At a time when the Governments special adviser, Dominic Cummings, is dominating the news with his transgressions beyond the coronavirus lockdown boundaries, we too are pushing the lockdown envelope – albeit in much less obvious, controversial or dramatic fashion. Our story is considerably less convoluted; we want to see our closest relatives and friends face to face.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Youngest Son (YS) offered to drive to London and back to collect Eldest Son (ES) and his girlfriend. This enabled them to stay for a couple of days at our house and spend extended time out of their little flat in which they have been rather cooped up. We eschewed hugging and touching but it was lovely to have them with us for a while and to catch up on their plans together. Their visit was a welcome break from our normal routine. It was an excuse to show off the garden and the local countryside and to eat slightly more luxuriously than usual. It also provided an extra couple of players for our rounds of Monopoly Deal (now all but cemented into our daily cycle of lockdown-life).
Long Suffering Wife’s (LSW’s) mother also visited us one afternoon (lockdown rule compliant) and a couple of other friends come over for a drink (non-compliant) last week. We have also continued a regular social distanced Sunday lunch drink in our garden with a couple of neighbours (marginally compliant). All these little events help pass the lockdown days in relaxed conversation in the continuingly gorgeous weather.
Peonies At Peak In The Garden
Gradually the lockdown is going to be relaxed. In some ways I don’t want the peace and quiet of the lockdown to end. But I know that the lockdown is hard for so many and, in any case, I’d love to be able to visit my Mum and stay with my Dad. I want to see the return of live music venues, sport, cafes and restaurants. I want to have a party! Instead of running an online village quiz (which fortunately was successful and fun) I want to participate in the village quiz in the village pub!
YS – a videographer by trade as Wilson Archer Films – has kept himself busy while staying with us with self-training, a week of work in London for London Flower School, helping with deliveries for the local community shop and (usually) thrashing LSW and I at Monopoly Deal. He has also been developing a video of our house and garden. This is to add to his portfolio as a real estate video producer and to help LSW, potentially, market the house as a location shoot in a no-Covid-19 future.
This is all well and good, and LSW and I have loved having him and his chirpy energy around, but YS is desperate for lockdown relaxation so he can stop living with his parents, see his girlfriend again and set up a new chapter of his life with her in Belfast. Everyone wants to get back to something closer to normality.
Meanwhile, the days have largely continued to circle around the walk into town for the daily shopping, a walk in the brilliantly green woods or across fields carpeted with wild flowers, a bit of gardening, three meals a day and TV in the evenings (LSW and I really liked Normal People).
In the marvellous Spring weather all of this has felt like an illicit pleasure – knowing that key workers and many others are having a tough time, even as the lockdown rules slowly fall away.