Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Friday Jottings #4

I can’t pretend that Lockdown suits me. Lockdown in the UK was extended for three more weeks , and as yet there is no plan in place for leaving it. We had an email from our removal company telling us there was no chance of us moving at all until sometime /maybe/ perhaps in May or….

I know some people are loving being stuck at home, using the time to be busy and creating things at full pelt. I like being at home, so that is not the issue for me. But I struggle…

Maybe what gets to me is the number of things I try to do just keeping us (husband and me) going, that keep on telling me things are out of kilter- time taken to do things by phone, empty shelves, businesses shut, queues, the news…

I tell myself I am being mean and nasty, people are doing their best, others have it worse. I count my blessings.

Yet the social scientist in me can’t help but ask, just what are we doing, are we rolling over too much, are we failing to question our loss of freedom, the elderly totally marginalised, told they must stay home, that we should give up cash, stop meeting friends, walk in single file round an entire mega store , live in fear of others…. and why are so many dying in care homes, and why have deaths from other causes gone up, and how will children/ pets feel when they have to go to school, owners go to work, what about the job losses, the increase in domestic violence, the sheer cost of all this. The possibilty that we will be compelled to carry phones with us, be monitored everywhere we go. No wonder I struggle.

I gave up yesterday trying to shop local for things, it was making me miserable. So far I have managed to use some smaller on-line outlets for things to help us through these times, for if we only go to one place where will we have choice in the future. Now I wait for sometime when deliveries will be made, left on the doorstep by someone who wishes they had been furlonged, who look at me as if I have the plague, and who knows maybe I do….

Distrust is in the air, and I hate it with a vengence.

On a positive note, my technical camera/compuer interface issue is ok again. The only thing, the only time I feel normal is when I am on a walk

Then I can see a bigger picture

Enjoy seeing animals- I loved that these cows are the same colour as the roof and the wire, it made me smile

the empty track, the space to breathe

the season moving into Spring in all her glory

and even the families we meet, from whom we move to one side for, who look at us and say “Stay safe , both of you”.

and when we return down the same track have left a message of love.

So stay safe and be well, all of you

Cathyx

 

 

 

Comments on: "Friday Jottings #4" (43)

  1. Joanne S said:

    The year 2020 will have a great big asterisk. I get it. I understand. But…I am tired of it all.

  2. I appreciate this post and your insights, I’ve had similar feelings. I cannot bear to stand in queue somedays for shopping, would rather not shop; and the intense feelings of loss of freedom. I had three wonderful trips planned March through April and those did not happen of course. I try to be filled with gratitude for what I have by somedays grief of what is loss in freedoms during the days of social isolation hits me upside the head. Okay now I am off to read the other comments on this post…

    • That’s it- most of the time we are ok, and then suddenly what is gone hits us like a train. I try so hard to be grateful for what I have ,but sometimes I recall what should have been and what is to come….

  3. I do feel for you. I’ve had my ups and downs but thankfully mostly an even keel. I worry for my daughter who is keeping our factory working and the 50 men paid (all beautifully distanced and supplied with everything they need) and my son who has mental health issues but is coping brilliantly. The main thing that upsets me are the journalists. I dutifully watch the CV update daily and think the professionals are doing a good job telling it like it is in their professional way and then the journalists come on and I have to turn off as they ask stupid questions that, had they listened, have already been answered. And they all ask the same questions most of which have no knowing answer. Then as they aren’t given the big answer that isn’t available to anyone without a crystal ball they lambaste the government for doing it all wrong. It wouldn’t matter who was in control it would be wrong. Why can’t they find good in things rather than deliberately seeking out the worst? Until they unearth the book with all the answers they seem to think someone is hiding they should be trying to work together, get us all through this together. It just winds me up.
    Well there was a nice little morning rant. 😄 I have the joy of changing the bed today and I’m saving the vacuuming and moping for tomorrow. The little joys.

