Walking Away

Walking Away

Thursday, 31 December 2020

New Years Eve already!

 Can't believe this year has passed so quickly! The year of the Covid 19 pandemic. 

23rd March 2020 we entered lock-down. Schools closed except for key workers children. People asked to work from home if possible and to only leave your homes for essential shopping, medical appointments and to exercise once a day. Holidays abroad were cancelled including ours to Spain in May. Hospitals were full of extremely ill patients in ITU on ventilators and the catch phrase was PROTECT THE NHS.  Routine hospital appointments and surgeries were cancelled. People were advised not to visit the A&E unless an emergency. Some GP practices appeared initially to close down now its telephone or zoom consultations and one to one. Luckily pharmacies kept open and continued to dispense prescriptions, take blood for diagnostic tests requested by GPs and give advice. Well done Pharmacists and their staff. 

We were told things would improve by the Government and their experts but they didn't. It appears Covid doesn't wane in warmer weather and also flourishes in the cold like flu! We were told to cover our faces with masks, keep 2 metres part and wash our hands frequently. HANDS FACE and SPACE.  We entered shops and banks masked up, stood on dots on the floor whilst queuing and followed arrows around the buildings. Most people I believe followed the rules with the exceptions of some well known names and groups of people that were exposed by the media.

We then entered Tiers and our area went into tier 2 on October 24th then we went into four week lock-down on 5th November. December 3rd entered tier 3 then today into tier 4. This is going to be reviewed in 2 weeks. 

Deaths and covid cases are rising! The rising cases I think are because more people are being tested and with a new variant many people are asymptomatic. If you die within 28 days of a positive covid test then you join the number of covid deaths. Hospitals are said to be under more pressure. This time of year we are always told of winter pressures with older people having flu and beds filling up. Hospitals are getting so much better at treating covid that patients are needing longer stays and not dying. Well done the NHS for innovative care and all your hard work over the months.

I'm wondering about the number of people who may have died through lack of early diagnosis of cancer, strokes etc. I'm sure we will look back in the future and say we should have done this and not that. Oh for the power of hindsight.  

Margret Keenan was given the first vaccination in the world after it had been approved for use in Britain on December 8th. An amazing first for Coventry! We are being told that a huge amount of our population should all be vaccinated by April. I'm not holding my breath! Up to now nothing is happening but it is holiday time so Monday 4th January I'm expecting centres to be ready for mass vaccination. A friend who has a 92 year old mother has yet to hear when she will have the jab. 

I appreciate the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Covid 19 vaccine is easier to store in fridges than the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine in below -70 freezers so I'll patiently wait and see. Once the vaccine is available I'm sure the GPs at the local practices will step up to the mark.  

 To be fair vaccinating all the population over 18 is a huge logistic operation. It can be done!



Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Social distancing

Today we said goodbye to my brother in law. We thought it was going to be a surreal experience with only six mourners permitted at the funeral due to Covid-19 regulations. For Robin's funeral there were four of us. His brother, my husband, his sister, and a good friend of his. We had to go in our own cars, no posh funeral car for us to travel behind the hearse. We had to wait at the cemetery gates until a guy said we could enter. He was very respectful as he crossed us off a list. At the chapel we stood the required distance apart for the three households. The Vicar explained what would happen whilst we waited for the hearse to arrive. There were six chairs placed in the chapel six foot apart but if I wished I could put my chair next to my husband's. I said no it would be alright. When Robin arrived the Funeral director explained to us they would take the coffin into the chapel and then we could go in. He was wheeled in and I felt a pang of regret that they hadn't carried him in on their shoulders.  No hymns to be sung as singing isn't permitted but they played the music chosen for the service and the vicar read the eulogy. The worst thing was I couldn't comfort my sister in law as she shed tears. 

No wake of course. Robin died just before his 70th birthday and it would have been good to raise a glass and toast his life with family and friends. Things are supposed to be easing in the summer. We'll have to wait and see.
In memory of Robin.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Aim for 100 rejections in 2020

When I saw the Facebook group #Rejection100  I was intrigued. A challenge to get 100 rejections by the end of the year. I thought no way am I joining that group until I read some of the posts and realised it was turning a negative into a positive. People, tongue in cheek, were commiserating those who'd had their work accepted saying better luck next time and those that had been rejected were being told well done! I've never felt upset by a rejection because its all subjective. You can't have rejections unless you submit your work. That would be my challenge! I hardly ever send in a submission and this was what #Rejection100 was challenging everyone including me to do!

My tally at present stands at ONE REJECTION. Pretty poor considering its nearly two twelfths into the year. So I've sent off THREE entries to the National Flash Fiction Anthology, THREE to their micro fiction competition, ONE each  to the  Bath Flash Fiction and Fish competitions and ONE each to 101 Fiction and Paragraph Planet. A total of  TEN submissions and to be honest I'm expecting TEN rejections. I'm just pleased I've sent them on their way. If one is long listed I'll be ecstatic but I'm not holding my breath because I'll turn blue 😎

Thanks Submittable for starting this group, its spurred me on, not sure I'll get any where near the 100 mark but at least I've taken up the challenge!

