I sort of feel that this week, Lockdown week 11, has been a bit like doing the Hokey Cokey….
You put your left leg in
Your left leg out
In, out, in, out
You shake it all about
You do the hokey cokey
And you turn around
That’s what it’s all about
Last Saturday and Sunday were gorgeous and sunny but no visitors or visiting allowed. Monday 1st June arrived and I bounced out of bed as I had girlfriends coming for a picnic in the garden. My OH has been wonderful over the last 11 weeks but honestly I need a bit of female company in the flesh rather than on Zoom. We sat in the shade of a tree and chatted loudly, as we were all 2m apart, about the last 10 weeks and the constant fear of our age and vulnerability that Covid-19 has bestowed upon us.
A couple more days of sun and then by Thursday the temperature dropped, the wind got up and once again we were back inside with no visitors. Was that it? A quick left leg in, left leg out, in, out, in, out and shake it all about ‘cos that’s what it’s all about. We were looking forward to our daughters visiting but it looks like winter clothes, North Face jackets and hot soup in the garden. Not exactly how we planned seeing our girls again. One daughter has been an NHS volunteer for the past 8 weeks so was doing a 2 week self-isolation in order to visit us safely…..so come rain or shine we are determined to meet up in the garden.
We did have one appalling incident in our garden. Two ravens have been nesting in one of our trees and on Thursday their single baby dropped out of the nest into the garden. This launch was clearly a little early as his wings failed to work. As he hopped around the garden our dogs discovered him and so World War III broke out. Raven parents came swooping, attacking dogs and us and meanwhile baby raven screeched out to its parents.
Youngest son (YS) who is with us as (he has had Covid-19 and is working from home) Googled, ‘how to care for a raven chick’. He found that they travel in pairs and often a chick falls out of the nest too soon so best way is to leave it and in a couple of days its wings will strengthen and enable it to take off. However there was no mention of what to do when said chick was hopping around the garden of two marauding dogs. YS mobilised us – OH armed with camera for recording the event. I held a broom to keep raven parents at bay and YS had a box ready as a new home for the chick which we put on our flat roof away from the dogs. The catching of chick was tricky but once housed on the roof we were subjected to the constant attack of the parents, swooping and pecking at our windows…..”we were only trying to help” we responded. Meanwhile the chick did a kamikaze jump off the roof back into the danger zone of our garden.
Second attempt to save the chick was more successful as we placed him in the sanctuary of our neighbour’s garden. Two days later the chick flew off to be reunited with its parents and we are no longer prisoners in our house as the ravens have forgiven us.
With hindsight I think Boris missed a trick as a couple of ravens stationed at the end of a street would have been the answer during lockdown. They are not fond of humans and even now I cast a cursory glance up at the trees in case they are still with us.
One of the results of lockdown that I have struggled with is attending a funeral via webcam. OH and I have attended 3 so far. The deaths were not due to Covid-19 but the restrictions were. The first funeral via webcam was very early on during the lockdown and was not ideal as the camera only focused on the coffin and the sound was very tinny. However by funeral three, this week, it was working well with a good panoramic vision and the sound was excellent. Virtual hugs for the deceased’s family are just not the same though. His two children had not been able to fly in for the funeral so the only close family able to attend was his widow. It was desperate and if our dear friend had been able to he would have undoubtedly said, “Where is everyone?” He and his wife are the most popular people I know, gathering friends and keeping them throughout their 49 years together. So to just have 10 people at his funeral was a travesty. It should have been full with all his loving friends. It was at that moment that I thought, when will this all end?
Weddings have been cancelled, celebrations of milestones missed and babies born but still not cuddled by their extended family. Schools have opened but hugs by a teacher for a child missing their Mum can’t happen. Everything else that we have missed, like hairdressing appointments, will happen again but these momentous events are possibly lost and gone forever. I know you can reschedule a wedding and you can have a memorial service in the months to come but you cannot replicate that moment when a baby is newborn and it meets its grandparents for the first time. There is something so uplifting about greeting a new life with a hug and a cuddle. I remember so well the day that my own grandmother met her great-granddaughter for the first time. It was magical for all of us and a photo that I treasure to this day.
So roll on the end of this pandemic, a new vaccine, a track and trace system that works so we can at last get back to some sort of normality. Then let us party and do the Hokey-Cokey and celebrate all that is wonderful and worth staying alive for.