    • Amanda you totally get what I am thinking. I am so glad to read about your family and the way they are working and coping. I agree about the journalists too- I made the comment below before I read what you say
      All I think I’d like people to do is to think for themselves and look beyond their noses.
      I am changing the bed today too! Can’t beat nice clean sheets!
      Take care.

  4. I’m sorry you’re struggling so. Unfortunately you are right, there is so much ‘damage’ being swept under the carpet right now. So many people suffering, even dying, and problems being created and incubated. As a sensitive and brave (because it is brave to think about these things) lady, you are struggling. As I’m sure you know, the busy ‘happy’ ones may well be struggling too, they just fill the space with busyness to help push those thoughts away and feel some positive in the current situation – as humans we are good at denial.
    Whilst I hear what you say and I empathise, I don’t know what else the government can do. If the NHS is overwhelmed everyone who needs them loses. Unfortunately, yes people who have other problems including health problems are losing out – even losing their lives. This has been likened to a war. Whilst I feel that a very yang thinking, I see a lot of parallels and we need to act for the bigger good – although as I type that I know there are many self-serving people making decisions who don’t give a toss about individuals they don’t know. Thus I guess it ever was. I don’t know the answer, but my answer is to look for the positives that are being created by this situation, to learn from them, to be a friend – even at 2 meters – to everyone I meet, do what I can for others and focus on the wonderful world of nature around me and the wonderful things I am so privileged to have. BIG HUGS to you. Hang on in there – this too will pass, but sadly governments and society are never going to be perfect.
    Not sure if I’ve made you feel worse or better by writing that! But I do send my love and hope things begin to feel a bit less hostile around you. xx

    • Thank you for the well balanced comment. I am in a complete muddle with feelings and thoughts and trying to set them down in a post is quite a challenge. My biggest concern I think stems from the research I did two years ago into the halocaust, when people asked how could it happen why didn’t people ask more, why were the Jews blamed etc etc. Then working with Women’s Aid and domestic violence feeds into my thoughts, as does the notion of Blame the victim ( in this case the over 70s). Then there is the issue of power going to the heads of petty people.
      Aagh, and so I feel in the end if I don’t say something then why should I expect someone else too. I quite agree that the government had to do something or hospitals couldn’t cope, I’d love to know why hospital management seem to be right out of the picture when it comes to safeguarding their employees, and why do privately owned care homes fail in their duty of care to staff and customers and yet get to blame the government. And why do journalists ask the wrong questions?
      I have lots of muddly thinking going on in my brain……………..think I will go and wash my hands, just in case.

      • I don’t disagree with anything you say. There is a lot to worry about and I think you’re right to ask if we’re being too compliant. I don’t think we have much choice right now and unfortunately power will always go to petty people’s heads when they get a sniff of it, a lot of people need someone to blame and unfortunately there will always be horrible people who take advantage of a situation 😦

  5. I try not to think of these things and push them away when they come to mind. Instead I try to focus on the silver linings, the improvement to the earths atmosphere, the peace and quiet.
    My worry is for the young who will have their working lives dogged by this global depression

    • The cost of this -this thing- will be a millstone round the neck of the children for decades. Silver linings there will be and it’s good to focus on them.

  6. I have come back to this post a few times reading and re-reading your words and all the comments. I could not get my thoughts in order to respond before now.
    I can understand how tough this is for lots of people and for you and Mr E. with so many different and challenging circumstances to navigate.
    I feel extremely fortunate. The cases of C19 are fewer here in the SW.UK and I have good small local shops who deliver. There is only me to think about.
    So I have not been exposed to the fear of others and everyone around here seems cheerful and in a sort of wartime Keep Calm and Carry On, sort of spirit. There is masses of DIY and laughter in my road, and the Thursday night clapping is bringing my neighbours out into weekly friendly contact and a bit of friendly banter.
    I am loving lockdown so far and might find it hard to return to a more outgoing existence.
    I have decided that I will not be going anywhere until I have either had the virus or had the vaccine, so I am content to sit this out for 12 – 18 months. I want to be as sure as I can be that I am not responsible for passing the virus on to anyone else.
    I guess I am out of sync with a lot of (maybe most) other people.
    We all feel differently and all feelings are of course completely valid.

