Category Archives: A day in the life

Everyday experience of living with dementia.

I’ve found something I can finally ‘cook’ again…..

Well I use the word ‘cook’ very lightly….I’d almost given up totally the idea of cooking in a pan on the hob again. So many disasters and burnt pans, ruined food…..but then something caught my eye in the village. I pass it almost everyday on my trundle but have never stopped to investigate……

Abbie, who also owns the adorable sheep that a much photographed by me…and who gave me a bag of wool for my friend Philly….

……also has hens which I can hear clucking away…..the sign she’s put up tells their story and how much loved they now are

I put my money in the honesty box and trundled my way home happy with my purchase….

Thinking back to only 6 or 7 years ago, I was a very good cook, every meal from scratch, a fair baker of cakes and treats galore, but dementia took all those skills away from me…not being able to coordinate pans, ingredients, timings…..but I couldn’t resist trying a simple egg once more.

Now you might be thinking , what on earth is difficult about boiling an egg….? Well it’s the distraction that catches me out. On a showery day as today was, as soon as I see the sun, I venture outside….so I had to be prepared. Funnily enough I could only work out how to work one hob, not sure why, but the others didn’t make sense. Maybe I always used to use that one, who knows. I thought it might be easier if I boiled the kettle, that would be one less thing to get wrong and get distracted while waiting for the pan to boil….

I set 2 alarms for the time. I didn’t have a clue how long to cook it for, couldn’t go upstairs to look it up on my iPad as by the time I’d get there I would be doing something else. 8 minutes should be fine, I thought… So I took my camera in the sun room and sat with one alarm on my lap, snapping piccies of the garden visitors

Until the sudden noise on my lap brought me back to now….and then almost straight away the one in the kitchen sounded it’s large shrill which made me get up immediately as the noise pierces my ears…

I had to suddenly think, what to do next? I automatically filled the pan with cold water, thinking it would immediately cool the egg down, but then just started peeling the shell away, burning my fingers as I did..🙄…just couldn’t think how else to cool the egg inside….once deshelled, I cut it in half and knew that if I went away I’d forget it….so sliced it more and put it on the buttered slice of bread…the golden yolk so fresh, it looked a work of art. I was so pleased with myself.

I know it will go wrong at some point. I’ll forget it’s on, be distracted, go out into the garden but today I didn’t ….today my brain behaved…I’ll have to pick my moment next time, just as this moment was right…

Such a simple warm boiled egg sandwich ……and how delicious it tasted….well the sheer fact that I’d boiled the egg, made it an achievement and delight to eat….5 more eggs, 5 more egg sandwiches or maybe even an egg salad ……onward and upward……

 

 

My first venture out on the village bus for 3 months……..

I woke up last Friday and went, for what’s turned out to be, my early morning trundle to feed the ducks…I was wondering what to do with my day when suddenly an empty village bus passed me by, the driver waving a lonely looking wave……

It then occurred to me that if I’m going to take the plunge and go on the village bus, it would be best to do it while they were quiet. In a couple of weeks, as more places open, it might start to get busier and be more stressful. At least now, the driver would hopefully have patience to tell me what to do or what not to do….it might be less complicated.

So the feeding of the ducks over

…..and still a couple of hours before the next bus. I meandered up the church walk towards the village church. The Rev had stopped me on his bike the other day and told me how at 9am the sunlight shines through the East window and casts  lovely colourful rays on one of the walls. He was more than happy for me to take photos, not being a churchy person, but I do love beauty and our church is small and beautiful.

He was right.The door lay open and as soon as I walked inside it was immediately cool and silent…The sunlight was streaming in through the stained glass window and the rays of colour were falling on the opposite wall…..beautiful…the magic doesn’t really show up on the photo…

Pleased that I’d remembered the extra call after the ducks I made my way home for a cuppa and to prepare for my village bus trundle. I looked on the web site for the times. They apparently were exactly the same as before but I didn’t have a scooby do what time that was…I took a piccie of the timetable so I’d have it for coming back. I decided to take my camera as taking piccies would help calm me down if things got stressful…

Armed with my Facemask I went out 10 minutes early and waited alone at the bus stop….felt very strange as there used to be several of us, but not today, and for once I was quite thankful. I needed the bus driver to myself.

