A, B C … go

I find things continually popping into my head and I think “Oh –  I should blog about this”, but lately this virus seems to have taken root and control of my brain cells.  And I am so over it and bored with it all. So hopefully to banish it all to the deepest part of my mind (and sometimes I wonder how dark and deep that can go!), decided to put it all in alphabetical order with hopefully more positives than negatives about the cursed thing.  I am a little bored so this could be similar to reading the telephone directory. Would love to hear others lists.

A – apathetic attitude and acceptance

B – benefits of making people slow down life a little and enjoy the simpler things in life

C – conspiracy theories abound

D – depression

E – empty roads, towns and beaches

F – friends re-connecting and furlough (thank god for furlough)

G – gratitude

H – health, it is only when we lose our health is threatened that we truly appreciate it

I – ignorance of people believing everything they read on social media

J – jubilation when the first lock down ended

K – kindness of people

L – likeminded people are the best to follow on twitter otherwise it is a rabbit hole of anger

M – mental illness which unfortunately has been more prevalent with the forced isolation

N – nowhere to hide, no chance of running away from it all and nature taking a breath

O – outdoors, being forced to meet outdoors is not necessarily a bad thing, get some much needed fresh air

P – politicians, would hate to be in their shoes as they are damned if that do and damned if they don’t

Q – questions, lots of them

R – respect for all the essential workers

S – sadness for all the loved ones that have passed on during this time

T – tears of which there have been many all across the globe and of course Trump

U – understanding

V – vaccine, a little sceptical but keeping my mind open

W – weight, and we all know about that

X – eXhaustion of the never-ending bombardment on all news fronts

Y – year 2020 is a bit of a write off

Z – zoom – say no more

Nature taking a breath

Make the most of every day.

It is sad that sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us realise that each day is a privilege.

Three recent events that have touched my life have once again brought this to the fore. A time when we are all wrapped up in what we can and what we cannot due and I find myself being quite introspective. I decided to ride this craziness out and not travel home to see family for Christmas. The days are short and the nights long and dark and the sun seldom manages to break through the clouds, and when it does it is watery and not very effective in creating any heat. But maybe it is the novelty of it that I am loving, as this is the first time in the 60 years of my life, that I have not been in the southern hemisphere for Christmas.

But there are days that the dark heaviness weighs you down. The body’s bio rhythms are always a little out of kilter. And the mind turns inward. When you wake at 8am and it is still pitch black outside, with the wind howling and the rain lashing, it takes a lot of willpower to get up, lace on some running shoes and start the day, although knowing that once out there it is well worth it.

Almost seven years ago, life as I knew it, took an about turn and I found myself sinking into a bit of an abyss and it took the sudden death of a friend to snap me out of my “Oh woe is me” attitude. That was the day I signed up for my first adventure of planting trees for Greenpeace and then went off to Costa Rica to teach art.

Last week an old friend passed away after falling into a diabetic coma – she had survived cancer and the death of her spouse. Another friend has just been discharged from hospital after 3 weeks after contracting this dreaded virus – his words “Be careful out there – take it seriously”, and then this morning I heard of the death of a young friend (38) who I worked with at Morgan Bay, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in October.

All this somehow puts things in perspective – so what if you aren’t allowed to go to the beach right now, or if there will be no all fall down New Years Eve parties this year, or if we are required to wear a mask, or holiday plans need to be put on hold. We are alive and well. Another dear friend sent me a link to a clip about the cartoonist Charlie Mackesy, whose message at the end of the day is “Don’t give up, the storm ends”. Make the most of each and every single day, regardless of what it is – just doing what you want to do at that specific moment instead of focusing on how unfair the world is perceived to be.

“Don’t give up, the storm ends” – Charlie Mackesy

A good day to go to the beach…

“Today is a good day to visit the beach” I am told when discussing plans for the day with some local guests.

I stop in my tracks and take a surreptitious look outside and try to remove the incredulous look from my face when turning back to them. Outside the loch is being churned by the wind, clouds are scudding across sky, with occasional glimpses of a watery blue trying hard to make itself seen. I am wearing thick thermal socks, boots and a warm woolen scarf, as maximum temperatures today will be in the single figures. I reply with a sage nod of my head “Ah yes it’s not raining”.

Coming from South Africa, this is a totally alien concept. To spend the day at the beach requires a cooler box filled with ice cold refreshments, sun umbrellas, beach towels, sunglasses, a good book and copious amounts of sunscreen. Where at the end of the day, the skin is feeling the tingle of maybe a touch too much sun and the prickle of sea salt, beach sand in your hair and the permanent scent of coconut oil. Mission accomplished.

In Scotland – a trip to the beach takes on a whole new meaning. It does not entail lazing on the smooth sand (or small pebbles depending on where you go – South African landscaping shops could have a field day here with a seemingly never ending supply of stones for flower beds), it requires a good set of boots, all weather gear and the desire to get out there and experience the elements. To go to the beach is to go to feel the cold north wind on your face, to smell the sea spray, to find shells and unusual pieces of drift wood, to walk. It is a totally different mind set. There are the odd days that allow for the removal of shoes to feel the sand under the soles of your feet and a dip in the icy waters, but they are a rarity

Today it is predicted to be 4 degrees, and a slight breeze so I’m off to the beach! A good day to go to the beach.