    I love your photos – the colour of the cows and shed pleases me too.
    And those stone hearts – lovely – I might copy that idea when next out for a walk.
    Take care my lovely friend. Virtual hugs across the miles.

    • It took quite a time to sort out just what was bugging me about this situation, then to try assemble my thoughts being careful not to upset people because all of us are impacted. I have made things harder on myself by trying to carry on! Seeing the fear in faces.
      Then I get to worrying about my poor neighbours who don’t go out at all,both have poor health and are frail. Their son does a grand job but it’s not the same, and why should the over 70s stay in, they weren’t the age group that went gadding about and catching the virus, and then that seems like age discrimination.
      There have been just 30 deaths in our nearest hospital (17 miles away), and of the ones that have notices in the paper all seem elderly.
      I worry about people reporting neighbours , and calling out others, and free speech, and get truly wound up. And the ease with which authorities just changed our lives and people don’t question it.
      I’m quite happy at home, I don’t get bored, it’s amazing what I have found to do. I love being outside best, and going on walks. Mr E comes too, which means we go shorter distances, but good to have company. We set off for a walk yesterday just to find that the footpath was barred. It took us ages to work out that it was also an ancient monument so could be thought of as a tourist attraction, not that tourists go there. It reminded me of the way some landowners were reluctant to open up footpaths after the foot and mouth epidemic. How long before we get the footpaths re-opened this time.
      The North York Moors railway is in financial difficulty- heritage sites don’t get government aid.
      I keep myself updated as I want to have all the information I need about house moves- they are still flying back stranded Brits would you believe- 300 from Pakistan, hiring cars in the Phillipeans to get people to the airport- the cost of all this is going to weigh our children and grandchildren down for donkey’s years.And don’t get me on the subject of poor donkeys- the sanctuaries are running out of funds.
      Once we get moved, and I think we will but in may be June before it happens, I can stop reading updates, stock up the freezer, unpack and hunker down!
      In the meantime I shall keep on …..
      Stay safe, keep those colourful projects going, they make my days.

      • PS when I took the pic of the cows and noted the rust I thought of you, I knew you would get that pciture!

      • Gosh you have a lot on your mind. I feel for you Cathy. Over the years my family and I have had so many traumas to deal with that I have got into the habit of assessing what I can do, doing it to the best of my ability and not then worrying about anything or anybody else. It has been my own survival tactic. I feel compassion and care about others, of course, but if there is nothing for me to do, I let it go. I guess that might not be easy for everyone, but it is the only way I can deal with the trials and tribulations of the world.

  7. What can I add to the comments made by others? Well, you are definitely not alone with your thoughts and feelings, Cathy.
    It seems you have a lot of stress in your life without COVID-19 and the current situation is going to compound that.
    I hope the world can be a better place when we come out the other end but one of my fears is we will have lost our freedom of speech amongst other things. Your post is refreshing – we need to be raising these questions. I have been scared to do so myself in case I was seen as callous – basically self-censoring because of ‘what the neighbours might think’ syndrome!

    • I thought long and hard before I wrote this post, but if I don’t dare, then why should I be surprised when things don’t become better later. It also takes me a long time to work out what is bugging me so much. I hate seeing the fear on the faces of people who are still working, I try to say it’s alright I haven’t touched this or that, I swab down my trolley before I use it, I leave my bags in the car and pack in the car park, I change gloves, from outside the shop to inside the shop. But the fear in the staff is palpable.
      I worry we just accepted this so quickly, what else would we accept too?
      I hate that people feel they can report others, and that some police have over interpreted the advice/ guidance.
      Thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated.