It turned up on time and as expected, I was alone….the driver had a Facemask on so neither of us could hear what the other said..but his eyes were smiling so I guess I was ok. The front seats were all taped off so I took the first window seat. I couldn’t see any other rules but then a small sign on the window caught my eye and I took a piccie to read later as it was too small to see from my seat…

The last stop out of the village arrived and surprisingly another regular was waiting to venture on. We knew one another but because of the distance between us and the face masks, we couldn’t hear one another so we sat in silence and trundled our way into town. It was a joy to see the Westwood again, still not being allowed to venture out of the village on foot means it’s out of my reach

And the town cows, obligingly stopped the traffic to cross the road

All was good. I got off a stop early knowing it would be quieter and saw images I’d not seen in a long time. The library, still closed, with pots of flowers delighting passers by…A single thrush looking for food in the daises

It wasn’t as bad as I thought..until I turned a corner and saw a busy packed high street, the market place full of cars…no one wearing a mask…

I had nearly 2 hours to wait for my bus back…and suddenly this didn’t seem like one of my best ideas..

Whichever way I looked there was either queues or simply crowds of people milling around. 2 metre distancing didn’t seem to exist and I felt like a freak in my mask. I suddenly started to question myself, whether I’d remembered the rules right, but if I didn’t keep it on I’d forget it when I needed it for the bus again….

I saw one of my favourite clothes shops close by was open, and because it was small, I could also see it was empty. I could escape into there while I had a think. I’m glad I did as someone met me at the door, explained the rules and smiled….I even bought 2 things, just to feel normal again…

Opposite was Marks and Spencer, they’d been good last time I went with Gemma, so I ventured round to their current entrance at the back but was greeted by a very long queue. But at least they were keeping to the rules, so I joined the queue thinking I’d be as safe there as anywhere…but still few people wearing masks…..

That experience was as pleasant as last time. All the staff smiley, only a few shoppers allowed in. So I managed to buy everything that wasn’t on my list 😂….hardly anyone wearing masks inside…😳

Coming out of there I still had an hour until my bus, but no other shops I trusted. My head was starting to bang with the shear concentration of trying to avoid others who were just going about life as though Covid had vanished….

Many shops still hadn’t opened, many ‘To let’ signs up where shope once were, a sad result of Covid. A huge closing down sign attracted my attention. It was ‘Laura Ashley’ home store…just one person was waiting outside, so I joined that queue, simply wanting to be away from the crowds. One woman joined after me and was giving the shop assistant a hard time for not letting more people in…why would you be like that?

After that I carried on walking and found an empty bench and just sat, sat watching the world continue as though the last 3 months had never existed. It made me think, was I wrong, had I remembered the rules wrong? As someone else tried to join me on the bench, I felt uncomfortably close to them so got up and made my way to the safety of our little bus station. I’d just arrive early and wait….

As I thought, it was nice and quiet with lots of empty benches. I sat on one by my stop and was soon joined by the fellow villager who’d also decided to arrive early. We lifted our masks and from separate benches we were finally able to speak to one another and hear the replies. Turns out she was as shocked as I was. It was also her first time on the village bus, just to try it and see what it was like.

We chatted happily for half an hour, about the last 3 months and how nice it was to finally choose our own shopping instead of relying on others but how lovely it would be to get back to the peace and safety of the village. We were joined by one other passenger, a young girl, who I vaguely recognised, but couldn’t see her properly behind her mask…

Further round the town, 2 other women got on. They had lots of shopping and were only going a couple of stops. They broke all the rules and me and my travel companions were very uncomfortable and thankful when they departed…

As the villager got off at her stop, I remembered the name of her house was Woodbine cottage, which always reminded me of my dad as he puffed on Woodbines for many a year…

The young girl got off at the same stop at me, immediately took off her mask, smiled and said, “it’s me Wendy’…..the young girl who delivers my meals from the pub on the odd occasion I have them 🤗…the mask covers so little yet hides so much..…

Grateful to get back home, sat writing this with my cuppa tea and all was right in the world again as once, a while later, more I set off for a trundle round my peaceful village…..

 

A Downside of Zoom…..

