Saturday, 9 May 2020

A Bloggy sort of day

Yesterday we commemorated 75 years since VE Day. Parades, parties and other celebrations had all been cancelled due to the pandemic. But posters began to circulate on social media and I found myself tagged in some of them. People were being encouraged to decorate their houses with red white and blue bunting, and to sit in their driveway at 4pm to enjoy tea and scones, or coffee and cake. A two minute silence would be observed at 11am and at 9pm everyone would sing "We'll meet again" in the street.

Other things were added to this timetable such as the nation's toast but I didn't quite catch the correct timing for that. Some posters were suggesting a socially distanced street party from 4pm - 6pm with music, drinks and dancing. I wasn't quite sure what to think and asked for the thoughts of the lovely folk in my neighbours WhatsApp group. One member of the group is an ICU matron and her words resonated very strongly with me - that it would be difficult to observe a two metre distance after a drink or two, and her ICU is still well over capacity. She felt very uneasy and this reinforced my own feeling that it was too early to be doing something like this. There was also in my mind a paradox about the celebratory aspect of it all in the midst of a pandemic when we were after all commemorating lives lost 75 years ago too.

One of the lovely things about our neighbours group is the respect shown, as people listen to each other and the collective decision was made that we would save our celebrations for when this is all over. We agreed - during our 8pm clap on Thursday - that we would raise a glass at 4pm. Which we did, and it was lovely. But it was also clear to see how easily social distancing could be breached as folk moved around to say hello to others, and walkers and cyclists breezed down our street with seemingly not a care in the world.

I was very uneasy and came in early. A glass of Pimms had seemed like a nice idea - and it was - but it definitely felt to me at odds with the situation we find ourselves in. A nice cup of tea would have felt more appropriate. As a massive and compulsive overthinker I have begun to blame myelf for even drawing my neighbours' attention to the fact these posters were circulating, wondering if perhaps I had said nothing we could all have stayed indoors safe from harm.

Others however were more than happy to enjoy the sunshine, and would obviously have liked music and dancing. All over social media last night there were photos of parties up and down the country with folk sat two metres apart. But that was initially and as our neighbour had said - would it remain that way after a few drinks or if you wanted to chat to someone? Or if you were approached by someone wanting to chat? I fear that there will be a spike in infections in a week or so's time and feel very relieved that we did not have a proper party. Rather than beat myself up about having even mentioned what folk were doing I'm keeping hold of how I feel about all this and using it to influence my thinking with regard to re-opening The Kitchen. For yes there are things that we can do but the question in my mind is should we do them? A much more challenging one to answer perhaps.

The title for this blog comes from the fact that I just blogged over on the website After a week or so of not writing I feel myself with the urge to do so. Call it withdrawal symptoms maybe! It helps me no end to dump whatever I am thinking and feeling onto a piece of paper or a virtual page here and leave it so that I can move on. This post however is precariously close to being long enough so time now to move on and create a new post about what's been happening this week?

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