Showing posts from December, 2020

No Noel

We didn't need Boris Johnson to cancel the Christmas festivities for us. Following my last blog entry, we did this for ourselves. The funeral was on 23rd and somehow it just didn't seem right to put up a tree or brightly coloured lights. We hosted my mother, with whom we bubble, for dinner on Christmas Day but to have had another two households over might have been a nightmare. As one wit on social media, after hearing that the police could order relatives to move on, queried : "Can you make a booking for this service at the Police Station and is it free?"  Despite a local outbreak of Avian Flu that has placed us on the edge of a Disease Zone according to the road signs (Covid 19 by itself is clearly no longer sufficent) , we still ate turkey as well as a surfeit of trimmings, roasted vegetables and Christmas pud. In a bout of frenzied activity to keep my mind from wandering, I even made a cake; not your usual dried fruit and nut variety but what I'd like to thin

Choking Up

  Where there's life there's hope, they say. Do not believe them; it is not true. When life is ending and there is no cure, there is no hope: only acceptance or blinding rage and then acceptance. Yesterday was a bad day. I know what sadness feels like but that doesn't make it easier to confront. As I grow older, my experience increases but it doesn't inure. Covid 19 makes a bad dream a thousand times worse and adds to the toll. The restrictions impede daily life, contact and support for those coping with the illness of a family member. The tragic circumstances continue regardless. To see you back at home in your living room in a hospital bed, propped up on pillows in sedated sleep was strangely comforting. After weeks of enforced rules and separation, it was a relief to see you at last. To converse, albeit I did the talking and you, I trust, listened, was calming and the silent pauses meaningful. To hold your hand felt right, even with the barrier of a latex glove. As I

The Shrink

(Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay )  I am not writing about therapy today, despite the title to this blog entry. Instead and arising from that wellness appointment yesterday, came the discovery that sadly I really am shrinking. A year or so ago, I had hoped that regular Pilates sessions might have arrested the progress of compression of the vertebrae that it seems the human body inclines towards as it ages. Indeed, there was a point when I was convinced that I had stretched myself out so as to regain my full height and even held lofty ambitions of perhaps adding another inch to my stature.   I had suspicions, however, that my efforts were no longer proceeding as hoped, aware that I now regularly struggle to open top windows or the upper shelf of a kitchen cabinet, even on tiptoes. The nurse delivered the slapdown with an adjustment of my medical records and that was it, a whole inch removed from the database. I suppose if we are all in the same boat then everyone of a certain age

Staying Local

  In light of the request to remain local,  many people in the village have been walking along the various lanes and footpaths that surround us. In joining them, Mister E and I have noticed two phenomena:  Firstly, we appear to have exhausted the number of new sights and changes to comment on, meaning that on Monday which is refuse collection day, and in what must have been sheer desperation, we found ourselves commenting on people's wheelie bins. Can you actually imagine wanting to waste your breath talking about such things especially when they bear no resemblance to the pretty coloured ones in the photograph that I snapped on a stop in Inveraray last year? Secondly, a trend seems to  have grown whereby fellow residents promenade just before the sun goes down. I imagine it has more to do with the shortening of the days than a linked desire to socialise at 3.30 pm whilst keeping one's distance.  Anyway I am pleased to report that time has moved on and the second phenomenon has


  Yes, December has arrived again and how much shorter the days are now. I'm not sure how it happens but every year, despite all my good intentions, I still find myself planting bulbs in the garden when sensibly it's far too cold and late to do so. Recently I've been trying to dig over and plant a couple of square metres a day and suffice to say, if the weather holds, tomorrow should see the completion of this arduous creaking-back task. Despite the low temperature, today was very pleasant for the couple of hours I spent outside. The sun shone and the soil turned easily, although there were any number of weeds to remove.  I have been ruing the fact that having decided to try my hand at soap making, so many recipes recommend picking your own flowers to dry and use for colour and decoration. Had I known in advance that I would have a sudden urge to turn to the chemistry of saponification this winter, I might also have had the forethought and good sense to gather and dry bloss