Well, that escalated quickly didn’t it. We came back from London and went back to work and, before we knew it, I was arranging to close our charity down for three months and HOH was wandering the car park at the hospital trying to find someone to put a cotton bud up his nose. (Unfortunately there are no swabbers available at the moment. Apparently, there are key workers and “key workers”). So I have not been around to write this. It has been very full on arranging the closure etc. I’m not sure where people have been finding the time to make yogurt and learn Scottish country dancing etc. I have been rushed off my feet. (BTW can I ask – are you doing jigsaws? I see a lot of people doing jigsaws? I haven’t done one since Mrs Cullen used to help me with them when I was seven – her secret method was colour coding I seem to remember. Anyway. Are they relaxing? What do you do with them when you finish?)

I am sorry that I have not been around to distract you with nonsense. Closing a company – even temporarily – takes a lot out of you. In effect, our transport charity for the elderly and disabled had begun to shut itself down. The places that people like to go to – dinner clubs, Bingo, fellowship groups etc. had begun to close so demand was low. Then relatives and carers began to withdraw their loved ones because they were concerned about what they would catch. In the end, we didn’t think that we were letting too many people down but it was quite upsetting. Only one person rang and snappily asked if we could explain why we were closing. A stressed member of my staff snapped back – “Don’t you watch the news?” which was completely out of character but we all cheered like a scene out of Dead Poets Society when she put the phone down. It has been full on and we are doing our best. So we are all furloughed – although all of us are doing some volunteer work – and the local council have said that they will support us as well as the government’s scheme so, a lot of people are a lot worse than us.

I am also sorry that I have ditched writing about Lent. I could lie to you and write about all my meditating etc but I haven’t done any. I’ve done a bit of staring into the middle distance which might pass as meditating on Lent but – I’ll be honest – it wasn’t really. On top of everything else, our son and his girlfriend have had their wedding cancelled. We are all very upset for them. All that planning and looking forward to having such a lovely day. You know how something can’t be avoided but it still doesn’t seem fair? Well this is that.

I hope that you are well. I would understand if you are not and I don’t just mean if you have a nasty virus. Some people are not doing well in their heads. It really is beyond comprehension for most of us isn’t it? Part of my survival technique is pulling right back on the amount of news I watch. It is possible to watch Coronanews 24/7. I watch the Government briefing (I don’t feel this is the time to be always insisting on fearless investigative journalism. I’ll go with the official line for the moment if that’s ok with you) and a bit of follow on after that and then I leave it alone. I will deal with anything else I need to deal with as and when it happens.

Other than that, I am mainly staying in. Aged Parent isn’t doing terribly well with our lack of visits but I’m not sure how much of that is an increase in Dementia. She has become even more self focused. If I try and explain that no-one can go out because this is a “World-Wide” thing she responds by telling me how much her gums are hurting. Self-protection mechanism? Possibly. Either way – there’s not a lot I can do about it now except phone every day. Also, she is unhappy at limited time with the carers because obviously, they are doing lots of other things now.

AP “Those carers are in and out of here! 15 minutes? 15 seconds more like.”

Me “Mum – there have so much more to do. Serving meals to rooms, fetching drugs, sorting more personal care.”

AP “Money for old rope if you ask me.”

Hmm. My worry is that she will really offend them and they will turf her out. And it’s still quite cold overnight when she is kipping down on the pavement. HOH had a brief word with them and they told him not to worry because they are used this kind of thing. Here’s hoping.

I can’t get my head around churches being closed down – even though it is the obvious and correct thing to do. I heard on a Podcast that the last time this happened was 1208 or something. Lots of stuff is online which is very interesting. I got to see Ang in real life (sort of) which was lovely. We also sought out a preacher that we knew in Essex and watched him preach online. He’s a great preacher and was fantastic (and encouraging) to be able to see him. Is it wrong and sneaky to watch your old pastor?