Zooms in the beginning were the life saver of this lockdown. A safe place to meet, to see my playmates on screen, to laugh and give each other virtual hugs…..but this last couple of weeks or so have been strange, to say the least, and Zooms have become a strange place to be. It’s become a lonely medium…the screen immediately blank and silent when the get together is over. No gentle dissolving of people, just a blank screen….and silence…

Then out on my trundle one day I realised it is the physical presence of people I miss. I usually see people out when trundling and we exchange smiles, exchange emotions, exchange chatter….then they go but they don’t suddenly vanish, there’s no blank screen, they fade into the distance gently, no sudden disconnection.

Zoom recently, began to make me feel sad when it was all over, especially the bigger zooms with playmates. I seem to be able to cope with one or two people, but the bigger ones are sadly making me sad…

The beginning has always been difficult, going from just me and silence to many people on the screen but I coped with that to start with and the ending wasn’t a problem. In the beginning, relief almost flooded me at the end, after all the noise, the silence once more a relief…but now the ending has taken a twist and fills me with sadness….One day, a Zoom with playmates finished. We’d laughed so much, but then, staring at an empty screen, I suddenly doubted myself….’Had that just happened’? It had been a strange discombobulated day anyway, but this just added to the confusion. This ‘virtual’ world that enters my room one minute,

and before I know it, everyone has vanished…a sudden flick of a switch and the room is empty once more…

It doesn’t happen with anything else, txts are sent in silence, email conversations, Twitter etc…..my silent worlds of conversation….

I was happy in the beginning with just one trundle a day…probably because they were long trundles…now I go out twice a day simply to exchange smiles, to see real people and hear chatter, hear the noise of village life.

I was out the other day, having my second walk and was stopped by several people for a chat, none of whom I knew, but they seemed to know me, calling me by my name. Their physical presence seeming real instead of virtual faces on virtual screens….

I’m sure it’s just another transition of this strange lockdown time..but at the moment I feel all zoomed out…Zoom is very unnatural. A virtual room to join at the click of a button…

When we met in person there was no suddden switch on, sudden switch off.  I know it’s only a substitute for our meeting in person, and it’s the only way at the mo…but it’s just not having a good after effect on me Right now…don’t get me wrong, I love seeing my playmates, sharing time together, sharing laughter, stories and tears,

…..but I don’t like seeing them suddenly vanish at the end….🤯

This lockdown is affecting us all differently and we have to just accept the blows when they come and deal with them…..so maybe I’ll just take a while to be Zoom free…..and after a break everything will be fine again…..

Time lost for making special memories……

I’ve been best friends with Sylvia for what seems a lifetime, but it is in fact 2 decades….25 years or so of friendship where we’ve shared every life event possible. All the three big ones, divorce, death, moving house and so many more besides. We’ve always been there for one another, a listening ear, a simple hug and sharing many, many happy moments too……including shared holidays to Keswick which we both love, me probably more as the Alps have overtaken on the scale of delights in her life…..

I did ask Sylvia before I wrote this if was was ok to mention her situation and she agreed otherwise I obviously wouldn’t. It came from an email exchange we had where she said the lock down had frustrated her plans of making memories …

It was Sylvia who convinced the manager at the Physio department to give me my first job in the NHS. Me, then a single parent, taking on 5 cleaning jobs to make ends meet. But she saw the potential, she saw the need for me to work and sensed I wouldn’t let them down, and that’s where our friendship started…..

But now, 25 years later we find ourselves with very different lives than we ever imagined. All the plans we made for the future dashed beyond belief. Mine, of course is dementia, and Sylvia now has incurable cancer and this Covid time has robbed us both of something of which the length is unknown….Time….time to make special memories.

We’re both strong resilient women. Always there to bolster one another up when down. But this lockdown has stopped us doing what we do best…making the most of the time we have while we still can…

For Sylvia many plans were made, had so many plans for the last few months. But everything, like everything else, is on hold. Waiting, simply waiting. Will I be capable and able to follow my plans when all this is over, whenever that might be – my tandem paraglide over Keswick may not be possible until next year? Will I be capable? Will Sylvia be strong enough when lockdown is over? If we’ve both anything to do with it, our characters will take us through, we say to ourselves, “we will have more adventures, make more memories” but it’s such a sad thought…conditions we have no control over…and some days it’s just harder to accept than others…

I’ve heard so many people say, “well we’ll have to do it next year instead”….but what about if next year is an unknown time? Never before has Time been denied us in this way. For many people with incurable conditions this lockdown has taken away precious Time..

