Unlocking Lives

It was hard to know what to write about this week, but I did feel like I had to write something. I think that is the worst feeling when trying to write. Not wanting to write is easy when you are not relying on the writing for anything, I can just simply choose not to. However, sometimes I feel this urge to write but I can do nothing but stare at the empty editor page on my screen and only small fleeting moments of inspiration come to me but ultimately I’m left with nothing to say.

I guess the focus right now is very much on the easing of lockdown and how this will impact the numbers of people dying over the coming months, alongside much speculation about when or if there will be a third wave at some point later in the year. It’s a very strange thing to be so hopeful and optimistic while also needing to be realistic and therefore be seen as a pessimist. The funeral of Prince Philip yesterday also demonstrated to everyone just how tough lockdown funerals have been on mourners. Not everyone has seen that side of the pandemic before, but the image of the Queen sat alone with a facemask was the hard hitting image that I have already seen shared many times.

While the country moves towards a more sociable world, with pubs and restaurants reopening and people able to meet outside in groups, it feels like not enough is being done to help the situations outside of that world. Funerals are of up to 30 people, while facemasks and social distancing must be adhered to which means that anyone from a single household (including those recently losing a spouse or partner) must sit alone. In terms of the long term impact from this, I think we will see huge changes to the way in which people grieve and the ways in which we look at how this pandemic has shaped us. We can’t forget that we are still in a pandemic, and it won’t be for a long time until we can look back and dissect precisely the impact.

On an entirely different note, I have been turning to the countryside as always to give me the the peace that I need outside of work. Laura T and I have recently begun to regularly go on litter picking walks across the country park, yesterday we filled one big black sack and two recycling bags, plus a bag for life full of glass on it’s way to the bottle bank. Lockdown has made a lot of people really appreciate the green spaces on their doorsteps, something which led me to begin researching the churchyard clearances and burial ground reuses in London for my side projects. My only wish is that people would take better care of the world around them, and see the damage that can be done. While walking around collecting rubbish we saw several dead animals who I can only hope died naturally of old age and not from ingesting the numerous pieces of plastic and rubbish that were around.

Litter picking mixed with finding these little hidden rocks from Havering Rocks

It’s only a short one from me this week, I am being bothered by Ruby the three-legged cat, which I am not even remotely annoyed about, and I need to take Andromeda the greyhound for a walk too. My biggest fear in my personal life in regards to lockdown easing is that I will lose the time I have found to have this calm in my life that I have found. I used to rush around London, I’d meet with people at least three nights a week at museums or seminars or just for dinner. I am scared that I will rush back into that and lose all sense of peace, while I also really miss visiting places. I know that I need to find some kind of balance in that somehow.

Ruby with me as I typed that last paragraph

MG x

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