23th Feb – It’s still nice to be at home sometimes
I’ve not written for a few days out of not feeling like it, out of having a bad few days. I’m on my week off work now. This was such a good idea. The relaxation is very much in full swing, the weather is much improved, mild, a lovely blue sky tempered with some high mottled white clouds. The sun is out. Yesterday the government announced a roadmap to recovery, it seems steady and slow and that they’re now listening to the scientists which is a reassuring change. The day everyone’s immediately focussed on is 21st June. That’s when all measures will be taken away all together, apparently. If every stage between here and there goes to plan. It feels like, as with the vaccine, sometimes things do go right instead of wrong, despite government incompetence and stupidity. It may well be that by June the world will be much changed. I hope so. That we will all slide slowly out into a world again and decide it’s still nice to be at home sometimes, out of choice, not a fear-ridden necessity.
24th Feb – post-lockdown world
Vivid dreams, dreams about being in a busy bookshop and not being afraid of strangers, not keeping away from strangers. Friends were there and books were being sold frantically. I’m groggy now and all I have to do this morning is sit around in it and recover. This week off was such a good idea. This feels like the beginning of the post-lockdown world. That narrative is seeded in the air now. It’s in the thrust of the headlines on the news sites and causally people seem to be allowing themselves to talk about it. All of this in time with the bright spring sky. Whether it is true or if this is a sad false dawn, of course, we do not know.
27th Feb – Highgate Wood
Who will we all be in the future? Ourselves again? I hope I’ll be calmer and less stressed on the tube, less worked up on the streets, less annoyed. I’ll have to work on that for sure. I do think that we’ve all been reminded how fragile we all are, how lucky we were to have what we had. Who will we be? We’ll be the people who all went through this in a million different ways. People are obsessing over this 21st June date. I worry it might be too soon to think about it, like starting your Christmas celebrations in early November, by 3rd December you realise how long the months really are.
Yesterday we walked in Highgate wood with our starbucks, sat on a bench at the edge of the clearing in the wood, the green where they play cricket and everyone let’s their dogs off for a run. We were watching the drama of the dogs and owners, the children and owners. One very young child was using it’s pram to stand up with and then it rolled backwards very comically into the mud with no sense of self preservation at all. The two parents were stood with their backs to the infant talking and I pointed out to my husb with a laugh that the baby had hit the deck. The mother heard and fussed the father into rescuing it, giving us an evil glare as if we’d pushed the blighter down ourselves. I wouldn’t dare get so close to a stranger’s child, the germs! You have to wonder sometimes if parents even want their kids half the time. The same child, this is a crawling, not even walking baby, was later confronted by a quite large stranger’s dog which lolloped around by it, testing how close it could get, sniffing at it, pawing at it to see whether the little thing (once again in the mud on the ground) would play. Again the parents seemed broadly indifferent. This time at least noticing their mud-bound child but unmoved by the situation. This stranger’s dog could have had a particular taste for delicious baby arm, they had no idea. They do say that the tragedy of the current world is that the people who are clever are too clever to have kids, as such the human race will get dumber generation on generation. I joke, of course. It was beautiful to watch the open field space, a big green space walkers let their dogs off and there’s enough space for them to run and play with other dogs, without them going off and getting lost. The green is ringed by woodland the whole way around. We’ve sat here a few times over the past year, it’s always been lovely. This was possibly the most normal I’ve felt in a long while, something almost exactly as it would have been before. It really helped to see people and take a temperature of how people were behaving. To see people being normal, sensible, but also seemingly not too afraid. We’ve always kept ourselves months behind the current advice, always overcautious to avoid worry. It was reassuring to see what more normal people were doing, not just shut-ins with nervous conditions and complementary anxiety disorders. The weather was clear, the sky a lovely blue. We were sweating into our long coats by the time we found a good bench. It stands out as a gorgeous diversion, a little something different for us both, on a lovely bright optimistic Friday. I long and hope for more of that to come.
28th Feb – Split ends
I never learned what split ends were (and I still don’t want to know) as such I feel like my hair is a beautiful mop without imperfection. If I knew, I’d realise I had them and maybe I’d feel differently.