anything about it.
We all need to find time to really live.
I remember taking a job on the south coast of England. In Portsmouth. I was there for 6 months. It’s such a cool town, with much to see and do. It was new to me. In those 6 months I spent one afternoon wandering along the beach and looking at the naval history. That was it. The rest of the time I worked and basically just existed. Don’t get me wrong I had the opportunities to do much more with my time but I didn’t. Not much living went on there. Was I happy – certainly NOT.
Things are different now. Life has become a little too out of synch. Much feels out of my control. Beyond reach. Opportunities are not so apparent. But that fact doesn’t stop time slipping by.
Still need to find ways to live. Seize whatever opportunities that do present themselves.
We can do this. We can do some of that living.
It’s been over a year since I last managed a run. It’s hard to get my head round that fact especially as up to that point I would go trail running at least 3 times a week, every week.
But here’s the thing.
Do I miss the blisters – NO.
Do I miss the aches and pains – NO.
Do I miss having a face that you could fry and egg on – NO
Do I miss running up hill – MOST CERTAINLY NOT.
But I miss the feeling of open air and wow I miss the views.
Taking just a few moments to breathe. To enjoy what is close by. The beauty in life. The simple things.
A report on the news was talking about the UK Covid vaccine strategy. Currently no plans to extend shots to the under 18s. A child vaccine might be licensed after Autumn in some other countries. Again there are no plans to roll that out in the UK.
Ok so unless there is a real shift in the trajectory of the virus then we are on effective lockdown for the rest of the year.
That makes seeking out those moments to breathe even more important. If that means getting on my hands and knees, then so be it. Needs must.
So two days after my first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and alright. Didn’t feel much on Friday apart from a little prick but hey what’s new… Yesterday I felt a bit achy. Had a two hour spell where I felt really hot (that’s so not me….). As if I was going down with something but that ebbed away. So currently it’s been ok.
What’s not ok is the mixed messages. The medics are telling me that until I get the second vaccine then any protection may be limited. Even after the second shot I will still pose a risk to others. I can still carry and spread Covid. The vaccines may only provide up to 50% protection against spreading it to others. So it’s vital I stick to social distancing and wear masks for the foreseeable future. YET this morning I heard a government minister say that when you get the shot you are covered. As soon as lockdown eases get out to pubs, to the cinema, to the stadiums and most importantly to the office. By June the minister said we would be back to normal.
Then our really hard working PM. A fine man, who is honest, much admired, never corrupt, never racist, never sexist and most certainly never a self absorbed git…. Most definitely never a someone who has an affair with someone and then gives his lover £126000 of public money. Anyway that pillock was unbelievably working at the weekend and talking. Apparently now was the time to stop home working and get back into the office. Office’s and public transport are completely safe. “Time to stop the DAYS OFF…….” I heard someone in the Government use the term HOLIDAYS….
Do they know 126,000 people have died so far from this pandemic. Days Off and Holidays are the most distasteful terminology to use but it just sums them up. Staggeringly people are still prepared to back them. So what do I know….
Anyway again it’s mixed messages. The Government are telling people offices and schools are perfectly safe. We are soon going to be back to normal. No need to change anything. YET their very own scientific advisers are warning that we are in this for the long run. The vaccine programme is only a part of what is needed. They are warning of the need for long term social distancing. They are calling for places like schools, offices and trains to be fundamentally improved. To make them safer and better placed to work safely during a pandemic (and after). Better ventilation and more space have to be built into them urgently.
Red sky at night Shepherds delight.
I’m taking Boris Johnson so I guess I might be getting some of those delightful fan mail messages again.
Watching the news and again shaking my head. Just maybe the UK could vote for a leader next time who could be bothered to comb his hair or dress in front of a mirror. So our esteemed PM has been talking again. Amazing considering he has just got others to pay for a £200000 makeover on his flat.
