Well spent

It’s been wet. Very wet. Many places round here could do with a dry spell. Just look at the flood warning list.

But here’s the thing with a lockdown. Normally I would be moving about . Witnessing the rising waters. Driving through the floods. Going shopping and working in the rain. The raincoats getting a real hammering.

But that’s not the case now. House and garden bound. When it rains I just go inside. The only need for a raincoat is if it starts to rain when I’m doing exercise in the garden. It’s the same for Hawklad. I was in the process of buying him a new coat just before the family lockdowns started. He had almost grown out of his coat back in March. I dread to think how small it is now. But currently no need to worry about that.

Might as well wait until he needs one. He’s still shooting up. I bought him a new school jacket at the end of February. To replace the slightly battered and rapidly getting too small, old one. It arrived the week we started our lockdown. It remains in its plastic cover. UNUSED. I suspect that almost a year later and it will now be getting a little snug on him. With no imminent prospect of needing it, we can officially say that

It was £60 well spent…

A first

Well that’s a first. I’ve been looking out over these fields for 20 years now. Never seen flood pools appear on this side of the field. The temporary field lake has friends…

We all need friends.

The pandemic is effecting everyone especially our children. Yes schooling has been disrupted but there is something far more important. For almost a year those all important childhoods have been largely put on hold. Fewer opportunities to meet up with friends (in many cases absolutely no friend contact). Stringent limits. Sports and hobbies frequently cancelled. Cinemas and play areas closed. Opportunities to explore and push boundaries prohibited. No holidays. No trips out. Too much timed cooped up with parents.

9 months and counting. That’s a sizeable chunk of childhood. They don’t get that time back…

That’s so sad.

Weathering

It’s grisly. Cold, incessant rain and gales. Apparently it’s Storm Christoph. That temporary lake is getting bigger. Might need to name it at this rate.

2020 was supposed to be a really busy work year for the little organisation I work for. Our busiest ever. Then it all went pear shape. The biggest ever pear shape. From March absolutely nothing. Our work is centred round public events, things like cycle races, marches, outdoor concerts and festivals. Not ideally suited to a pandemic. So it was batten down the hatches until 2021.

So we find ourselves in the third week of 2021 and already it feels like batten down the hatches until 2022. Absolutely everything has been cancelled. You never know a few things might be able to pop-up towards the back end of the year but it’s not looking promising.

That’s the reality for many. Many business are struggling. Unable to trade. Just a quick drive will show closed pubs being sold as housing, cafes up for sale, ‘currently closed’ signs everywhere.

In the big scheme of things our little household are amongst the fortunate ones. We have some savings to fall back on. A few benefits still coming in. A small bit of furlough pay. We can survive. Many won’t be so fortunate.

So it looks like hardly any work this year. But that allows more time to focus on the new school at home gig. Maybe the permanent homeschooling gig. Part of me is starting to think in terms of weathering the lack of work storm for the next few years and just focusing on homeschooling. After that hopefully the working world will be much improved…

Day

Sun going down on another day. Another Groundhog Day.

The days are just blending together. No week day seems to stand out. I get up at the same time each day. Check the calendar to try to work out which day of the week it is (never exactly clear). Do my exercise. Take the dog out for a quick walk in the flooded farmers field. Make the same breakfast for Hawklad. Feed the pets. Check the work system – nothing. Survive the school at home gig while squeezing in as much housework as possible. Fight with Microsoft Teams to close the school day down. Prepare the evening meal (the same ones on repeat every week). Look at the clock to see it’s about 6pm. Look out the window and another day is quickly ebbing away.

On repeat.

That’s why the evening’s and weekends are so important. Need to make those work. Work better than they do currently. Too often they drift by as well. I end up going to bed thinking I survived the day rather than I LIVED the day.

Has to change.

Snowball

Trying to figure out if Captain Chaos was starting on his first ever snowman. If it is then he was making a good start on his project. That was until the thaw came along….

I definitely could do with making a good start on a project this morning. I think that we can officially call it. I’m moping around today. Feeling frustrated, flat and bored. Hawklad is cracking in with homeschooling. Needs me infrequently. It’s pouring down outside so can’t really get any fresh air in the garden. Cant pop out. Can’t go for a run. Can’t go to visit anyone. Wasn’t in the mood for music or TV. Housework to be done but not in the mood for it. No work available (going to be that way for months). Can’t seem to settle down to anything at present. Quickly seem to lose interest.

So I’m kind of just moping. Sometimes sat down. Sometimes walking aimlessly around the house. Had a few of those days recently.

Maybe it’s better to call it ‘pottering about’ rather than moping.

So I’m just going to keep on pottering. Feeling just a bit detached from life. I guess I’m not the only one feeling that way.

Churchyard

While Hawklad had a sleep in I pushed the boat out just a little. A one minute walk to the churchyard. Yes it was a very short walk in the scheme of things but it felt like a different world. Just to see different sights. Experience a little bit more of the world. An important reminder that there is much more to life than our little house and garden.

A few seconds to lean against the very old wall and breathe.

Then it’s back home all too soon. Back behind the castle walls. Return to our little family lockdown. Virtually all of 2021 looks like it will be spent in the house and garden. But just maybe I can sneak out occasionally. Even if it’s just a few yards to the churchyard. It will be good to breathe.

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for our weekly virtual trip to beautiful Switzerland. This wonderful little country has been a special holiday destination for our family for a couple of generations now. Life has happened and that family is much changed now. Much smaller. Now the baton of Alpine Trips is really just lies with Hawklad and me. We must find a way of keeping that tradition going. Why?

Because family tradition is so important. Once it’s gone it’s gone….

Because Switzerland is so special and so worth it…..

Sadly 2021 doesn’t look like being a year where we can venture those 1000 miles again. It’s been 5 years now since our last trip. So let’s keep those memories strong until life opens up again and once more a family trip to alpine heaven can happen again.

Art

It’s not often I get a free work of art left on the car window. On closer inspection I realised just how intricate and special the work of nature was.

I could so easily have missed this. A few hours later it may have melted.

It’s such a great reminder for me that even though I’m living in a much restricted world that there is still much to experience. I can make this work. I just need to remember to open my eyes and continue to dream.

Water

It’s been almost a year since I stood near a river. Well over a year since I stood by a lake. Won’t be long before it’s two years since I stood in the Sea.

I was looking out over the fields, trees and hills. I started to yearn for a River. A lake. The Sea. To look at, to stand next next to or even better. To stand in the water.

That’s why that little rain water flood pool that forms in the farm is such a big thing for me. It reminds me of that feeling. Of better times. Of freedom.

One day….

Hard life

It’s a hard life…. And yes that sofa has been shredded by cat claws.

It got just a little harder, certainly on the hands, knees and back of the trousers…..

The only trip I get out a day is to walk the dog on the back farmers field. It’s normally just me, a dog and the sheep. But over the last few days one or two other walkers have appeared. This has changed the dynamics for Hawklad. Now he is not comfortable with me walking with the dog down the short, narrow alleyway to get to the field.

So the only way to keep venturing out is to climb our back fence AND then deal with the barbed wire obstacle.

Too high to step over. Do I jump or crawl under it.

Yep life has just got that little harder. Definitely more risky for the back of the trousers and what they are covering…..