Stanhoe and Barwick

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?
Some sense of panic, especially over how to buy food, until I was able to obtain a regular online delivery. Much time was spent online hoping that a delivery time would become available, including in the middle of the night. I also found plenty of local businesses that began deliveries or click-and-collect.
A great deal of concern about how my family would cope, especially my parents, aged 85 and 90, but still at home with no support, and my daughter and young family in London. I organised a regular shopping delivery for my parents and made contact with a neighbour who would check up on them. I sent an emergency parcel to my daughter and managed to get her a click-and-collect shopping slot when her normal deliveries were no longer available.
Concern over my elderly neighbours. Regularly checked up on them and offered whatever help I could.
Some relief that lockdown also meant protection.
Complete dismay at the endless tales of death portrayed on the television news. I can cope with figures; I didn't need to see families in distress and have a daily parade of pictures of those who had died. Ended up unable to watch.
Concern as both daughters have jobs that they could not continue with; therefore, no income.
A desperate wish to help however I could with the education of my grandsons, aged 4 and 3. I looked out all my teaching stuff and sent parcels of ideas and equipment.
Being able to go out and about whenever and wherever I want, without it seeming like a military operation to take mask, sanitiser etc and being really quite scared.

Initially, the hairdresser.
Taken the opportunity to finish a great number of craft projects, one of which was started 22 years ago! There are still several left. Cleaned everything, cleared out  'stuff', worked in the garden.

Found plenty of new places to walk.

Initially, took the long way round if we had to to out in the car, taking great pleasure in the quiet roads and the peaceful countryside.
Difficult. I feel as if everything I used to do has been taken away from me. I was so busy and now find it hard to be at home so much of the time. I can only cope if I go to bed knowing what I am going to do the next day. I am not one for sitting around and doing very little. It was nice to slow down at first, but that's not how I want to stay.

I have had many times when I want to cry for no apparent reason.
Now that things are easing, I am almost envious of those who have a job to return to. The things I did are either still not available or I feel are risky to do yet.
There's a whole world out there, still, anhd still I want to see it all. I have limited time left!
The first thing I did was have my hair cut.
It's not like that; there won't be a switch and suddenly everything will go back to how it was. There are things that we are allowed to do now, but that I choose not to do because I consider them to be risky.  I do know that if I never travel abroad again, or go to a concert, or go to an international rugby match, it will be a heart-breaker for me.
I have become a stickler for the rules, but I don't see how else we can get through this without a further massive loss of life. I no longer keep quiet; I tell people to wear a mask and keep their distance. I think it's vital that we all know what to expect of each other.

I have been astounded by the lack of good judgement from many people around me. I have seen blatant breaking of lockdown rules by people who I would never have thought would do so.
Travelling from one home to another, in different parts of the country, when this was banned. Carsharing, unnecessarily, when this was advised against. Inviting others into their home, or, latterly inviting far more people than is allowed. So many elderly friends, including those officially classed as 'vulnerable', have carried on shopping etc, frequently, seeming with no regard for the risk, saying that it was impossible to buy food any other way (not true). Failing to wear a mask in shops. I don't think that the elderly population understand that they stand very little chance if they catch Covid-19. I don''t think the younger generation understand that they can spread the visur to many vulnerable people.

The behaviour of many of the tremendous number of visitors to our area this summer has been appalling. There is no respect for the environment and the local people,. Crowds on the beaches have meant cars parked anywhere and everywhere, including blocking people's driveways. The litter has been appalling; why not take it home? Not only litter, human excrement and nappies have been frequently found. Tents and campervans have been everywhere. The feeling seems to be that they are on holiday so can behave as they wish; no social distancing, no masks.

Following on from this, there is a serious risk to life from these behaviours. My husband's work as a Coastguard has increased tenfold this summer and many call outs have been due to people having no regard for the sea and the tide. Volunteers' lives are put at risk whenever there is such an incident. The volume of traffic and the number of cars parked unwisely, has meant that time taken to reach the scene of an emergency has been increased, thereby putting the life of the casualty at risk.

The past six months have shown both the best and the worst of people in this country. Initially, there was a tremendous sense of community and all key workers were lauded and appreciated.  But there's also been the side where people do whatever they want, with no regard for the rules or for the effect upon others.
'A good idea'Nothing, really.A couple of new crafts tried; a few revived; some projects like reorganising photo albums, listing where and when we've been on holiday, and looking up facts and other information in old diaries (I knew there was a good reason for keeping them all!).Easy; yes, we have got used to it.Have a holiday - preferably a cruise - but while waiting for that, driving my car again!I suppose it helps to be self sufficient and well organised - and to have a large house and garden and a bicycle!
I questioned if I could be isolated for a week, as it seemed to be at first, let alone longer, without getting really depressed because of lack of contact with people.I missed going out to the various groups that I belong to which gives me human contact as I live on my own.Much gardening with the aim of filling my 2 brown bins with garden rubbish every fortnight. I have learnt to use Zoom and access a number of interesting talks from several locations. The City of London Sinfonia explained to me how a harp makes its notes when played which was fascinating.At first it was easy because I was so busy, but after 5 months of no group activity outside the home it has begun to be hard. I could not live like this forever, but should have to go into a home for contact with people.Persuade a friend or two to go out for a meal somewhere nice on several occasions.It is particularly hard if you live alone and especially if you have no neighbours because so many houses nearby are holiday homes and are usually empty.

