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That’s so 2020

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  So this weekend has been really enjoyable and I’ve hardly left home. We had a fun firepit evening, with our daughter and our friend,   having curry and great chat. We laughed and that was so welcome. The next evening we had virtual pre dinner drinks with friends ( the drink wasn’t virtual you understand!) on zoom. It just made the evening and we avoided politics and pandemics mostly. It was almost normal, or maybe I’ve just forgotten what that is? Then today we met our son, daughter-in-law and grandson in the Botanic gardens. I stepped outside onto my mobility scooter armed with winter woolies and realised just how mild it was. We still have our heating off during the day, unheard for this time of year in Edinburgh. Cue conversation about climate change and an ominous hint at what that means for years to come. The autumn leaves were glorious but no longer on the trees. Their glory is fading and it’s hard not to think of winter edging forwards. In the distance Edinburgh castle sits

A Grannie Rocket?

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 A side effect of spending time at home is seeing what might be done in the house with some investment. From being a young adult in our first home we’ve always prioritised holidays over home improvements. And being busy with work and life and children etc I have always been easily distracted from what needed done. Even when we could only scrape enough money to pay the essentials we would still rather pack up a tent and head off. Also spending time with family was and is always the priority. So  redesigning dining rooms for example could always wait. Until this year. 2020.  Who knew what you could achieve with time, energy and money saved by sitting at home. So we’ve had a lot of boxes arrive, redecorating to arrange, cushions to chose and we have a completely different room. I’m delighted with it. Cara especially likes to lie on the sofa while I’m working at the table. It feels so bright and yet comfortable. The sofa becomes a bed if you want it too and at times I’ve needed to know I d

Facing fears in October

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  Just one of those days when you want to coorie in. It’s already October with the vibrant autumnal   colours arriving so soon after a sunnyish September. Strange that it comes with the inevitability of more lockdown restrictions, pushing our heads a little lower. I’ve socks on and out come the boots again. A benefit of not really being able to walk any distance outside means your shoes don’t wear out. There you are, jealous now?   October 1st, I was tidying ( oh stop...I have been known to tidy) and found my printout from the genetics department. No one expected it to be positive for a BRCA gene. BRCA2 with all the accompanying percentage risks. A 45%-85% risk of breast cancer. Well that train left the station and had a few stops along the way. Then I saw an article on BRCA2 and it dawned on me, it’s the start of breast cancer awareness month. A weariness settled over me. I’ve put the cancer to one side of late. I’ve donated my breasts and ovaries to the cause of ridding my life of t

The tentacles of Covid 19

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                                                            Crail, East Neuk of Fife   There is a sadness in our home just now. An old friend has died very unexpectedly and he’s with us, in our desire to have said goodbye, to have hugged him when we saw him last. His wife is also very ill but the curse of visiting restrictions means we haven’t seen her at all. Will this awful virus never lose its tentacles on our so vulnerable lives. A friend dying unhugged or unseen is a loss unaccounted for in the daily tally. Or a family member, locked down in a care home; again unseen and unhugged. Locked down, even the words make me shiver. And when the home developed a system to see family members, it was through a Perspex screen, accompanied by a carer and communication was through a phone. The similarities to prison life not lost on anyone. And what is their offence? It’s getting frail, older and to become the unseen; protected from viruses and hidden from life. For a time the families’ rebel

Who knew it would be hugs

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  Who knew it would be hugs that were our undoing? Those taken for granted moments where we gather to connect. Our hearts meet clasped carelessly  and we feel each other’s warmth. Sometimes it’s more hesitant. Is this Ok?  The boundaries of  our friendship are defined in that moment. Maybe a brief awkward  touch of shoulder. Or an envelopement that secures a friendship. A synchronisity of touch that celebrates our affection. Those warm embraces restore a sense of equilibrium. The family embrace  that can say So much more than words. The clasp a little longer even a flutter of kisses as we leave  or arrive. I’m so greedy I often want both. Give Grannie a hug? I call with trepidation. Mostly it’s a fly by catch with a giggle. These moments are tucked away.  A squirrled collection  of connection Of love. Hugs I yearn for them. 

No vaccine for compassion.

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Up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh  Today , in Scotland, shielding ends. If you are reading this in the future I don’t know if you can really appreciate the importance of this for some people. As I wasn’t properly shielding ( no letter for me) but being very careful, I’ve been a bit more mobile in the last couple of weeks. But I remain very cautious. It’s a bit like a slow motion Hokey Cokey without the fun. I’m back as quick as I’m out and I relax only once I get through the door. It will be so hard for people until they gain confidence. I’ve lost some mobility, perhaps that would have happened anyway, but it’s making stairs harder. And so another bit of independence is eroded. COVID-19 is shaping the advice against taking holidays abroad. For us it would feel a mountain to climb to holiday abroad on our own anyway. We’re planning a trip to the north of England  to see my much loved sister-in-law and I’m fearful as the numbers slowly rise around there.  I want to parachute in an

Stars of lockdown

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Koshka plotting... And he won....of course  I was on a zoom call earlier and the window cleaner was washing the windows. I was very spooked initially but then it got me thinking about some earlier days when I worked at home. It wasn’t the norm but that day I had a tricky call to make then a report to write and I decided that on that winter day I would work from home. The pets were delighted to have me there and I’d forgotten how much their need of attention was less than helpful.  I decided to sit by the Christmas tree and put their lights on so I was lifted from the December gloom. I had my laptop balanced hopefully alongside Fruin the cat who would only settle on my remaining lap.  Robbie the golden retriever finally went to sleep with a toy in his mouth ( it’s a retriever thing-it’s often underwear that’s stolen only to be presented to people who come to the door). All was quiet so I made myself pick up the phone and make that phone call which was too easy to put off.