Downtime

Roy's 95th birthday

We did feel guilty that our lives really hadn’t changed that much and that the only real sacrifice we had to make was not going out and not seeing friends and family in person. I’ve left the village once in 10 weeks and have to say, I’m ok with it!

We have a garden, space to work in the house, ok wifi, laptops, phones, good weather (just turning now) and our pets…

But making up for not seeing family and friends did alter things – I embraced (for the first time really) using WhatsApp and the group with 20 or so old school friends was instantly essential. We haven’t been this in touch for a long time, usually just meeting once a year for a big weekend. As well as Friday night drinks over zoom, we share pics of food, walks, children, pets, and food, again. In the group we have people working for NHS, people furloughed, people working full time from home, and people having had cuts to hours and wages. We libe all across the UK in cities and countryside. We’ve had people we know die (one a suicide, one an accident) and one friend on the group had to cope with her mother’s long distance dying. So heartbreak, yes, but mainly hilarity and a sharing of the banal. I feel so lucky to have them.

We’ve had weekly family quizzes and amazingly got three generations (19 people I think, plus 3 dogs and 2 cats) on a zoom call to celebrate my father in law’s 95th birthday.

Being able to walk from our house in quiet beautiful countryside has been lovely, and like many people, the quietness of the nearby A road has meant we hear birdsong so clearly it is like a channel has been muted! Writing this reminds me that already (early June) the noise of the cars is creeping back up…

I’m relieved to say we haven’t drunk much more alcohol than usual…we generally stick to Friday and Saturday (although it feels like we’ve had a lot of bank holidays which add a whole day to the mix!) but we have looked forward to it more and spent more time talking about what we’ll have, in anticipation!