I live in Spain and we’ve been on Lockdown for ten days now due to the Covid-19 virus and I haven’t written a single post, until today.
I’m not going to talk about facts and figures, prevention, medicine or science, because I’m not an expert on any of those major aspects and there’s plenty of reliable information online.
I’m going to write about my personal reflections, feelings and how my life is being affected by the lockdown. This means owning both the positive as well as the negative experiences derived from imposed isolation, because every cloud has a silver lining.
First I’m going to tell you about the clouds, or what I miss:
1) Hugging my children and grandchildren.
I have four wonderful grandchildren (ages 3,5,6, and 9, and a fifth on the way!) I love playing board games, ping pong, telling stories, going to parks and fun fairs, or just chatting with them.
My husband and my daughter walking in the countryside, near where I live.
2) My daily walks.
My husband and I have retired recently and we enjoy long (2-3 hour) daily walks. We choose different parts of the town and countryside, have a coffee or a beer on the way there or back, depending on the time. We chat, take photos, pop in to museums or exhibitions, wherever takes our fancy. No walks allowed now.
I took this picture of some of my oldest friends last year at a local flower festival ‘Flora’
3) Going out with friends.
I enjoy going out with friends. We go to the movies, to a coffee shop, window shopping, real shopping, or out for drinks and tapas. No going out with friends.
Last year we popped over to Bari, on a bargain Ryanair flight, just for the fun of it!
4) Impromptu outings
We love getting in the car and popping over to Malaga (an hour and a half drive) to walk along the seafront, or to meet up with friends and family, or to any other city for a day trip, weekend at home or abroad.
60th Birthday Party at home with some of my best friends!
5) Receiving guests
I love cooking and having guests, especially when the weather’s nice and we can eat in the garden. On other occasions, friends come over for tea or coffee, some home-cooked cake and a chat.
Secondly, this is my silver lining, or what I can appreciate about this situation.
1) More time to write.
I’ve just finished and sent the umpteenth draft of my latest novel to my editor, Alison Williams. I managed, to block out the lockout and get on with it with no one to distract me. I plan to continue with other unfinished novels and literary projects, too.
2) More time to read
My TBR pile is slightly smaller! At the moment I’m reading and enjoying When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal, on my kindle and listening to L J Ross’s Alexander Gregory Thriller, Impostor, its Book 1 in the series (I read Book 1 first by mistake!). She’s a wonderful author as I learned when I read her DCI Ryan Mysteries.
3) Watching series I never have time for.
I’m not much of a TV viewer, but I was able to binge watch over a couple of days, eight episodes of The Stranger, by Harlan Coben staring Richard Armitage.
4) Phoning + texting friends and family
I’ve spent the last few days contacting friends and family all over the world, by phone, text and email, making sure they’re all OK. I haven’t finished yet, there are still a few more to contact.
With my three best friends from London University, celebrating our 60th birthday, last July, back on our College site, now luxury residential homes.
5) A time for introversion and reflection.
I’ve never been faced with so much time for myself or so much worry about family, friends and myself. Facing one’s own vulnerability in such an unpredictable world is daunting. Facing our finite and limited time on earth and the possibility of illness, or even death in complete isolation was not how I expected to spend 2020.
Momento Mori is not welcome, but it’s a necessary reminder that my life is brief and finite and every moment is precious.
Stay safe, virtual hugs and love to you all.