Monday, 6 April 2020

Sixty One

The last two posts were written in such a rush, in an effort to write something - even if it wasn't edited or proof read. This compulsion to write can at times be quite overwhelming and if being able to express yourself by writing a journal or blog is a blessing in these difficult days perhaps the opposite is also true. I'm reminded again of those days in Venezuela when I had no laptop or even a notebook, and on being asked if I needed anything my first thought was "pen and paper!"

Today I have a little more time. That's partly because I have worked my way through the many emails that were left outstanding when The Kitchen closed. I think most of the refunds have now been processed, and we have also contacted most of the people that we pay money to on a regular basis to see if we can reduce costs in some way. The council sent us a form to complete and now that has been filled in we are hoping to receive a £10k grant from the government which should tide us over a  few months. It's so difficult to see how this is going to end, as it surely won't be possible to simply reopen all the cafes, bars, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, concert venues and other places where people gather overnight. If that were to happen then surely the number of coronavirus cases would simply rise again and that is something we cannot risk.

I imagine instead there will be a gradual reopening of places, perhaps with some social distancing measures still in place. It feels as though the world will be forever changed however - at this point it is impossible to imagine shaking hands with a stranger, or even sharing a sign of peace with someone at a church service.

The other reason for having some time on my hands is that today is my birthday. 61 years old, though I have been reliably informed by a good friend that I can stay sixty for another year as this particular lockdown birthday doesn't count - I like your thinking Karen!

It's been okay so far, the sun has made a bit of an appearance but even when it is behind the pesky clouds its okay to sit outside albeit in a cardigan. I woke up to Happy Birthday greetings and even a hug (from someone in my household - I think that is still allowed?). A super fluffy dressing gown is just the perfect present, along with a bottle of salted caramel baileys which is screaming for some hot chocolate to pour itself into! There was also a beautiful gift hamper yesterday, and I have here a handful of cards which I plan to open shortly. The living room was adorned with banners when I came down this morning and most of the day so far has been spent responding to the Facebook greetings which are making me smile. So many people taking time out of their days to send greetings - how lovely and how grateful I am.

This is a weird birthday, and it has made me reflect on some previous birthdays too. as my mind has gone back over some of them I've decided to write one or two up. For no real reason other than my own amusement, unless perhaps one day a grandchild, or even great grandchild of mine stumbles across this blog and is interested in what Great Great Nana did when she was Twenty One!

A busy afternoon lies ahead, with a virtual birthday party at 7.30pm - fizz and lippy compulsory I believe! Until then I may start a new book, or perhaps write about what happened at my 15th birthday party!

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