Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Not feeling it.

I woke up not thinking about much at all today. Hardly surprising, as for the past week or so, I am just ‘not feeling it’.

Perhaps it is the unseasonably dull and damp weather? Central heating still on in the last week of May. Lawn grass a foot high, but too wet to mow. Joints aching in the cold and damp. Hips feeling like they have come unscrewed, Voltarol gel on my finger joints to get them moving.

But I am definitely not feeling it.

Little or no interest in writing.

Little or no interest in watching TV or films.

Still zero interest in reading books.

Even my blog has had to trickle along with reblogs of old posts from 2013.

I try to stay perky for Ollie, but walking around holding an umbrella in high winds and driving rain is becoming really boring. The shorts have gone back into the wardrobe, and the rubber boots and heavy coat are in service again.

On the bright side, I haven’t had any mosquito bites.

Hoping to ‘feel it’ again soon, but not holding my breath.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Lockdown fallout.

As the lockdown begins to ease in England, it won’t be too long before we can think about eating inside a restaurant, or meeting up with family and friends in their houses. It has been a difficult year for everyone, some much more so than others. I have been lucky, and I am aware of that.

Next Wednesday, I am having the second dose of A-Z vaccine, so even if the ‘Vaccination Passports’ do come in, I will be ‘free to roam’, as it were. We have booked a holiday in England for September, a week away that now seems to be more desirable than at any time in my life.

But with all this progress comes some reflection on the fallout of over a year in lockdowns. The effects, both tangible and unseen, of fear, worry, concern, and being stuck in and around the same place whether from choice or complusion.

For me, the main effects are obvious.

I stopped reading books. I tried, but couldn’t concentrate.

I stopped using any of my cameras. I already had so many photos of the same things and places.

I stopped watching so many films. Again, lack of concentration was the reason.

I ate too many ‘bad’ things, and drunk more wine than before. ‘Treating’ myself was an easy excuse, but not a good reason.

I stopped watching so much television. With a few notable exceptions, it no longer seemed important or interesting.

I stopped ringing friends and family. What do you talk about? The fact that you haven’t been anywhere, or done anything?

My life, such as it was over the past year, moved almost completely online. Although I still went to the supermarket, I spent more time in front of the computer. I wrote more blog posts, kept in touch with people by email, and bought everything I didn’t actually eat or drink by using online sellers.

Now with life forecast to ‘open up’, albeit with sensible safety measures still in place, I feel the need to ‘claw back’ some of the me that was lost over this past year. I want to charge up my camera batteries, try again with some of those books on my Kindle, and wander aimlessly around reopened shops, not intending to buy anything. I don’t know if there will be a ‘new normal’, and there will definitely never be a return to that ‘old normal’.

But I will take whatever comes, and do my best to enjoy it.

Thinking Aloud On A Sunday

Clocks forward.

We had our summertime clock change at 02:00.

So when I woke up when it as still dark at 6am, it was actually 7am.

That still felt to early and dark to get up, so I managed to get back to sleep.

I must have needed that sleep, as I didn’t wake up again until 9:45am.

Which of course was now 10:45am. Confused? I was.

It all reminded me of this old song, from 1969.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Vaccine Snobbery.

I woke up today thinking about Covid-19 vaccinations. I had mine last week, and many other bloggers were reporting on those received by themselves or their loved ones.

But that wasn’t the reason I was thinking about it. It was because I encountered a dog walker recently who asked if I had already had my vaccine. When I said yes, he wanted to know what type of vaccine I had received. I told him it was the Astra-Zeneca, and he seemed pleased. He told me he had been given the Pfizer, which was the ‘better’ vaccine.

The NHS here gives you the vaccine that is available on the day. You don’t get to choose. You don’t get to debate which one you would prefer, or to argue about the statistics relating to how effective it is. I am more than grateful to have received any vaccine, free of charge, and delivered early, painlessly, and efficiently. Whether or not one drug company claims better results is of no consequence to me.

But in a country where many are somewhat obsessed with having a bigger house, or a better car, it seems that Covid-19 is supplying such people with a new version of one-upmanship.

Vaccine Snobbery.

Get over yourselves, please.

Thinking Aloud On A Sunday

The Sun.

Last week, I read an article about the future of our sun. It contained this section.

‘In a few billion years, the sun will become a red giant so large that it will engulf our planet. But the Earth will become uninhabitable much sooner than that. After about a billion years the sun will become hot enough to boil our oceans.’

I woke up thinking about that this morning.

Everything will be gone. Every vestige of our history and culture. Every building, natural wonder, and every human being and animal. Not one living thing will survive, and it will be as if the earth never existed. No records of it ever being there; and no memories of great thinkers and writers, or the work of renowned artists.

It may well be that by then there will be colonies on distant planets, unaffected by the exploding sun. But they will have to be far distant indeed, to escape a similar fate.

And what if such colonies are poplulated by then? Unless all our human treasures are taken there to be stored, and some kind of space ark used to convey animal species to the end of the galaxy, they will have only pictures and documents stored on computers. It won’t be long before it is all beyond the living memory of anyone left.

So I have to wonder.

Is it all worth it?

A Covid-19 Sunday In Beetley

My usual Saturday report is a day late, and so replaces ‘Thinking Aloud…’ this week.

Since the last time I looked at the lockdown, not much has changed around here. Mask wearing was made compulsory in shops, you may recall. So far, it is being complied with in the main, though a fair percentage of people are still failing to have them covering their nose. I have stopped trying to tell them, or signal to them. They just don’t get it. Or they do get it, and couldn’t care less. On my Monday trip to the supermarket, it felt as if shopping was getting back to normal levels, with a fuller car park, and more shoppers. Other than the masks, it felt the same as before February.

