One year on. Yes indeed, I have been writing the lockdown blog for a year. When I started, I think I realised that this was going to last for a few weeks, months even, so I started the running gag of a different pair of earrings each day. But I never imagined that I would still be writing a year later. I know the lockdown scenario has waxed and waned, but although certain concessions began today, we are still enormously restricted, and so I am inclined to carry on till 21 June when we are allegedly going to be FREE.
I think I have learned a lot about myself, and about other people during this period. I was very frightened at first, as it was all so mysterious and strange. We ran out of toilet rolls and tinned tomatoes and the atmosphere of panic seemed very contagious. I was very determined to do everything I was permitted to do, such as a daily walk. I watched online productions from the National Theatre. I made an effort to reassure friends and family that I would maintain regular contact and learn this new stuff called Zoom. But this now seems rather distant, and I feel a shade resentful that I was so intimidated. I am not a natural rule-breaker, but I feel that in some situations my common sense has been over-ruled. I am sad to note that there are a considerable number of people who have been so shocked and terrified that their lives will never be the same again. They have lost all desire to go out to dinner, to meet friends in the pub, to go on holiday, to go to an exhibition. Everything is delivered, and they cower in their houses, and in their gardens if they have one, like frightened rabbits. High streets as we knew them will never be the same. If John Lewis is closing 8 major stores, what hope is there for small enterprises? There are of course some positives. The treatment of Covid has progressed enormously, a vaccination programme appears to be keeping this particular virus under control. People have created “bubbles” with family or friends and in many cases grown much closer. But frustrations abound.
Today saw the reopening of many outdoor sports facilities. Golf courses and lidos were fully booked. We were all spurred on by the magnificent weather, a very unusual 20C which felt even warmer in the direct sunshine. Sandals and T shirt were given an airing. In the park the rhododendrons were bursting forth. Such a brilliant colour.
It occurred to me today that I think I have not yet played a piece by Sibelius. I came slightly later to liking his work, probably because my parents were very traditional classical music lovers: they belonged to an association in Loughborough called The Gramophone Society, the name alone indicates the era. They like Beethoven and Brahms (as I do too) but anything approaching the twentieth century was very suspect. Rod and I were very fortunate to visit the Sibelius Museum in Turku, Finland, not so long ago. There were extracts of his music playing in every room. This of course is one of his best known pieces: the Karelia Suite. There are some nice images of Finland too, such a beautiful country.