Is there anything to say that won’t bore you and me both? Can my brain compute anything right now? Is there anything in the world apart from COVID and government incompetence?
Andra is having fun in Iceland, amongst a volcano and thousands of earthquakes. My world has shrunk so that a trip to collect Girl2 from school felt like a day out. School, remember that? On Monday, all the other household members were at school- the teacher, the classroom assistant and the year 14 pupil. It was extremely odd to have the house to myself for hours. Harry lay on the mat by the front door, waiting, from lunchtime.
It’s a big change for Girl2, since school has been online since Christmas, and only some year groups are back even yet. As this is her final school year, they’ve had to go back to allow a series of assessments to take place instead of the cancelled A level exams. These assessments will result in grades, which will, in turn, determine next steps/ university admissions/ employment options. A level year always brings pressure, but also, as the most senior pupils, some fun- access to the common room, a ‘formal’, a leavers’ day with pizza and sports challenges, many 18th birthdays to celebrate with nights out. This year they have the pressure without any of the fun.
Girl1 is studying her university course from her bedroom at home. She gets to go to work 1 or 2 days a week, and sometimes meets mates in the park. Exciting times.
We have all taken comfort from rewatching box sets. Spurs Fan just completed The Sopranos, and we had to stop him just starting at the start again. We’re doing The Wire instead. Yes, there are loads of newer things, but sometimes only the comfort blanket will do.
At the start of all this, I couldn’t read. Nothing worked. Anxiety, brain fog, confusion, overwhelm. Whatever. That comes back sometimes, but I’m reading again. Thank all the gods. On a few days this week I’ve been able to read outside in sunshine. That has been a joy.
Fresh air, without trekking round the well worn local bridges or overcrowded towpath. Everyone in south Belfast on the same routes, over and over again. The mountain routes in the north of the city have seen a 20% increase in use over the year, but I’d have expected it to be greater. Because we can’t travel anywhere, local parks and paths are jammed.
The place I want to be is at the seaside. Unlike me, that seaside is in the EU. Donegal. COVID rates and responses have always differed between the two jurisdictions on the island. At the minute, disease rates are similar, but the vaccination rates are higher in the north. Our Health Minister yesterday indicated that foreign travel was unlikely this summer, and that travel to the south will depend on the vaccination rates there. I’m not surprised, but I am struggling a bit.
We all need something to look forward to. Go on, inspire me. What are you looking forward to?