For ourselves, spiritually, we have joined the people who are lighting a candle every night at 7pm to show that they will be praying around this situation. Actually, after the hour went on last Sunday we pushed it on to 8pm because it was bright sunlight at 7pm when we tried to light it and I felt a bit of a fool.

I’ve also just finished reading the Hilary Mantel. I can’t lie – I found this one a bit of a slog. It’s 875 pages and the cast of characters is huge. I lost track quite often – especially as people have two names. They can be The Duke of Such and Such but also be known by their second name. It’s quite a heavy book and I lost patience with having to keep wrestling my way to the front of it to check the list of characters. I think it’s more me than her as she definitely knows how to write. For me, the sense of impending doom was done a bit too well under the current circumstances. Having said that though, Cromwell’s final downfall (sorry – spoiler – it doesn’t end well for him) is just brilliantly done. She spends a really long time laying down different tiny bread-crumb trails and clues with nothing much concrete happening and then suddenly, he’s on a runaway train and there’s nothing he can do.

Right then. Off to watch a Star War or some such nonsense. You need to stay safe and inside etc. etc. Carry on in a calm and orderly fashion.



  1. Kirsten
    April 1, 2020 / 7:46 am

    I’m on furlough too; after a frantic flurry of carefully crafted emails to arrange zoom piano lessons (is it my age? I find them exhausting) so that the Music Service would not have to refund all the students, we were suddenly told at 6pm last night to STOP AT ONCE. It’s the ‘this way, thattaway ‘ nature of things that I find wearing.
    Jigsaws -yes- especially the lovely (and pricey) Wentworth ones, wooden pieces with whimsy shapes. We do them again and again simply because of the craftsmanship. Sort of a way of passing the time but not on Facebook.
    Meditation – no, I can’t find any ‘stillness’. I read or knit or
    shuffle paperwork or clean or write or draw or just suddenly ‘time out’ and go vacant!
    Zoom church, we did this last Sunday. Fun, fellowship, surprisingly moving.

    • lesleyps91
      April 2, 2020 / 3:17 pm

      We are a bit this way/that way at work about furlough because you can’t do any work at all and there is stuff we can do in the background that might bring a bit of money in. No wonder I can’t seem to get settled in my head

  2. April 1, 2020 / 11:19 am

    Jigsaws seem very popular at the minute. I haven’t the patiences I’m afraid, nor the time to sit and play with tiny bits of cardboard. My garden gives me space and time to think/breathe and I’m so desperately grateful for that.
    We Skype a bit with family, but try not to talk or even think too much about the virus news.
    Stay well.

    • lesleyps91
      April 2, 2020 / 3:14 pm

      We have a balcony now instead of a garden and that is working out better than I expected. Also, we are a very short walk to the sea and that is so helpful to be able to do that on the daily route march

  3. April 1, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    I’m doing a jigsaw, but it is taking forever. I did my usual sort-bowls method. Edge pieces, green bits, red bits, brown bits, white bits [this one has no visible sky which is confusing] and now it is stagnating on the dining table. Where we are not dining because Bob was off his food, and now he eats in the bedroom. I’m sorry about your company, but appreciate why. Also sympathies re AP. My cousin’s mother cannot understand why she is going daily to deliver meds but won’t hug or kiss her Mum. I’m sure all these wonderful carers are putting up with a lot more stress from their dementia patients than usual.
    Tough about the wedding- but it will be great when it does happen.My heart aches for these young people.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the online service. I have decided I do not have a future career in TV.
    Bob now being sicker than he was means I wont get to do my prayer slot this week. The deacons will cope admirably.
    Listening to Anton Lesser reading Mantel on Radio 4. Charming, gifted actor.
    Grateful for a 4 year old granddaughter who distracts us from covid19, and proud of her Dad who is heavily involved in the UCL CPAP ventilator work with Mercedes. Let us pray this work saves even more lives.
    Stay safe, stay well [esp your OH]

    • lesleyps91
      April 2, 2020 / 3:13 pm

      AP seems to understand it most of the time and then she forgets and sets off to go into the dining room. They are very good and steer her back

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