We’ve always been there for one another and still are but at the moment, we can’t offer that physical presence that we’ve always provided each other when the stakes are down and I’d so love to simply be there…

It’s not sympathy we’re looking for, neither of us are like that, just understanding, thoughtfulness. …I’d gladly give Sylvia my Time…Living in the moment is becoming harder as, easier some days than others, couch is life..but how many people are in the same position with memories on hold and Time an unknown quantity ?…

 

 

A Misty walk on a misty morning…..

I wrote this last Wednesday having just arrived back from an early morning walk, using the pictures to walk me through once more….

Strange dreams had filled my sleep wake sleep wake night featuring people from the past, the sea and many tables cluttered with rubbish…..I’d woken discombobulated and wondered what I should do, or rather, what was I suppose to do. I lay there in the dark, the light of the morning peeping through the curtains. It wasn’t really early, the light telling me the time. I tapped my watch and it told me it was gone 8am, much later than my normal get up time.

I got up, walked into the back of the house and looked out of the window. A lovely mist was hiding my normal view. I love misty mornings. Had my shower, got dressed, only this time I didn’t follow my routine…I did put the kettle on but then put my coat on, got my camera and unlocked the door…..it felt wrong going out of the door, but also strangely right…

Don’t remember ever going out without a cuppa tea first, but this morning something drew me to an early morning trundle.

I turned right out of my house and up the road the short distance towards the field of cows. Only today it was covered in mist, the cows just visible in the distance. I stood against the gate in the silence, just watching when suddenly…..the white owl flew out in front of me across the field, it’s wings stretched out in flight…

My breathe was taken away as I watched its elegant silent flight into the trees nearby. Mesmerised by it’s sheer beauty and slowness of flight. I was waiting patiently for it’s reappearance when a villager with her dog, came along asking if I was going through the gate. I told her of my sighting and we both stood there smiling, in awe of this beautiful creature and exchanged tales of it’s sighting.  It became clear that we weren’t going to have a repeat performance so we chatted for a while before she left through the gate and disappeared into the mist and I just stood there a moment longer just hoping it might change it’s mind, but not today….

I Turned and made my way along the Manor House walls, the sheep veiled in the mist

Along the road before turning left and up to the back of the village. The air was so silent, so still. Standing under the trees, it was as though it was raining as droplets of water fell gently, the only sound breaking the silence

Early morning dog walkers more in evidence now, always cheery and smiley, saying hello. One dog refusing to go further before I’d caught them up and given him a cuddle…..The sheep in the back field more visible, being closer, looking round to see the passers by

Through the church yard, back down the lane and within an hour I was back home. I’m sure I’ve never left the house without a cuppa tea before, but maybe this morning something inside me knew the white owl was there waiting for me….and as I sat typing this, having my first cuppa tea, I felt relaxed and happy, having had the perfect little trundle….

 

Saturday Sunshine…..

Last Saturday felt like the first day in weeks that it hadn’t rained….I really havn’t a clue whether it was days or weeks, time losing it’s concept at the mo….nothing to focus my mind on time, but it had felt like ages…..

The day before Sarah had come and we’d gone for our first trundle together, just to the pond and back, but boy did we get drenched……It wasn’t heavy rain, it was the steady persistent stuff that soaks you….

But….we had such a lovely walk. The pond looked beautiful….the rain didn’t matter…

 

Even the ducks looked hacked off by it, especially since I’d forgotten their food….🙄

The following day, Saturday, dawned to mist and cloud but by lunchtime the sun was shining and suddenly the village came alive again, as though it had been asleep through the rain…..

Still only allowed to trundle through the village, I ambled to the pond again…even Terence and Teresa Terrapin had made an appearance, first time in ages!

Alongside the pond shelter, on the ground Is a monument to an Olympic long jumper Sue Hearnshaw.

