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Pandemic Journal – June 12 – Their Future

I have two little granddaughters, one coming up to 3 and the other recently celebrated her 1st birthday.

The restrictions imposed by the pandemic are affecting them both and sometimes, this situation makes me worry for their future. It is not just the changes in the financial stability of the world nor the changes in our high streets that will impact on them.

It’s the lack of human contact and what that will mean for humanity. Children learn through shared experiences and touch. They naturally want to respond to other children and it breaks my heart to watch my granddaughter try to reach out to another child and then pull back in fear.

How will they learn to share? How will they shed this early learning experience and learn trust in their fellow humans?

I question whether the impact on social behaviour will be worth the isolation of children from their peers to protect older people from the disease. And yet, I am a nurse by background and appreciate the difficulties my former colleagues are facing on a daily basis as they care for Covid-19 patients.

No doubt, history will show whether Lockdown for the children has been the most sensible option for the humanity of the future.

 

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Journal of Life during Pandemic – Green Rocks

The media report overcrowded beaches and poor social distancing in Bournemouth and Poole but my experience contradicts this observation.

There is the odd group of youngsters who clearly are not part of the same household and they gathered on the beach in their small groups but, in the main, they keep their distance from others.

The promenade is a busy roadway for bikes and pedestrians but it is possible to step down on to the sand and find plenty of space to observe the 2 m rule. I love to ride my bike along the promenade however I do not agree that bikes should be free to dominate the path and to play dodgems with pedestrians. Many times, I have wished the authorities would ban all wheeled vehicles, be they bikes, skateboards, cars, etc and avoid the risk of collision with the children, dogs, elderly etc.

These moss covered rocks gave the appearance of green hills erupting from the sand. One step up could be a dangerous decision as the moss acts like ice on a ski slope and I have witnessed the fall of a few unsuspecting victims.

 

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Virus Diary May 11th The Exit Plan

Last night’s announcement of the plan for coming out of the UK lockdown has left some of the population confused but hopeful that we will soon be able to have time with our families. For us, that has been the hardest thing about the situation. Zoom meetings are fun but they don’t replace the real pleasure of being with our loved ones.

Today the weather has changed and the winds are ablowin. We were attacked by swirls of sand as we took our daily exercise today and the waves crashed along the shore. It was very different to the calm weather of the weekend when not a ripple disturbed the harbour waters.

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Lockdown Journal April 30

It’s the last day of April and I hope the new month will bring some positive steps towards our future. Baby steps are fine, just something to give the UK people the will to shake off the gloom of April and anticipate better things. The restriction of our lockdown is not as severe as some countries, although more so than others, but the reality of separation from loved ones, an evaporating economic security and fear of the unknown challenge even the ‘glass half full’ personality at times.

Nature has eased the trauma for the British people with glorious weather and the daily allowed exercise enabled us to soak up sunlight and to breathe the fresh unpolluted air.

Then April showers arrived on the 28th. However, the daily exercise is a treat one cannot ignore and so, out came the mackintosh and the wellington boots, and we braved the elements. I sang Happy Birthday to my husband in the pouring rain and presented him with a soggy cake. Our family party took place on zoom and I was surprised how intimate it felt.

I can’t pretend to like this new normality but as a ‘glass half full’ person, I will do my best to treasure the special moments.

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Relisting of Ebook of Silencio

I’m pleased to announce that the ebook version of Silencio has been relisted on http://www.amazon.co.uk and http://www.amazon.com

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5 word stories

Esther Chilton has a blog and she poses challenges for writers of short fiction. This week she asks:

Can you tell a story in five words, using the word FREE in it somewhere?

My thoughts (some not particularly inspired) are as follows:

I want to break free.

I never appreciated being free.

Kindness is free. Please donate.

Words are free and wound.

Words are free and heal.

Words are free and comfort.

Use kind words, free gifts.

I used to be free.