My car had to go in for an annual service and MOT inspection on Tuesday. I went to a different place for a change, and had the bright idea to take Ollie with me, and walk back with him. Julie would take me to collect the car later, when she got in from work.

It is just over five miles from the car place in Dereham to Beetley. That’s not too far by our usual daily standards, but it does involve walking through the town, something Ollie is never happy about. Sure enough, he became agitated by the buses, motorcycles, and other unfamiliar traffic. So I diverted into a quieter road, and let him run around a small park for a while. He was obviously missing his regular haunts, and the chance to get into a river. He let me know his displeasure by lagging on his lead, walking slowly, and constantly stopping.

Nonetheless, we made it back to the river in Beetley in under ninety minutes, and he was happy to plunge straight in.

Despite the crowded beaches during this week’s heatwave, and the fact that so many people under the age of thirty still don’t seem to believe that the virus can kill them, I am very conscious that it hasn’t gone away. People are still becoming infected, and some of them are still dying. The figure is currently around 55 deaths a day. That’s 385 a week, every week.

When the politicians boast on the TV news that they have the virus under control, let’s not forget those 385 people. They had lives, families, jobs, loved ones, colleagues. They anticipated a future, whatever their age.

And next week there will be another 385.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Running late.

I woke up late today, really late. Not that long ago in fact.

After another sleep of almost twelve hours, I jumped out of bed feeling like it was late afternoon. I still don’t know if this sleepiness is something to do with the virus, my age, or cumulative stress over all that is happening.
But whatever the cause, I am certainly missing almost five hours of my morning routine already.

My mind seems to have snapped out of the reverie that has occupied it recently. I have a book to read and review, promised to a magazine ten days ago, with a deadline by the end of the month. I have to get that done, as I hate to let people down.

Eating breakfast so late makes it lunch instead, and I am aware that before I know it, Ollie will need to go out for his long walk.

Even when you have ‘nothing to do’, it feels like you are spending the whole day catching up, and hurtling toward preparing dinner, followed by going to bed. I am only out of bed for a short time so far today, yet I can already visualise the moment when I will be climbing back into it.

Unusually for me, I forgot what I was thinking about when I woke up. Instead of a clear recollection, I only have snippets remaining. Like seeing the trailer of a film you forgot you had watched years ago. It was definitely something vivid, as I can see the face of the person I was talking to, someone I knew very well at one time. But I cannot put us in the time and place that was vivid in my mind at the moment I woke up.

For some reason, wanting to remember that feels very important to me today.

The sun is out, and it is not long until midday here. Sunday is half gone already, and I am concerned about remembering a dream.

That is so like me, it’s familiar, but scary.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Had enough.

I woke up early with painful leg cramp this morning, and couldn’t get back to sleep. It is a warm and sunny day, but I couldn’t care less.

I am moany, grumpy, and fed up to my back teeth.

Still tired and sleepy, despite twice as much sleep as normal. Exhausted from doing very little, and zero enthusiasm to do more.

The PC and keyboard problems are stopping me being able to comfortably write my serial, so by the time that is back again, I expect everyone will have lost track of it.

And to add to that, my comments are failing to appear on at least a dozen sites.

I should be excited about a new computer arriving next week, but I’m not in the least. More tech to struggle with, at a time when I feel little inclination to do anything of the kind.

I have a noise in my left ear that sounds like the tide coming in, and a niggling headache that won’t seem to go away.

Fed up doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I have had enough.

Sorry, but all that just had to come out.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Time Alone.

My wife has gone off with her friend to see Ed Sheeran play live, in Ipswich. They will stop overnight in a hotel, after the open-air concert. So for around thirty hours, I will be home alone. Not strictly alone of course, as Ollie will be here.

He will be watching my every move, and making sure I don’t forget his dinner time, his walks, and his dog-biscuit treat. That also means a longer walk for Ollie in the afternoon, with no need to hurry back for any reason whatsoever.

Monday is a public holiday here, so the weekend is extended. The weather is seasonably hot; too hot to want to do any ‘work’ outside, that’s for sure.

So, what to do with that ‘time alone’?

Well for one thing, I can catch up on my foreign-language TV dramas that are recorded. I might watch a film on Netflix too, if only to justify having it. I could do those things when I am not alone of course, but I like to be considerate enough not to inflict my personal watching preferences on those who do not share them.

Perhaps I will make some of those long-promised phone calls to relatives or friends? Maybe write a real letter to someone, when I have the time to properly think about what to tell them.

Rather than cook a proper meal, I will just slide a pizza into the oven, after first ‘pudging it up’ with extra ingredients like garlic mushrooms, red onion, and black olives. Washing up will be minimal, and it will certainly fill me up.

Then there is blogging of course. I can give full attention to the blogs of those I follow, and perhaps develop some story ideas into drafts.

I could go to bed early, and carry on reading my book on the Kindle Fire. I am more than halfway through the big novel at the moment, and keen to see what happens.

Then there is the default option. One that seems more attractive, the longer I think about it.

None of the above.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Writing.

This is not like my usual Sunday posts, as I woke up thinking about my new fiction serial this morning. Because we went out last night, I didn’t have time to finish episode two, so have to do that now. For those of you who tell me you look forward to my regular Sunday thoughts, I apologise.

For anyone who has started to follow the new serial, part two should be posted sometime today.