Our household of four is gathering its belongings together to make new plans in the Covid19 world. We can’t really say post-covid yet, can we, since the virus is still circulating? I am writing less poetry and more prose, writing and typing, one word at at a time. As I loop ink around printed out drafts, my family circulates around me, less hostile than an infectious virus.
Andrew has continued to work full time throughout the pandemic, configurating software to clients all around the world from his office in a converted shed at the bottom of our garden. Since lockdown began in March, there has been no international travel, no overnight stays in London, no 5am starts in order to catch a train or plane. His clients are happy and he looks great.
Our grown-up kids are making plans to leave the childhood rooms they were forced to return to when their universities sent them home. Away they go, one graduated and off to seek a tax-paying life in London; one with a few years still to complete on his course, waiting to be blamed for spreading the virus further when he congregates with his classmates for the new academic year.
In August we’ve visited places near to us in outside settings. A trail around a mostly tourist-free Bath visiting some of Jane Austen’s old haunts. Clifftop strolls in Clevedon on the Severn estuary. Walks around Figsbury Ring including a flight on a tree-swing.
We’ve grown pears, roses, courgettes, potatoes, herbs and an avocado plant.
My hair has grown. A lot!
And I’ve been to Mass, twice. I’ve found a quieter, less busy time – not a Sunday Mass and not a full service – twenty-five minutes which is the longest time, so far, I’ve spent in a mask. Forgive me but I so enjoy not speaking much to anyone and focusing on the readings, the language, my own thoughts and prayers.
Next week – tomorrow, even – schools around where we live, and members of my big extended family, are trying to get back to normal. I’m looking forward to hearing the sound of young people traipsing past our house on their way to and from school. I’m not keen on the jam of cars but such is life. I wish everyone well – including you! Let’s hope September heralds the start of a beautiful, calm, enriching, fulfilling autumn.