I looked up why such a strange event was marked in the village only to find she went to the local High School..the length of the jump, start to finish, is marked out on the flagstones…..a random, but pleasant acknowledgement to a local girl…gone off piste..🙄

A family with a tiny tot stood waiting by the pond shelter…and a car pulled up with what must have been grandma and grandad aboard, meeting quite obviously for the first time since lockdown. The excitement on grandmas face, the uncertainty on the child’s was striking…..Grandma so wanted the child to run up and hug her, but the confusion made the child cling to her mothers hand, not quite knowing what she was allowed to do….luckily Grandma took it gently and as I trundled away I could hear the child chatting happily….

All the rain of late had made the villagers go into hibernation. I don’t think we’d realised how important the weather has been to get us through the lockdown. My trundles had often been a lonely affair, my camera hidden beneath my coat, sometimes not seeing a sole as I ambled through drenched village streets and lanes….

But not on Saturday, not when the sun had shone and everyone looked happy again….

Laughter, children playing outside once more, squeals of delight echoing through the gardens. Chatterings of passers by, smiley faces once more. The rain was much needed for the gardens and the farmers, but the sunshine was needed for the humans too and what a difference it made…….

My first trip inside a shop…….

So after last weeks venture to a supermarket, where I didn’t get out of the car, this week my daughter asked me if I needed anything from Marks and Spencers……

The car trundle to the supermarket hadn’t gone down well, with lots of cars, lots of confusion and people and I didn’t even get out of the car!

So when Gemmas txt came though, I tried to envisage the shelves of M&S food bit and nothing sprang to mind. I then asked if I could go with her. After all, she would be there to tell me the rules and look out for me.

So an hour later armed with mask and card to pay we set off. I’d asked Gem what I needed to do and she simply said, that we couldn’t go in together, but would have to queue behind one another and then we’d meet by the car again…..Gemma had always noticed a slight queue outside so in our minds, queue means they’re doing it properly…..

No piccies on route as it was raining 🙄…but we drove through the Westwood and the cows were sheltering from the rain huddled together under the trees. It made for a lovely calm sight…we passed though the deserted town, shops all closed and empty and thenn pulled into the car park and yes, there was the familiar small queue.
Masks donned 😷 we trundled and joined the end, me not being able to resist putting two packs of geranium plants into my trolley while we were waiting 🙄…and within minutes it was my turn, Gemma letting me go first.

Well I was like a child in a sweet shop. It was so calm with only a handful of shoppers. I was really surprised that hardly anyone was wearing a mask 😳…but as Gemma said, the evidence and messages are so mixed that people are confused what to do….

After however many months of not being in a large store, the choice was overwhelming ….did I want this or that?….well I’ll have both as I can’t make my mind up…😂…did I want cashew nuts or peanuts….decisions aren’t my strong point so both went in again ….😂🤣

Only two cash desks were open, each marked clearly with only one person ahead. The cashier had a smiley face so no one making me frazzled. Just calm and patient…perfect….

After last weeks view of what might be, we drove home knowing that we could do that again. All was organised, everyone friendly…..a nice experience back into the real world for a change……and then I took a walk in the rain just to the pond…..and even the ducks seemed fed up of the rain…🙄

Moral of the tale me thinks is…..for a first venture, head somewhere organised, that knows what it’s doing. You don’t have to buy anything but if you’re like me, you’ll buy far more than you need…😳…I now have enough food to last me a month😂

My world just got smaller……

Last Monday was a day of 2 halves. I actually wrote this on the same day, but decided to release a week later,   as I never want to worry people on the day, just remember that when reading……..It was a real mix of a day which started with a lovely Monday morning fix on Zoom with my playmates from Minds and Voices

After we’d finished I had a final cuppa and sat looking out of my window wondering what next……It was a nice cool fresh day so I decided to venture on a long trundle, after all, time is unimportant at the mo and I could take as long as I wanted…

I hadn’t felt 100 % for a couple of weeks and had kept to the village, not really knowing why, but knowing it was for the best. But today seemed like a day for venturing through the fields.

After the storms of the weekend the air was filled with the sweetness of wet grass and the fields were certainly looking happier after their soaking….

I trundled along happily, stopping every few minutes to take a piccie when something caught my eye or simply to gaze into the distance…. I’d decided to do the Folly Lake Walk again. I’d done it many times during the lockdown, even in the heat, so felt confident in my ability….it did take a while but as I said, no hurry, nothing to get back for….

