It’s been a day of seesawing emotions. We went into a new tier, tier four, at midnight, with only a few hours notice. I can understand why, and it wasn’t exactly unexpected, but it was still a blow. Work I was due to do this morning was cancelled. All work for the immediate future and for goodness knows how much longer cancelled. Meeting friends outside for a chat, a drink, nibbles over Christmas, cancelled. Life cancelled. That’s over dramatic, but having obeyed the rules, worked out how to socialise distantly and safely, I cannot pretend I was able to just shrug my shoulders and accept this stoically. But this morning, with the sun shining, I felt a determination to find my way through.
I was doing pretty well I thought. Until a letter from Secret World set me off. I was only a few sentences in and my eyes filled with tears. As for so many charities this year has been a hard one for them. Come the new year and the horror that is Brexit, combined with the horror which is Covid, the charities will struggle more, the objects of their charity will go unaided; children, animals, you name it. The world seems a harsh unhopeful place. I know I am writing this, thinking this, through the added prism of tier four and the prospect of weeks, months maybe, of life suspended, but we know the levels of domestic violence, of abuse, have soared during the pandemic, with victims unable to escape their abusers, and the new restrictions are simply going to make that worse.
A walk with my camera in the City did a lot to restore my equilibrium, and the setting sun by St Paul’s as I set off home was glorious.
Still, it was touch and go whether I would join the outside carol singing down the road. Religious services are allowed, so it was decided that this event could go ahead. Celia and I walked there together. We are still allowed to go for walks with one other person. There had been mulled wine, but we arrived in time for the warm apple juice. It’s better than it sounds. Normally the Sunday before Christmas I am at St Bartholomew the Great for the Nine Lessons and Carols. The service went ahead, but because of social distancing the number of seats were limited, and only the choir was singing. By the time I got around to booking a place there were no seats left. I have reserved one for the service on Christmas Eve, but who knows, by then it might be an online event only. Anyway the carols were great, I felt the emotions rise again as we sang Once in Royal David’s City, but after that it was just fun. I saw some friends who have been isolating since March. They stood outside their front door with their new dog Belle, a soft as butter American bulldog who took, I am happy to say, an instant shine to me. Friends, MasterB, and the many dogs, puppies and cats of the neighbourhood are going to be key in making this Christmas, and 2021, bearable. Maybe even, I hope, happy.
Stay safe. Keep well. Cherish your loved ones.