So, in the words of Mama Mia 2 – “We’re going again” (or something like that. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t Mama Mia’s biggest fan. I know I stand alone in that but I’m managing to live with it).
COVID 19 – which never really left – has rudely forced its way back into the party and we are all subject to reduced freedoms, etc. again. I don’t know if you feel the same but I am finding the fact that we are back here again more depressing than anything I felt during the initial lockdown. I think it is probably because we are wiser this time. In March, everyone was borderline excited by the novelty – who knew what was happening next? Now, very few people are in the market for baking sourdough, Joe Wicks, or clapping on the street on a Thursday night.
The realities of returning to school, starting university, and keeping the shops open are proving to be very messy and full of trip-ups. Although no one doubts that these things are vital. Boris Johnson says we should be ready to be doing all this for at least the next six months. (BTW. Did anyone else know that Boris is his middle name? His first name is Alexander so, he chose the name Boris which I think probably tells us almost everything we need to know).
So, coping strategies. What are you doing to stop you from running amok? Firstly, because I am blessed not to be shielding I am getting out and doing whatever I can that involved other members of my species. That means shopping, eating out, and talking to the man walking his miniature dachshund puppy until you think he may be tempted to take out some sort of restraining order. (Dashy was the cutest thing I had ever seen)
HOH and I are not big eaters out but we are trying to put a bit of money into local eating places you know. We also added to the gaiety of the nation by ordering via Deliveroo for the first time. It was quite thrilling to use our pin-sharp minds to order on the App and then have a pizza as big as our head delivered to the house within 20 minutes. This is the sort of technological wizardry that the young people are using all the time. No wonder they are all so impatient. And annoying.
Secondly, I’m trying to build a bit of quality in. Lord knows there is definitely a time and a place for lying face down on the settee drinking wine through a straw and listening to Barry Manilow. That’s certainly a top-notch Saturday night in anyone’s book. But even I, with all my years of practice, can’t do it every night. So I’m reading. I read quite a lot anyway but the rules are paper books rather than screens. Speaking of screens, I recently downloaded an app that counted up my screen time each day. I will not share the results with you as I am too ashamed but I am making some alterations there which is freeing up six or seven hours a day.
We have gone back to the cinema as you know. There is a lot of fun to be had, trying to eat Maltesers through a mask but the problem is that very few films are being released at the moment and there is a limit to the number of times you can watch Tenet. (Been twice – still don’t understand it. Can’t say it affected my enjoyment). So, rather than spending screen time watching re-runs of Cash in the Attic and Escape to Australia (never seen either of them so can’t really judge but you get my drift.) We are having film nights. We can overdo it. Last Saturday was While You Were Sleeping followed immediately by Big. I’m sorry to disappoint those who were expecting All Quiet on the Western Front or Battleship Potemkin, but I feel we are all depressed enough.
I’m also dipping my toe back into a quiet time. The idea of a quiet time has had a bad press with lots of jokes about Christian pencils and notebooks with a fish on them. People have also spoken about how legalistic it can be. All that kind of thing may be true but sitting down regularly with the expansive, challenging comforting word is perhaps the most important thing I can do.
Aged Parent, meanwhile is holding up better than expected so far. Partly, this has been achieved by keeping her away from the news as much as possible. This is a lot easier in the winter because if it is at all windy, she likes to keep the telly off in case the wind blows the plugs out of the sockets. She is far happier going down to bingo if possible. Keeping busy is helping her a lot. That, and refusing to take on board anything that she doesn’t have the mental space for.
Me Has Jenny (friend from previous flats) been in touch?
AP Well she has but I didn’t stay on long
Me Why’s that?
AP Well, it’s just all about that chap she has in. She can’t carry on like that at her age. Women that age you know. No wonder she keeps needing the doctor.
I am leaving it there dear reader. We are all too young.