      • Thank you for responding to my comment as well, Cathy.
        Anyway, so much to say, so little space (or rather writing it is harder). But just saying ‘I agree’ closes down the conversation and what we need is constructive discussions to feel a way forward.
        Clearly, there is a massive dilemma at the moment. I can’t really see how track and trace would work (aside from issues of privacy), as for example, children might not have a phone anyway. Or a person’s phone might run out of battery, people forget their phones when they go out…
        Talking of staff feeling frightened – yesterday I listening to one checkout assistant telling each customer her feelings about risk from customers. At the same time, the assistant serving me seemed much more relaxed, although what she was feeling inside might be a different matter.
        It seems to me ‘we’ need to work out who exactly is at risk and why, so these people can be protected and everyone else can get their civil liberties back. And yes I find the issue of reporting to the police worrisome. Of course, people have always been able to report crimes but this is on a whole new level!

        • Helen , you have really understood my concerns so well. I shall use my Friday posts to air these thoughts, and for the comments to help us talk about the issues. As a thinking person I feel that thinking and writing about things is something I can do- to that end I have enrolled on a course – free, provided through Future Learn- that will help me formulate things better, and work out what exactly I have concerns about. Once we accept everyone is at risk from everybody we can start to protect everyone, and help us have our civil liberties back.
          Thank you so much for your perceptive contributions.

  8. Going for walks is definitely what keeps me sane at the moment. That and some volunteer shopping that I’m doing. Saying that, I am on furlough and quite enjoying not going to work..But that maybe because of where I work now. If I still worked in a supermarket I think I would be glad of a kind of normality, though I know a few of my ex colleagues are finding it stressfull. It’s really wierd times. Xx

    • My step grand-daughter went to work last year when she left school at John Lewis . She was re-deployed to Waitrose.Yesterday she posted a picture of a bunch of flowers a customer gave her. I am sure that knowing Miss J she had been her normal, helpful self with a big smile. I intend to buy flowers next time I do my shop and present them to the girl on the till!

  9. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    There are lots of unanswered questions and lots of uncertainty. I try to take each day as it comes if I can. I too enjoy my walks. In nature the world is still at peace despite the turmoil around us. I love the message left for you. Stay safe and be kind to yourself, it is perfectly normal to feel like you do.

    • Thank you, wise words. My mistake this week was to do some extra errands in town, thinking that if I did I was helping people keep their jobs, instead of which I realised the staff just wanted me out of their premises. So I give in, internet orders it will have to be.

  10. NatterBlog said:

    I must be naturally anti social because it’s really not bothering me, though I do feel for those who live alone, it must be very hard for them. There’s a lady across from us, in her 80’s who has been self isolating since before the lockdown and hasn’t been out of her front drive not even for a walk. On the whole though I’m loving the peace, and I imagine the climate, the environment is breathing one big sigh of relief at the huge reduction in pollution with much reduced air and road traffic. But we have luckily had some beautiful weather since lockdown. I think if we’d carried on with the cloud and rain we’d had for so many months I’d probably be climbing the walls by now. We’ll get there but I think it’s going to be a long time before we get back to what we call normal, and for the sake of our planet do we really want to.

    • I hope your elderly neighbour is ok. The older couple who live next door to us used to walk to the shops daily, I can hear them in the garden, and their son comes with shopping but they’ve not been out for over a month.
      I am fine at home and fine on the walks, it’s when I have togo to town for shopping and errands that I feel the strain. I have just accepted that on shopping day I will need an afternoon sleep and a biig sleep at night- it just exhausts me.
      I think when people go out again they are going to have a huge shock on what life has become. The commarderie of the early weeks has gone. Staff is shops/ banks are barely polite, peoplen queues are patient, resigned, and oh so quiet.Just not nice. And we have all just accepted it.

  11. Keep walking and photographing your beautiful spring displays. I love the heart on the track – there’s where the unity is found. ❤

    • It was lovely to see the hearts- not there when we walked it on our way out, but there on the return leg. More pictures will follow.

