Lockdown 4/Furlough 1

Snippets – and photos from daily exercise

  1. People are saying don’t do things… BUT this is an opportunity to do all those things I want to do and can’t normally do – and not to feel that they have to be crammed into a tight space each day, if they’re done at all. I’ve already said how I’m enjoying having the time and space to do things which I want to do: I feel lucky to have this time. This is a breathing space not only for the world but for us petty humans who feel a need to rush around and to fill our hours with work to make us feel important and useful. At the end of the day none of us is either important or useful – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t endeavour to try to make the most of life and to enjoy it. For some people that just means doing nothing, or sitting in the garden and drinking wine: and that’s fine too. The vast majority of us can just take our time at the moment.

2. Why, just because there are fewer cars on the roads, are people driving like complete loonies? If they crash it’s just going to waste NHS time; and why not just enjoy the fact that for once there is no need for anyone to rush anywhere (apart of course for ambulances). Likewise who are all these extra people who now think it’s OK to leave dog poo lying around wherever they feel like it?

Not quite sure what’s going on with the formatting…

3. The rhythm of my life has changed this week. I’m not getting up as early as I was; I’m doing yoga nearer to 10 a.m. than 8 a.m. Having the kids here has meant I haven’t exercised as much as I do when they’re not here, and I haven’t done any singing practice: but it was nice to have them here and things felt calmer than they do sometimes (less churned up). They’re all now back with their Dad so I’m trying today to start getting on with improving my italian – starting by revising some verb endings.

4. A friend’s brother died last night; other people I know have lost family members or friends, or have had the illness themselves. Yet – and I feel guilty saying this – I don’t understand why people say they are ‘scared’. Obviously I hope I don’t get the virus; if I do get it I hope I don’t die; my biggest fear is one of my children getting it and dying, and I think for the vast majority of the people I know it would be the same. So we’re following guidelines: there is nothing else we can do. I think our fear is primarily for ourselves: that it will hurt to lose someone we love; that it would be utterly devastating to think of them suffering without us being able to see them.

Another comment was ‘what a waste of life’. Is it though? Is any life, however short, wasted? It’s desperately sad when someone dies before their ‘alloted’ time and when he or she might have been able to do yet more for other people, but if they’ve led a productive life and have been of help/use to others, how is that life wasted? No life is wasted, surely – the child who has died young has at least brought some years of happiness to his or her parents and others, even though it is utterly unbearably sad that he or she has died. Perhaps it’s more the wording than the intent of the comment which doesn’t ring quite right.

I guess particularly since turning 50 I’ve been aware that I’m at least, or more than, halfway through my life – and that I therefore should make the most of what’s left. That, and the fact that this is such an amazing world and that there are so many incredible people out there, is what drives me to do all the things I do. I don’t want to die saying ‘I wish I’d done such-and-such’. There will always be languages I didn’t learn, places I didn’t visit, books I didn’t read: but at least I will have visited a lot of places, read a lot of books, learnt languages, appreciated the fantastic countryside we have in Cumbria and nearby, and enjoyed my life: I hope not at a cost to others.

A bit morbid, my ‘snippet’ today: but I think the saying about “living each day as if it were your last” is so wise – so long as it doesn’t lead you to go mad spending tons of money you don’t have, or doing something you really shouldn’t!

Meanwhile this afternoon I had a lovely and life-affirming run, so I’ll post some photos here. I am very much looking forward to being able once more – after lockdown – get to the top of that hill in the centre photo.

5. I’ve found I need to keep a diary! This seems bizarre when I’m not actually going anywhere, but I did in fact miss a CPD (continuing professional development) webinar the other week as I’d forgotten about it. An example of Friday was: 10 a.m. – Italian conversation group on Zoom; 12 noon – singing lesson via Messenger video; 5 p.m. yoga via YouTube; 6 p.m. speak to a friend via WhatsApp video. In between times I spoke to another friend, went out to the hardware store to find stuff to get rid of cat fleas (sigh – my ankles have been bitten to shreds) and to post some parcels, and went for a bike ride. Oh, and also did tons of washing and hoovering to try to get rid of said cat fleas.

6. I woke up feeling low and demotivated on Saturday morning: I’m not sure why as I have absolutely nothing to be unhappy about. I’d arranged to do a very long run ‘with’ some friends, but I just didn’t have the motivation to do it. I fell back into cutting-myself-off-from-everyone mode and, having read that Police advice is now that it was probably OK to drive just a short way for a long walk/run etc., I decided that I would drive the ten minutes or so to walk up the hill in the photo. It’s one of my favourite places ever and has been described in this blog many times. You stand at the top with the wind in your hair and gaze over to the Lake District, Scotland and Northumbria. Fantastic.

It’s a walk/run where I always notice the sounds around me – it’s amazingly noisy. Firstly there’s the river (the Gelt, which flows later through Gelt Woods nearer to my town, and then into the River Eden, which flows into and through – and sometimes floods – Carlisle); the birds are always singing loudly; sometimes there is a dog or two barking; and once upon a time at least one or two planes would go over head; then there’s the noise the wind makes in the grass at the top. I took the kids up there a couple of days later: it’s far easier to do social distancing up there than on the paths around the town.

And so I finish this blogpost with some hilltop photos – sadly not with the video of the river as apparently I have to be on the premium plan to be able to upload that!

And that’s a 4th week of lockdown over.

2 thoughts on “Lockdown 4/Furlough 1

  1. Elizabeth April 21, 2020 / 7:50 pm

    I love reading about how it is going for you. Regular life connects us across the ocean it seems. I agree with you that it is odd that people think you are entitled to a certain length of life. It sure doesn’t work that way. I am grateful for the time I have.

    Liked by 1 person

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