The last couple of weeks have been very good and memorable weeks for a number of reasons. It seems odd to write, but I could and still can feel myself adjusting to the new way of life that is becoming quite normal now. I don’t feel like I have to remind myself that everything is strange anymore which I guess means that it is no longer strange and quite everyday.
I think it possibly was one of the best ideas to book a week of annual leave with practically no plans and just see how the week unfolded. Something I would absolutely have never done previous. It must be said that Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year, one I find most exciting and comforting at the same time. I hope I took full advantage of the opportunity to explore and relax as much as I could.
I have already written about my visits to The City of London and Leigh cemeteries which were both brilliant in their own, very contrasting ways and showed that there can be beauty in all sizes and conditions of burial sites. A third cemetery visit was included in a journey out to the Kent countryside to the village of Chiddingstone where the place name is taken from the very large geological formation known as the Chiding Stone. Just so happens that the village also ticks all the adventure boxes of castle, pub and old church too. It was a mixed weather day, one of those days that really highlights the transition between seasons and added to the memorable experience.
This all was a great kick start to Spooky Season with opportunities to buy very on brand items in many shops that I visited. Spooky Season might last a little longer and longer each year now in my house but it’s an aesthetic that I have adored ever since I was a child who fell in love with Jack Skellington and cried when my Nightmare Before Christmas companion photo book didn’t arrive on the Puffin book order at school.
With a calmer approach to living comes more time to spend catching up with people and friends, I hope to continue like this going into Winter. I think the darker and colder days that the time of year brings on top of the pandemic situation could seem pretty bleak to most people and it must be a very daunting time. I know that the first day of the year I experience when I arrive at work in the darkness and leave in the darkness can have quite an effect on my mental state. What I try to remember is that in a number of months there will be a day when quite the opposite will be true. In the meantime there are cosy evenings so I put up fairy lights to cheer up the dimming light.
While what the pandemic has left to bring still is and probably will remain a mystery, I will try to appreciate the small things and focus on them as much as I can. Today I am focusing on the fact I had a really great day with my colleagues which made me see that we have forged strong bonds in all that 2020 has brought us so far.
I hopefully will continue my neck appreciate posts soon so keep an eye out for Part V. Oh and remember to check out the London Month of The Dead online talks available throughout October! Sadly the cemetery tours are cancelled due to the pandemic but the talks are a delight each year and I cannot wait.