  12. Hi Cathy, you are so right! There is so much insecurity right now. I’ve given up of buying local too, it’s not easy and only helps to build up more stress. Your place is gorgeous, enjoy and stay safe!

    • In the end it was just making me miserable, trying to keep as normal as I could. I’llstill use the local food shops though. I am now waiting for four deliveries!

  13. I am with you 100%, Cathy! My DH is a cynic, and though he believes the pandemic is real, he sees the reserve banks taking control and not for the benefit of us! We need to question everything, even as we lay low for the time being.

    • There will always be people and groups of people who seize the opportunity to make money, we do need to keep the bigger picture in mind all the time.

  14. I had guessed that you were finding this more of a struggle and I share many of your concerns and struggle myself. The government is worried primarily about the NHS being overwhelmed with too many cases at once and thus high death figures. I can understand this and follow advice to help keep numbers of infections down and protect myself, though I do wonder if the cold I had in March was the virus.The thing that half concerns me and half amuses me is the way at every stage announcements about the virus seem to include a measure of wishful thinking. Starting with when they said that the virus could only be passed on when people had symptoms.
    Glad to see that you are enjoying your walks. The message on the path made me smile. Keep strong, keep going. ❤ 🙂

    • Thank you RJ, you have been a real pal this week and I really appreciate your kindness. You have a made a huge difference to me. xx
      I think because I am effectively a carer these days, I have more contact with the outside world than others stopping at home. There always seems to be some bit of medical equipment needed/ missing from deliveries/ in short supply or a prescription to be ordered/collected, special food needed/not available. Added to which house move/removal firm/ estate agents and solicitor to keep in touch with. And I know that in the West we are very lucky. I can’t quite pin down what it is that bugs me so much about the situation.
      It must be hard for you on your own, but great that your family is taking care of you, but oh for a hug hey.
      Here is a virtual hug for you, take care, xx

  15. Your post really resonates with me, I’ve never been into conspiracy theories but I studied sociology and can’t help but be stunned at how quickly we were stripped off our freedoms and how easily we accepted it. It really shows how easily people can be controlled through fear, but on the other side I suppose it also shows how many of us will do something for the good of others (perhaps naively I’m more worried about my parents and elderly relatives than myself). I know what you mean about distrust too, I live in a city but a friendly one, and for the first week or so nobody seemed to smile or say hello in passing but people are starting to relax again now. Your photos are lovely, I’m finding a lot of solace in nature at the moment. Take care. X

    • Thank you so much for this comment. It is so good to know that it is not just me that worries about society. I miss my parents so much, Dad died in 2014, Mum in 2018, I am so glad they were spared this though, so I imagine you are very worried for them. As for getting ill myself, I keep my distance, I use gloves and hand gel when out and wash my hands the minute I’m home, everything gets swabbed with bleach, so I am not remotely worried about being poorly as I am in control of my own well being, it’s the things I value that I worry about, local businesses, society, freedom of movement, being able to express views without fear, the natural world, food/famine, clean water etc etc.
      I notice people have really nice front gardens now, and usually on my permitted daily exercise( I mean could I really imagine six months ago feeling grateful for being permitted to go for a walk) there is always someone outside to pass the time of day with.
      I think that’s why I am only happy at home or right out in the countryside.
      Stay safe and keep thinking for yourself. xx

  16. Bless you Cathy for ‘thinking out loud’ for us today. I must confess to sympathising with some of your ‘social scientist’s’ questions – I mostly feel fine but what about the people who don’t? We won’t know the full story until it’s all over and, even then, probably not.
    I love your message on the path – I’m sure it will brighten somebody’s day 🥰❤❤

    • Thanks Tialys, this means a lot to me, and I really worry about what we have done to the world in this Lockdown, and the speed with which we have changed without trying to think things for ourselves.
      The family who made those hearts were really lovely. They were talking about finding stones as they passed us, so I know it was them. It was the Dad who said as he went by, And you two, look after yourselves and stay safe. And he meant it. A really nice family.

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