The potato crop had taken a sudden boost since my last visit, probably due to the rain

The land no longer dry and dusty. Instead it felt hydrated again, breathing more easily, the roots of crops no longer burrowing deep for moisture…..

About 10 minutes from the Lake, that’s when my day took a turn for the worse….I suddenly began to feel slow and sluggish. I kept focusing on the image of the benches at the lake, somewhere to sit and rest a while…

I knew once I reached the tall daisy field that I just had a few more minutes before I reached safety

I turned the corner and was soon heading down the track to the lake. It’s beauty is just stunning.

I thought a sit down and a cuppa would see me right and I’d be on my way, but my body had other ideas. I sat, waiting for this weak, fuzzy feeling to go, trying to focus on the views instead of the thoughts going on in my head

After a while it was clear that I wasn’t going to make the next half of the journey back home. If I didn’t txt my daughter now, there wouldn’t be another pick up point where a car could meet me as I’d be in the fields and country tracks… I txt both Gemma and Stuart, hoping one would look at their phone, just asking if they were around, just in case they weren’t and not wanting to worry them. They both replied, asking why?

Relief, flooded my body..”I’ve got myself in a pickle and won’t make it home”….
Be there in 10” came the reply from Gemma.

I made my way back up the slope to the entrance, stopping and taking one more piccie to calm me down….

….but as soon as I got there I felt even worse. Due to the heavy rain we’d had, there was no where to sit, car tracks having churned up the grass to a muddy mess. I lent against the fence, only for it to give way and reveal it was, in fact, a gate and swung open under my dead weight before I caught hold of the post somehow..

I moved to the other side and lent over a sturdier fence, but I could feel myself disappearing. I just couldn’t hold myself up and felt myself blacking out. But then out of the corner of my eye, I saw Gemmas face at the wheel of the car and the distraction was enough to pull me round.

She got out and I staggered towards her as though I was drunk and she helped me into the car. At last I was inside safely and sitting. I just needed to sit….and breathe and be home……

I went back to Gemmas house for a cuppa, just to make sure I was ok and I was, more or less. They fed me that evening to make sure I got a proper meal but I have been eating ok, and I wasn’t dehydrated. I’d followed the same pattern as I always do, but this time it hadn’t worked. This has happened several times before but I’ve always been at home in the garden pottering or at Gemmas pottering and been able to sit down and put my legs up. This time, I was luckily at the lake and I’d fortunately thought to txt Gemma and had a phone signal to do it…
Maybe that’s why I’d only been round the village for the last couple of weeks, knowing something wasn’t quite right.

Well now my world has just got smaller because what if it happens and there is no phone signal as often happens in the middle of a field? And if it is in the middle of a field no car rescue possible. What happens if I forget my phone, as I sometimes do? I can’t go with someone because the same applies. Even if I went with Gemma and Stuart, we’d still be stuck in the middle of a field or the countryside and no way of getting me home. The only way would be to carry me and that would finish them off! It’s the unexpectedness of it that makes it worse. I set off fine but it hits me like a bus……🙄

So I’m confined to the village streets, the village lanes where people walk and know me, always someone on hand. No more long trundles…😔

But how sad, how very sad how that trundle to the lake may be my last for quite a while…

`P.s remember I said this happened last week. Yes, my other daughter Sarah, spoke to my doctor, as they only do phone calls, and yes I’ve had tests but I imagine they will all come back normal, just as they always do. But I’m still keeping to the village for now…

My first venture to the supermarket…..in a car

The only time I’ll know, and many of us will know, how this lockdown has affected our dementia is when we venture out. When our brains have to start thinking harder again, to decipher how to travel, how to book tickets, how to engage face to face with other people….that’s when it will strike us….we’ve not had to cope with the normal everyday challenges of being out and about. We’ve been safe in our bubbles of safety. Admittedly not everyone is as lucky as me. I know I’m fortunate to live where I am, have space to trundle, beautiful space. I’m even lucky that I have a village shop, a local pub that delivers a meal if I fancy it and kind people around, as well as obviously my daughters close by….so my bubble has been very compact…

I appreciate those in Care Homes may have deteriorated differently….not having seen family and now they’re a distant memory, maybe to be unleashed again, maybe not. The difficulty there lies with the Care partners. Will they be allowed to venture back inside and no longer be recognised? That will be hard….