Additional thoughts from Stanhoe and Barwick:

Things I'd never done before

Read a book on my tablet and made up a quiz.

Baked bread (don't think I'll be doing it again, could have used it against the Spanish Armada lol)

Had shopping and plants delivered to the door plus hosted an online quiz!!!

Cut my husband's hair, and more online grocery shopping.

Walked or cycled nearly every day for 2 months plus (over 250 miles by start of June), attaining a tropical suntan before the end of May.

Took part in another member's mad online quiz and live online paracise classes.

Played Scrabble Online with my son and sorted through about 3,000 photographs.

Things I have missed

Eating out with friends, going to the hairdresser and having a pedicure.

Meeting friends to dogwalk and stop at cafe or pub.

Seeing friends and family and my ballet classes.

The hairdresser, giving my family hugs and ending a walk at a favourite tearoom.

Choir singing and social lunches.

Spontaneous meetings for lunch or other.

Going out for lunch with members of my family.

Things I haven't missed at all

Organising things for various organisations and activities

Feeling obliged to go out when I really don't want to, it's been nice to slow down a bit.

Shopping in a supermarket.

WI paperwork!

Traffic! Norwich to Cambridge in 1 hour 15 minutes in April and not speeding either!

Special Days

Unfortunately, our daughter's wedding due on 1st August was postponed until 2021.  Very sad decision for them but the right one as it turned out due to ongoing restrictions. However, it means that the garden will be even better for their reception next year.

Our good friend and neighbour passed away due to the VIRUS. He was a spritely 92 year old. Very sad. However we had the honour of attending his funeral. Just 8 of us there but his son did a wonderful job with some uplifting music... Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines ... Ron loved gliding. So, a lovely service and goodbye to him

Many may not have noticed, hopefully, but Court hearings were affected by the lockdown. As a result, a family member had to 'attend' a vital, child custody hearing remotely, i.e. by telephone. Due to the restrictions on meeting others, this had to happen whilst caring single-handedly for a three year old throughout the four hour process. That was an extremely difficult and distracting task. Normally, support would have come from myself and my husband, either by being alongside in the Courtroom to give guidnce or by caring for the child. It was extremely distressing to imagine the stress and emotion being felt, just a few miles down the road, whilst being totally unable to help. A few months later, restrictions were somewhat eased, allowing the Final Hearing to go ahead by video link whilst the child was cared for elsewhere.

My birthday - just nine days after lockdown started, so it was a non-event! I had received lots of lovely cards in advance - so many, in fact, that on the day none came - I had them all! It was pretty miserable weather, too, although we did manage to walk a couple of miles in the afternoon. No birthday present from my husband, although a couple of others did arrive by post; however, some time later, I saw in a catalogue a ring that I liked, featuring my birthstone (aquamarine), so he said he would treat me. It arrived on 1st July!!

Our 39th wedding anniversary was similarly unexciting: no presents, just cards to each other. We managed a 6.5 mile cycle ride - and I fell off while trying to negotiate a handkerchief and the pockets of my hi-viz jacket, landing in a patch of nettles, but otherwise unharmed!

In anticipation of my husband's birthday being equally uneventful, I ordered online a pair of casual shoes; I allowed him to try them on, and they are now hidden away, waiting for him to wash the cars or mow the lawn, and hoping that I remember to gift-wrap them - it's getting rather close now!

My mother celebrated her 91st birthday in a Care Home in Fakenham. How strange it was for me not to be able to get to her and to be careful what we sent. The Home was not keen for too much to be sent in at that point. I dropped off a bag of gifts for them to disinfect without any sight of her. Although I can now see her every 2 weeks, it is brief and across a table - how difficult it is for her and us.

My mother's sister died during lockdown (a Covid case) and normally I would take news like that to her and hold her. What a business to tell her over the telephone. What a huge problem to deal with her emotions without our support.

Going to church - we have become part of a parish in York. How ridiculous when we live in Norfolk! Online it simply doesn't matter. One Sunday I was saying hello to everyone (in a message form on Facebook) before the service and I had a joyous message back saying 'Fancy seeing you at this church'. This was from a friend in Sheffield. I shall find it difficult to go back to 'real' church as I won't be allowed a cup of coffee while I partake!!!

I thought I would add our visit to Papworth. Hubbty had to go for heart stress test under MRI. He needed to be driven, he had estimated time for visit of 3 hours. I had to wait in the car, only patients in the hospital, which is best of course. But his visit had complications which ended up there for 6 hours and no access to toilets for me. I didn't end up needing Tena pads as I had a call from the Unit to attend (I may add that did worry me), he had lost consciousness and they wanted someone to leave the hospital with him. I did get to use the loo then, before heading home. Never thought that a simple thing like the loo could be such an issue.

Lockdown thoughts

A few things I have done or perhaps not done!! I started off with so many good intentions but decided the weather was too nice to do most of them like cleaning out cupboards, drawers etc., have enjoyed being rather lazy, doing jigsaw puzzles, Skyping family, eating lovely things from the garden that Anthony has grown, as we are still supposed to be shielding; am really looking forward to seeing a few more friends and giving the children hugs. And WI of course!!

Lockdown Projects by one member

Completed a patchwork beach scene.

Completed an embroidery (started 22 years ago!)

Completed a summer dress (started some years ago).

Located a photo from each of the 40 countries I have visited and put them in a frame.

Made a Family Tree (forwards, from my maternal grandmother, inspired by a WI speaker 2 years ago).