Erpingham with Calthorpe

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?
My initial reaction was shock and disbelief that this was really happening. Once I had accepted it, I decided to make the best of it and made a list of all the things I could do and have wanted to do for ages. This included lots of jobs in the garden, some DIY, some craft projects etc. I have done lots of things on the list but it keeps growing!Holidays are my passion, so I've really missed going away and also planning holidays as there seems no point at the moment.I made a mirror art triptych for the garden using mirrors from a old bathroom cabinet and special glass paints - something I have never tried before.

The first few months were very easy. My husband and I kept ourselves very busy with outstanding jobs and the garden and kept in touch with friends and family by online video calls. However, come summer I began to get restless and needing something different to do, so we have been making an effort to get out and about on walks, meals and visits. Lockdown has shown us that we were too busy beforehand and we need to commit ourselves less to regular events so that we have more time to choose what we want to do.

Book a wildlife holiday somewhere far away - possibl Madagascar.It has been important to stay positive and look for things you can do rather than dwell on what you cannot do. I got a bit depressed when a special holiday in the Far East was finally cancelled and it took a week or so for me to pick myself up and look forward to the smaller things I had planned. I consider myself fortunate that my husband and I are both positive people. It must be very hard for those who aren't able to look on the bright side of things so easily.
My reaction was "You have to be f....g joking" (you did ask, not my normal language, but I find the use of expletives eases pain). "I can cope with this for 3 weeks". I was about to return to work after 6 weeks off with a knee injury. And ...
"The world is going to hell."

Stuff like that, swinging from pragmatic to outraged and back again.

"Cup of tea, give me cake, we're going to be fine."
Freedom to act on impulse. Crafting/art in a group.I have been learning to paint using YouTube. I have used some of my time in developing this skill to good effect. I have spent some time doing nothing, which is unusual for me.Lockdown has been very easy here in rural North Norfolk, although friends with serious long term health problems have suffered and that has been hard to see. We are a resilient community and our local WI membership have formed a fantastic network. Much of the time we have seen little change in day to day existence, with a hole in the hedge allowing contact with many people every day. Not being a "hugger" social distancing is quite a relief. Thank goodness for my husband who is calm and creative. It has helped me to appreciate Him more.Life will never be back to what I see as normal, because too many people have changed significantly and many of my friends and family, workmates and associates have new priorities. We have all lived with this experience and cannot unlive it.
However, I am already seeing friends and reforming groups and as things relax, those groups will get bigger.

I hardly needed to be reminded to live every day as well as I can, but we were reminded and so do. Let's not stop that.

I had expected more national involvement and leadership from the WI which was lacking, and I am reassessing me membership because of that.

If women had been in charge, nationally, (in government that is) I think the priorities might have been different. That might have made things better for me at least. I have disliked being ordered around by so many men. So many of the spokespeople and specialists and advisors are blokes. A large organised group of women speaking out with one voice might have had a significant impact. Where were we? At home staying safe! Sod that!

Suddenly I know that my age puts me at a disadvantage and I get the feeling that the wider society will screw us if it plays to their advantage.

Life is wonderful.

Life is vulnerable.