Brundall Evening

What was your reaction when lockdown was announced?What have you missed most, apart from family & friends?What have you been doing? Have you learnt something new or unusual?Has lockdown been difficult or easy, could you get used to this way of life?What is the first thing you will do/like when life is back to normal?Anything else you'd like to say about your lockdown experience?
Not at all impressed! I need to see my family (both immediate and extended) and obviously the family holiday had to be cancelled.Holidays and just going out on the spur of the moment to browse round shops, meet friends. WI meetings and all other social gatherings are important and all are cancelled.I have done a lot of gardening which has been productive. No, to my shame I have not learnt anything new but I have read a lot.Being at home is not a problem as I love my house, garden and where we live but the restrictions on my family and social life have been very difficult. A recent family bereavement has been very hard as the whole family and friends could not be together. There have been two postponed weddings. We have not seen so many friends who live in other parts of the country. I can understand why there is an increase in mental health conditions.Go on our postponed family holiday in France.I shall be really pleased when we are back to whatever normal becomes! This preoccupation with what we can and cannot do and the consequent uncertainty is unsettling. It will be good to be able to make plans without saying "dependent on ... "
When lockdown was first announced it seemed completely unreal. The week before I had stayed in Brighton with my student granddaughter. Covid 19 was just rearing its ugly head but it seemed impossible that it would affect us. We walked the Lanes, the Beach, the shops, the marina and ate out, rode on buses and caught up with news. This beautiful granddaughter had a history of mental health problems and just as Lockdown was announced she suffered a serious breakdown. This resulted in her being admitted to a psychiatric unit far from her home and in Lockdown, so she was unable to receive visitors. It was very hard for her and the whole family. I found it horribly distressing. The NHS concentrated on COVID patients and sadly those people with other illnesses, particularly mental health problems, suffered and continue to do so.I missed the freedom to do the normal things which characterised my life. I was unable to visit my ill granddaughter or support the family, this was the worst thing. I normally volunteer for a couple of hours per week at our local primary school, I missed this terribly. I missed the grandchildren days, outings to the Gym, trips to the city shopping or socialising and all the extra activities our WI engages in. Walking around the village where I live or the deserted streets of Norwich seemed absolutely surreal and apocalyptic.

I am very lucky that my husband and I live in a beautiful area so walking and cycling was a pleasure. We were lucky to have some glorious weather which made it easier.

We were able to walk to the river and across fields to the next village. Every day we thanked our stars that we were not in lockdown in a large city, perhaps in a flat with a large family. We have a small garden which we tended carefully and the summer rewarded us with some beautiful flowers, tomatoes, figs and a melon.

We have an allotment where we were able to go, with care and socially distancing. We dug, weeded and planted crops which have given us vegetables and fruit throughout the summer. We were also able to visit our riverside Hut on the River Thurne. It seemed so very strange, car parks empty, shops and restaurants in Potter Heigham closed, silent and no boats on the river. Very little traffic on the roads, almost no people about, it was very special to hear the birds and see the wildlife.

We did some spring cleaning, tidying and decluttering, freshening up paintwork. We baked bread and lots of beautiful cakes, posting photos of our efforts on a WhatsApp family group which became quite competitive! Many online funny clips winged their way across groups of family and friends. Phone calls and emails were the way we kept in touch.

My husband and I read a lot of books. With the libraries not open, we shared books around with neighbours. We all stood at our front doors and clapped for the NHS on Thursday  evenings. "The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross" on TV became regular watching and inspired some artistic aspirations for us,

We endured long scruffy hair styles or bravely attacked our hair with scissors.

We gave up supermarket shopping but shopped locally on foot each day with basket or shopping trolley.

My 70th birthday was celebrated in my daughter's garden with social distancing.

Holidays and weddings, graduations and other celebrations in our group of friends and family were cancelled.

Lockdown has been difficult. I am a social person and missed my activities and outings. Being unable to see my grandchildren the hardest thing of all. As soon as we were allowed to meet others outside I had picnics, walks and meetings with family and friends. I could not get used to this restricted lifestyle.Having a haircut was such a treat!I was so lucky as I have a lovely husband to share my days with, and lots of family and friends I was able to keep in touch with. The lack of the things I really missed did in fact make life very relaxed, no commitments, meetings etc.

At the beginning when there were shortages of food stuffs, people pulled together sharing things and we all became quite innovative cooking with store cupboard basics.

Throughout we were so impressed by the 'Unsung heroes' who kept life going for all of us. The shop workers labouring every day in difficult circumstances and not knowing what risks they faced, the postmen, Bin men, policemen, carers and many more.

Now we all need to get life back to normal.