The nervousness at the beginning of all this now replaced by the nervousness of it coming to an end…

I’m really not worried about Covid19….stupid woman many might think…but for me the worry is people, other people. Stuff having to be worked through in my head, a head that’s been calm and relatively empty of challenges of the everyday sort…all I’ve had to think about are my weekly Zoom meetings, my trundles, my garden, my birds, nothing challenging.

Yes it’s been lovely yet we will have to get back out eventually.

The other day, my daughter txt me to ask if I wanted to go to the supermarket with her, just to see how it looked, how it felt, not to venture out as she only needed the chemist. I instantly said no, the image of crowds, of queues entering my head. A few minutes later I txt back asking if I could change my mind and say yes, after all I’d be in the car, stupid of me not to go.

And so we did. We went the long way round and I asked her to stop so I could take a piccie of the cows on the Westwood looking chilled and relaxed…

Taking piccies instantly calms me, it’s what I did on train journeys simply looking out of the window taking piccies…..

We drove through the town, looking very ghostly with boarded up restaurants and only the odd person around and then drove out of town reaching the supermarket roundabout, more cars instantly visible…

McDonalds was now opened and queues of cars weaved their way through the drive in. Men directing the traffic, surrounded by what felt like hundreds of cars…it didn’t feel good.

Gemma parked away from the crowds in a quieter bit and I just sat and watched as she went to the chemist…no queues could be seen just a massive number of cars….people coming in and out of the shop. I only saw a few wearing face masks, my mind suddenly stopping trying to work out the rules again.

Luckily Gemma didn’t have to wait in the chemist, no queue there and was back in minutes….thankfully…….as I didn’t want to hang around, feel trapped and surrounded…

We ventured back home again, the traffic becoming less as we approached the village. Suddenly we passed the sign again, and entered my bubble of safety. I could hear me breathe a sigh of relief…..

It’s going to take a lot to get back to ‘doing’…..but for now, I’ll stay in my bubble taking piccies…

A visit to the local churchyard……

May seem a strange blog, even morbid to some, but I like my village churchyard. It’s peaceful and calm, quiet, yet full of emotion……I’d never actually been around the church yard until last week. I’d passed it by, I’d stopped and taken piccies of the church, but never walked around it. It’s very small, yet contains soooo many stories, so many lives….it’s also very pretty..

What life stories could be told if only these gravestones could talk…from centuries ago to modern day sadness of the loss of their life…..or maybe it was a relief, a release from illness, who knows…

I always told my girls that I didn’t want my ashes to be put in a grave yard. I didn’t want to be buried for the simple reason, what if no one tended the grave and it became neglected and sad, unloved and forgotten? Through no fault of anyone gravestones become untended, no flowers, no sign of the people who came after simply because families have moved away or just died……

There’s a wonderful twisted tree in the middle but you only notice it if you look up….as my friend always says…”Never forget to look up…”

I went round reading the headstones. Some from centuries ago, many with husband and wife in their final resting place. One I noticed with, what seemed like, a whole family, side by side…A previous Rector of Walkington’s wife, Mary Dawe died in 1926 and 3 simple stone crosses side by side with no markings that I could see…

One struck me as particularly sad….a husband and wife. He having died first aged 39 year in 1949 and she 10 years later aged 47….no age at all, although it was a different time…

Some stones just simply beautiful…

I’ve always thought Robins are very special birds. They give out a feeling, an emotion like no other and often simply stop and stare at you. Spirts of those long gone having come alive in spirit through these wonderful birds. At my favourite spot in Keswick, where I always sit

a Robin often appears, very tame, very calm and simply says hello as I sit by the lake. Many ashes have been scattered in that spot…it allowed me to take a piccie one time…..perched under the bench…

I always think of the Robin that visits my garden as being my dad, just checking I’m ok…..

As I said, may seem a morbid trundle but I found it very relaxing and very calming…….one story a villager told on the bus one day, still stays with me. She takes a tot of whiskey to her husbands grave every evening simply to say goodnight as that’s how he used to end his evenings at home…..how lovely….