Its now been 8 months since Paddi passed away yet I still find my self up & out the door as I have been for more than a decade to wander the fields behind the house. As the seasons change so does environment so the view is never really the same twice & if I’m lucky I get to see wildlife too.
The wheat fields were a golden colour & the gentle rumble of the combine will be felt as the lane fills with tractor & trailers in a frenzied bid to get the harvest in.
Covid may have wreaked havoc on the wider world but not in these fields. I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to escape here on a daily basis to try & cling on to a sense of personal freedom.
Freedom like trust a very flimsy often underrated commodity until you no longer have it. Whilst lockdown had the feel of living in some sort of house arrest now our mobility is being governed by need to zealously conform to a myriad of conflicting rules & regulations.
So with no gigs to go to the answer was to set up a fund-raising project that led to hosting what I have dubbed a ‘micro festival’. In the role of ‘crash test dummies’ we live streamed a segment into an all day music event with a largely virtual audience. The scaled up version is likely to take place later in the year. This project is still ongoing but has been severely affected by the unpredictable announcements connected to covid concerns. More of that to follow as time goes on so be warned!
Then when out of nowhere came the chance to travel North for a live music it was too good an opportunity to miss. Daughter & I set off to Newcastle for a hotel I last stayed at back in the late 1980’s. With The Hunna headlining supported by Jaws & Bare Roots it was a total ‘no brainer’ to go especially as we could combine our visit with some sight seeing & meeting one of my daughters old ship mates.
It was a curious set up but for all intents & purposes it mostly felt like a gig & the portaloos were the cleanest I had ever had the privilege to use. So may be some of the changes were for the common good! I certainly am glad I made the six hour drive to listen to those bands play they were all awesome in their unique way.
The staff at the venue were lovely & I have never in all the gigs I have gone to been greeted by name when collecting my preordered drinks. My daughter & I joked that perhaps we were the only ones drinking Pimms but hey who cares it was a warm evening & that was the perfect beverage. We bought a mask to support the organisers in the hope they will get to run more & I was given a Hunna Hat as a thank you for organising the trip.
Live music lifts your soul especially when you can sing at the top of your voice & dance along even if a little self consciously in your own little pen. Quite a contrast to the gig I had attended in London prior to the lockdown where 10,000 of us had jostled together in an amorphous blob.
Not sure when we get to alight from the current crazy train but for now I have the memories of those few days to sustain me. The measures currently emplace seem to be designed to suck every ounce of enjoyment from peoples lives. As the dark nights approach coupled with the restrictions I can only wonder at the impact to the nations mental health. I now also have major reservations about the methods of data collection that inform these decisions. I am not convinced that young people are responsible nor is the virus spread just limited to social situations. The work place seems just as likely & it will be interesting to see how the incidence of sick leave rises with the approach of ‘cough & cold’ season where it will be virtually impossible to differentiate between the conditions.
Newcastle we loved you, we had a fantastic break returning home to gloriously un-seasonally warm, balmy weather to catch up on some gardening. Bye for now & stay as safe as you can.
Lockdown life seems now to have begun to put strain on even the most resilient of folk myself included. Cravings for putting on nice clothes & eating out seem to be gripping even the biggest homebody amongst us.
Given my penchant for road trips when hubby mentioned he needed a drain cover I leaped at the chance to drive out to get it. My daughter thought it would be fun to come along for the ride & so we found ourselves whizzing along the motorway singing our favourite tunes at loud volume. Even the torrential rain didn’t dampen our spirits & as we neared our destination we spied a drive through Starbucks that was actually open.
You may recall from a blog or two ago my experiences at builders merchants haven’t always been positive but in comparison this place oozed with enlightenment. Weaving around performing a sort of strange socially distanced dance around trying avoid poking an eye out on a protruding pipe or come within ‘spitting distance’ of one another in order to place a heavy metal grating securely inside my car was bordering on comical. Left me wondering if I should have filmed it for Tik Tok?
Feeling buoyed up we retraced our steps & drove to the Starbucks to join the queue, excitement building as we crept towards the board displaying all the delights on offer. Ordering & eating out alone in Fort Lauderdale pre lockdown hadn’t felt difficult yet as I feebly tried to enunciate my order clearly to a speaker on a stick in a Swindon carpark it felt I was participating in some terrible ordeal.
Having recently broken a front tooth I was grateful for the degree of anonymity of remote ordering. Under Lockdown rules unless you are in imminent danger of exsanguination or asphyxiation all appointments are off.
Home application of a precarious dental patch in place I reeled off the order for a tooth friendly non toasted cheese toastie & included several abortive attempts to pronounce my daughters choice of beverage correctly. I imagined the servers eyeballs rolling in her sockets at my oratory failings but quicker than you can say ‘ruby flamingo frappuccino’ our meal in a bag was ready.
Paid & parked we sat in the carpark tucking into the goodies watching the queue ebb & flow in front of us. Feeling almost high with the fact we had ‘eaten out’ & my tooth was still in tact we drove on to complete the mission to deliver a dozen eggs & potted herbs to my son & his partner.
As I write & despite careful eating I am on my second go at DIY dentistry with no real idea of when a professional one will be possible. I consider myself fortunate that as a former nurse who keeps a comprehensive first aid kit I actually had some of the repair product recommended by the dentist.
However the repair was not straight forward and way off what the product is properly intended to do. It certainly wasn’t to be found in any You Tube videos on home dentistry I came across (who knew this was such a thing) & was in a position to order more of the stuff in case of further need. In light of this discovery I regret missing the opportunity of making a potentially viral video involving the use of icing tools doubling up as dental probes.
All joking aside this has planted the niggling notion that there may be a great number of others less able being left to cope with simple yet troublesome medical issues that left will be much harder to fix.
So I bid you all adieu & say safe.