Now, where was I?...…..
Oops! Sorry about the delay. These crazy days of COVID-19 have interfered with my routine and focus! It doesn't help that Steve has been at home 24/7 and he's forever making cups of tea, or presenting me with gin and tonics, so what can I do?!
It's been almost two years since we returned from New Zealand and I can hardly believe the Alison of today compared to the Alison of then. Kiwi Alison was a workaholic. I literally didn't stop from the moment I woke up until the minute I went to bed, and even in bed my mind would be racing , planning ahead, working things out, mentally preparing slides for my talks, scripts for my radio show and/or eating plans for my clients. Then the new day would dawn and I'd be sitting down for at least 9 hours a day doing back to back client consultations, coming home and spending most of the evening in front of my laptop, responding to emails, meetings, event planning etc before it started all over again the next day. On arrival in Scotland both Steve and I ‘stopped’ for the first time in many years. We loved the fact that we had no pressures on us to go to work and we treasured slowly cruising the beautiful Scottish countryside in our caravan whilst we looked for a new home. Well, you all know that once we got the cottage it was all guns blazing! Steve has been absolutely incredible in what he's achieved. We have a long way to go still but the cottage is in a comfortable (ish!) state just now, as we consider the extension. Steve had to go back to work because our bank balance was leaking like a holey bucket, but the driving job he is (was!) doing was certainly taking his toll. It meant that when he came home he was very tired and didn't have the inclination or energy to carry on with work the cottage.
Fast forward: COVID-19 has hit, and Steve has been Furloughed. My goodness what a difference in him! He has been able to complete many of the smaller outstanding jobs on the cottage in his own time with no pressure and it's just been wonderful. I guess by the very fact we live in the middle of nowhere we had self- isolated anyway! But it's been lovely to be in the garden just slowly taking time, being together in absolute silence and peace. The downside as far as the cottage goes is that we haven't been able to get quite a bit of the building supplies that we needed to crack on. We desperately need a wardrobe fitted in the bedroom, but in the grand scheme of things, I guess it is not the biggest deal to be worrying about right now. Steve made the helpful suggestion of me reducing my clothes, shoes and bag collection in the meantime. He is recovering well.
Speaking of the garden we have found a variety of beautiful stones as we have been digging, so I suggested that we create a rockery with them. I ordered some plants on-line in the absence of being able to go to a garden centre. Sadly, quite a large majority of them arrived in very poor condition. I contacted the supplier through their website and got a message back saying they ‘should perk up’. This is despite the fact I sent them some photographs of at least three completely lifeless specimens! Maybe miracles do happen, I'll keep my fingers crossed. I haven’t planted them yet because, despite the mid-twenty sunbathing temperatures of recent weeks, the weather suddenly realised the error of her ways and promptly delivered hailstones, sleet, and frost to Scotland!
Our garden extends onto the fields beyond, homes to two wind turbines that Steve and I have affectionately named Bill and Ben. As we sit in the sunshine with our G&T and beer we watch them and have concluded that Bill is a lazy wind turbine. Ben is by far the harder worker (good lord, see? This is what lockdown has done to us!)
Our darling Jessica turned 1 year old On May 3rd. A big family party had been planned in celebration, but the coronavirus put paid to that. We will definitely make up for it as soon as the restrictions ease. Today (May 11th) she took her first steps! She seems to have grown and developed so much in the three months since we've seen her.
I hope you're all keeping safe during this very odd time. As much there are many worrying negatives, not least the sad deaths of so many people, I'm sure our lovely planet will be breathing a little more easily since man ‘stopped’. I hope there are lessons learned and perhaps some of the new habits we formed during lockdown will become part of our new lives as we emerge from this enforced spell.