Apparently 120000 deaths is in fact a sign of a job well done. Something to be proud of. It’s silly to compare us with other countries with much lower death levels as comparisons are meaningless. Soon things will be apparently back to normal with most of the restrictions lifted. Crowds will be back. Football grounds, restaurants and pubs will be full again. Life will be good within months. Which is bizarre as he then mentioned that (entirely down to Europe and absolutely nothing to do with lifting restrictions) a third wave will likely hit the UK real soon.
Ok….. Didn’t we already go through our really bad third wave after Christmas when the PM lifted restrictions against the advice of his medical experts. If a FOURTH wave hits then it’s not down to Europe. The threats sources are clear. From vaccine resistant mutations spreading far more rapidly due to premature restriction easing. The threat comes from still not having any meaningful Covid screening checks at many airports and ports. It comes from a bizarre refusal to address overcrowding, design failings and poor ventilation in our schools, offices and public places. It comes from using schools as a way of promoting a discredited ‘herd’ strategy. It comes from pinning all our hopes on a ‘vaccinate out of this mess strategy’ and close our eyes to other long overdue changes. It comes from still not having an effective track and trace system. It comes from a wonderful health service which has been cut back over far too many years and is now utterly exhausted. It comes from mixed messages from the top which is resulting in some people following social distancing and others thinking the pandemic is over.
That sky was delightful.
Sunday morning in Yorkshire. Like every Sunday morning for over a year now. Not enough sleep. Get up. Feed the pets. Exercise. Housework. Give Hawklad his breakfast. Feel frustratingly hemmed in. Isolated. Overthink life.
But eventually I start to breathe. Remembering what is important in life. In my life. Remembering those personal treasures that are so close to my heart. That always lift me up. That make me smile inside and out. And I realise just how truly fortunate I am.
Yes it’s been a typical Sunday. Well almost
It’s not RAINING…
WE can do this.
Too wet for a photo today so let’s go back a year.
First true fully open school day. First day with classroom teaching and Hawklad at home. It’s been one of those days….
In the First lesson one brief document was shared by the teaching staff on the online system. That kept Hawklad going for about 10 minutes in a 90 minute lesson. Second lesson absolutely nothing was shared. No communication. Basically complete radio silence. The third lesson was again a complete blank. Nothing. Thankfully the final lesson had some of the teaching materials shared.
On the same day I heard someone representing the Government say that online support should be limited to encourage all children back into the classroom. Well the schools seem to be doing as they are told…..
It was a three cups of Decaf problem. Trying to explain Displacement Chemical Reactions to Hawklad. Problem is that it’s been decades since I last thought about them. I was clearly so out of practice.
Out of practice….
That got me thinking. Yes I do think somedays. Just how much I am out of practice in SO many areas. That’s not just in the area of Homeschooling. Lots of areas. Out of practice because of lockdown, because of single parenting, because of life.
- Haven’t been on a bike in over a year,
- Similarly my last run was back in March 2020,
- Haven’t been out to a restaurant in 5 years,
- Over a year since I watched a movie at the cinema,
- Not experienced a Quickening in ages (That wont make any sense unless you’ve seen the Highlander movie). Quickening is the name I gave to family gatherings. The last time someone potentially lost their head at these get together was back in 2018,
- Over 8 years since I tried my hand at climbing AND
- Over 8 years since I tried my hand at falling off a cliff,
- Not played team sports in 10 years,
- Not had to give a speech at an audience in 7 years,
- Not danced in a nightclub this century,
- Not done any paid work in months,
- Not been paddling in the bracing North Sea since 2019,
- Not slept away from our house since the summer of 2015,
- That was also the last time I went on holiday and had to look innocent on my way through passport control,
- Haven’t had a hug or kiss since 2016,
- Haven’t met up with friends since 2018,
- Not ironed a shirt in a year,
- Not packed an elephant sized amount of gear into a school bag in the same time.
So yes I’m definitely out of practice. It’s going to seem really odd when I do finally get back to doing some of these things. Really odd.