That’s it for now but if you want to take a look at some others, visit esther’s blog at https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/can-you-tell-a-story-in-58/

 

 

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Lockdown Reflection

If I could turn back time and the clocks went back, if I could relive one moment, what would I choose? Maybe…

-that day before my father announced he was going away to fight in a conflict that no one supported. That was the last time I remember my family being truly happy, a time when my mother laughed without reservation and we lived without fear.  We were grateful that he returned a year later but he was changed, someone I did not recognise. We were strangers and from that moment, we treated each other as though a harsh word would cause irreparable damage, treading gently lest we upset the uneasy balance in our relationship. The breach continued until his dying days and found the courage to express our true feelings. Too late for repair but it was the beginning of a bridge, nonetheless.

-either of my two wedding days – the first as a youngster; full of hope and excitement for the celebration itself. Or would it be the second, when I had endured experiences of motherhood and hardship and so, our love for each other eclipsed all the trimmings of the occasion.

-the birth of my daughter – the birth itself I would not revisit willingly – but the nights afterwards in hospital when it was the two of us in a cocoon of getting to know each other. I could not bear to put her down, cuddling my bundle as darkness overtook the room and until the midwives forced me to rest. The hospital chaplain, a friend, crept into my room way past the visiting hours and blessed my gift from God. New feelings ruled my life.

-the birth of my granddaughter – a more recent event and one that has led to a relationship begun during the most meaningful of life’s experiences and connected by the knowledge that my blood flows through her veins. Her curly hair and sense of humour are part of my bequest.

-or would it be the first time my baby granddaughter said, ‘I love you’. My chest struggled to contain my heart that day.

No, if the clocks went back and I could choose any moment, it would be the last time I hugged my precious daughter and granddaughter. This time I would not let go.

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Am I Allowed to Cry

During recent weeks, I have become addicted to the news and flick between channels on the television or scroll through apps on my devices, looking for something good to absorb. It’s a fool’s quest in this new age of the virus which challenges our human race. I have always believed in survival of the fittest, but here I am bordering on the criteria for elderly with a husband already past that summit. When did I become one of the weaker of our species?

Pre-outbreak, I would wake most mornings and steel myself for the spin, aerobics or other intense physical class I had planned, priding myself that I can keep up the pace when alongside those half my age. My sense of fun is not absent and my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter thinks I am one of her favourite playmates. My looks have faded but I do not see an old woman in the mirror. My doctor says my medical file is almost non-existent.

And yet, I saw a video which showed the removal of ventilators from those over 65 to allow younger victims a chance.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think it is right that we try to protect the young so I do not object if that is what is necessary.

It has made me contemplate my life and my achievements, the greatest of which is the beautiful family I have created. All of the success at work and play pales into insignificance and I miss being able to hug my loved ones. It is for their own good and mine, and as we are reminded frequently, for the greater good of our NHS but if I had known those last hugs had to last this long I would have never let them go.

 

 

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Memories

In my cupboards, boxes and notebooks hold items of little meaning to others. A bus ticket, a crushed flower, a ribbon. Each prompts recall of a moment resulting in a smile, a tear or a frown. A first love, a special dance, a trip abroad. When I fling them on to the skip, my past will be gone and the only memories that matter will be those that my loved ones hold inside.

 

I am tidying up by study and these few words came to my mind.

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Pardon the Interruption

Sometimes, I feel that I am climbing the Great Wall of China with no end in sight. If you have tried this, you will know that it is steep and treacherous and the only people who scale it easily are the locals. When I visited in 2014, even the ancient Chinese women overtook me (younger by decades) on the way up, and my descent was a glamour-free, undignified trip on my rear-end. There was no way that I was trusting myself not to tumble.

Life has been a series of ups and downs during the latter part of 2017 and first month of 2018. The number of items on my to-do list increases and family events outside of my control act as barriers to completing tasks. There hasn’t been a lot of time for writing and I feel embarrassed when asked ‘how’s the next book coming along?’

‘It’s progressing,’ I answer without adding ‘in my head and dreams.’

I haven’t even joined the Friday Fictioneers for our weekly challenge recently, although I have done some flash fiction pieces on my own.

My New Year’s resolution is finally set – more writing, less procrastination. The trouble is that I have already procrastinated – it’s February!

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