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Words and a bad Poem

Edit ONE

I look around the room I'm the only one using pen and paper, a tatty Biro to boot. The others tip- tapping away on their computers. If I'd bought my gigantic antique PC it would have taken up the entire table. The more I think about being a writer the more I realise the world is full of would be writers. One has just had her book publish on Amazon. I clap cautiously still not sure about self-publishing. I worry about lack of talent. One has a novel sent off to agents. She's excitedly waiting for replies. I want her to succeed because rejection however nicely written is a slap in your creative face. Another is writing a play I want to shake his hand and say well done for not wanting to write a novel like the rest are planning to do. When its my turn to say what I'm doing I say Flash Fiction. I like to write 500 words or less. Not sure if that genre appeals to me because of the lack of words. I murmur that I have written a few chapters of a novel, well I have but I'm don't think I'll ever finish it! It has no plot, it seems to be writing itself without any direction from me. Maybe I should chat to the playwright to get tips on direction.

Everyone is tip-tapping away. I am feeling the cold. Tip do not sit by a window in an old building. It's draughty and very cold. I'm wondering whether to put my jacket back on but then I won't feel the benefit of it when I leave. (I sound like my mum) Will I last another five hours probably not. Once lunch is over I might be off shopping in the city centre. 500 words forgotten for another day. I've paid good money to sit in a draughty room and write. No workshop, no tips on getting my mo-jo back . To be fair it was billed for procrastinators and I am writing so yes its achieved its aim.

Edit TWO

I'm planning my escape
What shall I say.
I've run out of words
My hand hurts.
I care no more
For any of you.
Write your stories
Novels and plays.
Be famous, be literary
But leave me out.
Or include me in your words
As the writer that ran away.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Days 2 & 3 of the 64 Million Artists January Challenge

Whoa! the challenge for yesterday was draw 5 faces in 5 minutes. NOW I am no artist but its a challenge. No overthinking just do it!

They are like the Walking Dead and I've just noticed one is missing an ear!
Day 3: Blurb it Out

Imagine you've written a novel and the only thing missing is the blurb - you know, the couple of paragraphs on the back that provide a short description of the book. Write the blurb of your book, tell the story or say what it's about. You can even write reviews of your previous work! If you're stuck for story ideas, maybe write the blurb for your autobiography.

So this is My Blurb
Read the new Booker Prize Winner for 2019. The story that she thought would never be printed! Surviving the bleak, boring but safe world of mediocrity she could have plucked the tale straight from Hades. It captures the essence of her life before the event that sent the world spiralling. Be ready for shocks and revelations! It’s a masterpiece for readers of all genres and those seeking the truth of what really happened to Stella Turner.

I can't believe how much I am enjoying these challenges. Woke up this morning wondering what it would be today. Not looking forward to a Poetry challenge but then it can't be any worse than the 5 faces or can it? 😏

Monday, 1 January 2018

Day 1 of the 64 Million Artists January Challenge

There are two things I'd like to do well that's sing and draw. My singing is terrible! My grandson has been know to say "No singing please Nana"  and my drawing is not much better. So when I read about the January creative challenge I signed up immediately. Small creative challenges for 31 days and I'm bound to amaze myself!

Day 1 challenge: Make a certificate or trophy to award your future self. What would you like to achieve in 2018? 

So I powered up the PC and as a self-confessed technophobe wondered how to make a certificate, easy find a template and off you go. The templates weren't inspiring at all. Probably some fantastic ones if I knew where to look! So I adapted one, added a photo and decided what was important for me to achieve in 2018. No resolutions that I churn out every single year! I did include moving more but decided not to mention eating less. Hopefully being active will make me more aware of what I'm scoffing down each day. The photo chosen was one from childhood to remind me that at 64 I still have lots more to learn. I'm still in awe that I managed to include the photo!

Here is the certificate

I'm learning that fear should not hold me back! Press a few keys on the PC experiment! What could go wrong! Skype call to Poland and my son will fix it remotely like he's done before ❤.

I'm so looking forward to the challenge tomorrow. I'll have less time but that's a challenge in itself. Oh I've already walked twice today and I'm up to 8,706 steps so I've definitely got off the settee and walked 💃 


Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Has it been that long???

It's been over twelve months since my last post so I've decided to set myself a challenge for 2018 and post once a week. That's only 52 ramblings to be read by the ones that inadvertently stumble occasionally on this blog. I've also signed up for the January Challenge set by 64 Million Artists. I can't draw but I'm hoping to surprise myself with what I create. After 31 challenges I might find something I can do. 👀

I'm sure on January 1st I'll have the same resolutions I have year after year. Eat less, move more! Be nicer! Write a novel! Learn Polish! This year I won a competition set by Deracine Magazine. The theme was 'intrusive thoughts' and I sent a surreal flash fiction I had written for Creative Writing class and was completely amazed when it was joint winner. Boosted my self confidence no end! I need to write more, definitely edit more and submit.

Good things that has happened this year: lots of holidays. Visited my son and his wife in Poland that was magical. Stayed with Sal in Morecambe which is always relaxing, good food and great company. Stayed in Benidorm with the golfers. The men golf the women chill! Stayed at Ruthin Castle in Wales and Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire. Days out with Sal in London. She has so much patience with my love of graveyards especially Highgate Cemetery!   

Me outside the burial vaults 

I've had lots of time to see my grandson Lenny develop and grow. He is six years old. He never fails to delight me with his knowledge and insights into life. I've always loved to be in the company of the young. At work I learnt so much from my colleagues and laughed so much as well. 

So bring it on 2018! May the world itself be less turbulent. I hope people will be more tolerant and show care for each other. Happy New Year everyone!

Things I like

  • Writing
  • Wit
  • Voltaire's Candide
  • Theatre
  • Shoes
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Laughter
  • Coleslaw
  • Cheese