February, usually considered the last month of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Snowdrops, crocuses and the green shoots of daffodils are starting to show here in England. I have pots of mini daffodils and fragrant, long stemmed hyacinths on the windowsills to cheer myself up as I count the days until Easter. The first quarter of the year has never been a favourite of mine.
The U.K. is very much at the mercy of the jet stream from late Autumn to early Spring and this year is worse than last for seemingly non stop rain and wind. At the moment, the fields are just inches of mud and icy water, so Winter crops and early Spring planting are going to be affected. I try to restrict the dog’s walks to areas where she can get the least filthy and still be able to free run. The washing machine is going every other day, filled with dirty drying towels and muddy leggings and trousers. Honey doesn’t care; the messier it is, the better she seems to like it.
Adding to the miserable weather, we are in Lockdown 3 with schools closed and travel restricted. I think everyone is hoping that between higher humidity come Spring (viruses don’t thrive in warmer temps) and the vaccination program, we might be let out for Easter. Last year, when the country went in the first lockdown in March, we were treated to lots of sun and warm temps right into the Fall and that made the whole business more bearable. Maybe history will repeat. Live in hope, die in despair as my late mother used to quip. Certainly no one is looking forward to the aftermath when we do get to the end of this tunnel. My husband and I consider ourselves to be very fortunate that our jobs have been largely unaffected when millions of others have not been so lucky.
Continuing on life in lockdown, there was an interesting post on Ruth Crilly’s blog, A Model Recommends, entitled “This Isn’t The Olden Days”. Its about pandemic parenting and the difficulties of juggling working from home, home schooling and just generally having the entire family under the same roof 24/7. Lots of comments on it relating readers’ experiences as children growing up in the the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The one thing that stands out from them is that regardless of which decade it is, there was no pandemic. Few people worked from home and the tech we take for granted today was either non existent or not up to current standards. The closest I can think of to what we are dealing with today would be polio. Also a virus but one which mostly affected children under the age of 5. It peaked in the 1950s in North America and then declined and disappeared with the introduction of the Salk vaccine in 1955 and the Sabin vaccine in 1962. There is a lesson to be learned from those days; authorities quarantined the infected, closed schools and placed restrictions on childrens movements in an effort to prevent spread. But it soon became apparent that these measures didn’t work and vaccination was the only way forward. In any case, how would parents “in the olden days” have handled the situation we have now? Great subject for debate.
We have sold our house (who knew pandemics were good for the real estate market) and are hunting for a new one. We haven’t been in this one quite two years yet, but its a barn of a place and more suited to a family than the two of us, rattling around in it. And with the future so uncertain on various fronts, it is a good time to downsize and tighten up the budget. So far what we have viewed for a potential home doesn’t inspire confidence. One house was so derelict (how they managed to disguise that with the online photos is a mystery), I think the only solution would be demolition.
Life is so complicated isn’t it and lately it feels like too much of it is out one’s control and in the hands of people who frankly, don’t inspire confidence. I guess the only thing you can do is keep your tiny space in the Universe as secure as possible and hope for the best.
And on that note, here’s to February.