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Control, Alt, Del……

The recent trip to Scotland turned out to be a bit of a break through trip, if only in the mind, I hope it continues.

The madness of the last 18 months or so has affected us all, to a greater or lesser extent. Our wings were clipped, our boundaries reduced, suddenly everything has changed. Asked to restrict our movements and stay at home, its not what we are used to, it soon becomes all consuming, it’s wrong to travel, to see friends, to enjoy everything this amazing world offers us.

Staying at home becomes the new norm, the only person I speak to, face to face for 3 months is my neighbour, Matt, thankfully he is a good sort and the conversations are most welcome. As we are released from the first lockdown we all try and get back to normal, whatever the new normal is.

My old man is admitted to hospital in June 2020 and we cannot visit, since when could we not roam freely around the country, since the madness began!!

The words below are from a facebook post I wrote earlier this year, 26th of April to be exact. Now I know I am not the only one affected by all of this, we all have, everyone, every country, everywhere, its been a while since something affected the planet in such a way, this is just some of the way in which it affected me.

After a couple of days of my trip to Scotland I realise this is the first time I have broken out what has become the convention of recent months, I am socialising with people I do not know, going into cafes, pubs, restaurants, doing what previously had seemed to natural, but has become so alien. It is made easier that in Scotland they are still operating under some restrictions, wearing masks, hand sanitisers everywhere and checking into places so track and trace can work.

I hope this is the first step to getting back to where we should be, at least for me, I ain’t getting on a plane any time soon, but this is a start. A big thank you to all of the guys on the trip, all sensible, it made it easier, even though initially I didn’t even realise it was a thing, It was, it is, cheers boys.

To try and put the above into context I have posted the words below, I hope it makes some sort of sense and I thought what I wrote in April deserved to be posted on here and not just lost in facebook.

Well, its just over 9 months since mum phoned me at 06.20am, telling me the news I already knew as I answered the phone, mums don’t call at that hour, unless, Dad has gone.

The man who raised, guided, counselled, comforted and reassured me for 54 years is no longer here. Not a unique situation, many have been here already, but this is me, this is now and this is the reality. Confusion reigns, the chaos following the passing of any person commences.

For the last couple of years or so Dad always made a point of shaking my hand as I left after a visit, that grip, still firm, despite his age, a direct look and a thank you for whatever jobs I had done whilst there, we both knew, never said, it might be the last time. Made more difficult in 2020 when I cannot travel and visit, regularly, as I normally would. I can’t help them as I would like, my brother, Mark, lives close to them and is able to do everything needed and I feel guilty as he is doing it all himself.

The frustrations of lockdown are real. I manage a visit in June, when we are allowed, he is so frail, but this isn’t how I will remember him. Admitted to hospital a few days later, no visits allowed. Released into respite care, a visit through window is allowed, then, no more. Confusion, stress, anxiety levels are high.

Limited numbers to celebrate and remember his life, no social gathering permitted to chat with friends and relatives to exchange memories and learn what others will remember him for. Social media plays its part, often criticised, it is a lifeline of communication when people live far apart or cannot travel due to the madness that we all find ourselves in. Sleepless nights, questions with no answers as the darkness is all enveloping. Daybreak doesn’t necessarily provide the light we would hope for.

Mum is doing ok, it appears, she is old skool, she is strong, but she breaks from time to time, its our time to care, to provide reassurance, to say it will be ok.

Thank you for reading, if you made it this far, thank you to so many of you for kind words, messages by whatever media, very much appreciated. We have all seen so little of each other with everything all of us have been or are going through, who could have predicted what has been happening, its like a film script, the planet brought to its knees by a bug.

To those who believe and accuse me of lying to or deceiving them. I did not. See above