Unfortunately I've had the official document informing me I'm in the top risk category for being very ill indeed if I contact the corona virus. I thought I'd escaped that level and although being self-isolated I have been enjoying daily walks in the sunshine, Now I can't leave home for twelve weeks at least.
So I think 'thank goodness for my garden'. I can go out there to exercise, to read, to sit and make phone calls, to pull up weeds, to sit and stare into space, to listen to the birds. Thank goodness for a safe isolated space.
Thank goodness for the technology that enables me to be in contact with my family. Yesterday we managed a three-way Skype between Austria, Bristol and here, so that we could all see children and adults and hills and mountains and Austrian goats and a naked three year old Grandson leaping about in his paddling pool. (Yes, it's been as warm as that in England.)
My Grand-daughter and I can set each other daily challenges and tasks, and I can read stories to the
three year-old when he is not in his pool. (He won't be after today. The weather is about to change).
My new Grandson will probably be crawling before we meet, and this is a considerable sadness. But I must not let it be that. All that matters, for all of us, is that we can stay safe in the hope that we will meet again eventually.
Thank goodness for my friends and neighbours who so kindly think of me and offer so much support with shopping. Community, friends, neighbourhoods are the building blocks of life. I realise it more every day.
I realise I appreciate everything more. There's so much more time to think. My natural inclination has always been to work from silence, and now I have an abundance of it. I turn back to writing - not that I've ever turned away from it, but the silence feeds creativity.
So my garden sits here, in today's sunshine. Always I find something to do. I go out there with a cup of coffee, notice a weed and before I know it an hour has passed enjoyably and beneficially. If it's raining there's the summerhouse with comfortable chairs and still more reading material. In the house there's a modicum of housework, both by inclination and because there's only me in it. There's cooking which I normally enjoy, and must try to do so. There's music, there's excellent service by BBC radio. Oh, yes, there's television too.
In addition to this I have offered to return to do support work for the local Hospice. I retired from there last summer, but I want to do whatever I can from home by telephone to help again. They are struggling and the struggle will get worse.
Coping with such severe restriction is a challenge, but so is the whole of life for almost all of us in these unexpected and frightening times.
I am following the rather daunting NHS document fully, including the instruction to pack a hospital bag and have it ready to go. This form of isolation is the most positive thing I can do, not for self-preservation as is so often thought, but to prevent an eighty-year old from needing equipment that a much younger person might need.
The motto throughout the country is to stay at home, support the National Health Service, save a life.
We must all do it.
And stay positive.