Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Opening up England.

Last Sunday evening, we ate out in a local pub. Our first restaurant meal since Christmas Day, 2020. There were disposable paper menus, table service, and the staff were wearing masks. Diners had to also wear masks until seated, and if they left their table for any reason.

In the nearby town, every shop is now open, although customers are still asked to wear masks inside when shopping. Despite the recent rise in cases of the Covid-19 ‘Indian Variant’ in some parts of England, it appears that the government is going ahead with its plan to fully ‘Open up’ the country on the 21st of June.

This will be good news for some companies involved in the tourist industry, also for service industries like wedding venues, and organisers of similar social gatherings. Nightclubs and other entertainment venues will be allowed to open with no restrictions on numbers, though wearing a mask will technically still be compulsory in many public places.

This new policy has made a lot of people very happy of course. Coming alongside a welcome change in the weather, England looks set to go a little ‘crazy’ as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

The lockdown rules have seemed to last for so long now, any break from the restrictive routines is bound to be welcomed.

But. There is always a but.

Having fun and adding alcohol to that doesn’t usually make for sensible behaviour, and keeping to rules like wearing masks. Being allowed to visit anyone, cuddle anyone, and to mix in large crowds of strangers may sound wonderful after so long, and the fact that so many have now been fully vaccinated will hopefully reduce any serious symptoms and cut hospital admissions.

But. Yes, another but.

There are still 8-12 people dying of Coronavirus every day here. That’s around 60-80 people a week, every week. And that is after all the vaccinations, and during the time when restrictions are still in force. In three week’s time, we could possibly see an explosion of infections once again, and a significant increase in the numbers of people dying.

Yes, I know we cannot remain locked down forever. Life has to go on. People have to go back to work, the economy has to start to rise from the pandemic slump.

But. The last but, I promise.

I for one cannot help thinking it is still too soon.

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.

Short Thoughts (59)

The checkout lady looked up at her.

“Thirteen pounds fifty-nine pence please. Cash or card?”

She had just ten pounds in her purse.

What to leave behind? The dog food, or the lasagna for dinner tonight?

The people behind were muttering about the delay.

She put the lasagna to one side.

Deciding to feed the dog.

Short Thoughts (52)

The slip-ons made sense.

Too hard to bend and tie laces now.

Elasticated sides made the trousers more comfortable too.

Feeling the cold more these days, but watching the cost of the heating.

A thick cardigan should do the job, no point wasting money.

There might be a nice one in the charity shop.

A good enough reason to go out for a walk.

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.