It was bizarre, three couples standing two metres apart, three of them friends from an exceptional childhood in Kenya, yet unable to enjoy the usual warm hug upon this first meeting in months. At first there was nervousness, could we sit? Had the chairs of this outdoor cafe next to the garden centre been cleaned? Did it matter? Some stood far from these dubious items and we talked of lockdown and how we washed our bought goods and some proved more concerned than others. And one by one, we each sat, I’d been the first, needing to within minutes of meeting.
To get heard over the noise spilling from the busy road, we chatted in loud voices, which made things slightly formal, awkward even, and we leaned close with hands cupped over our ears to catch the words of those who had no sense of raising their voice to be heard. Perhaps it was a badly chosen location for such a reunion, but it’d been spontaneous once we discovered that one set were in the vicinity and that it was not that far to another couple’s home.
So here we are, each grappling with our unlocking, each concerned to our own degree of the deadly virus which has taken friends, crippled others, even depleted the energy of our once strong builder. It isn’t easy balancing one’s needs with this danger and those of us who have health problems must be more careful than most because the majority have decided things must get back to normal, and quickly.
I overheard the following in our street this week. “F*** conspiracy, this lockdown!” “Yea, they want us working classes to starve to death without work.”
“F*** virus was created by them!”
“Yea, to knock us who keep things going!’
They were standing outside the kebab shop eating huge kebabs, each gripped a can of fizzy drink and a cigarette in one hand. That’s where their hard earned cash had gone. We only buy take-aways as a treat, which will happen this week as it’s my birthday.
One of the things I want to do this birthday week, apart from relentlessly working on our wreck of a house that is, is to join the 30DaysWild activities set up by the WildLifeTrust to remind people that we are part of nature. Look them up and see what you might enjoy doing in your locale. https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/57739/petition/1?locale=en-GB