Well here we are, 1st of Feb already. One whole month of 2021 gone.
Like most people, we had a quiet Christmas. Taking down the decorations on 12th Night, it left me wondering what it was all about. Our usual trip to do some of our Christmas present shopping in either Salisbury or Winchester was postponed, everything bought on line instead. Our pre-Christmas meets with friends for lunch or a drink; our New Year’s Eve plans, cooking for friends at home. All of this cancelled. We didn’t even get the bubbly out while Jools Holland’s Hootenanny welcomed in the New Year with excerpts of past programmes. In fact during the Christmas period I kept looking at the decorations and the cards and feeling everything was somehow out of kilter. As if I had made a mistake and decorated at the wrong time of year. This wasn’t Christmas; it didn’t feel like Christmas. It was like decorating a room for a party that no one was going to turn up to.
One thing I have noticed on our walks during January is that some people have decided to keep their Christmas garden lights going. I think this is a great idea, providing a bit of cheer during the month, which has mostly been dull and wet. I have to say even under normal circumstances, for me it’s the worst thirty one days of the year and I can’t wait to see it gone.
When the decorations were eventually packed back into their boxes, one question still remained. Where was the new set of lights we’d bought last year? In October 2019 we bought a new set of lights. We used them to illuminate the inside of a large lantern in the lounge. During Christmas 2019 we moved them onto the mantlepiece. When the decorations came down, I remember putting them back into the lantern. That meant they didn’t get packed away in the loft. In February 2020 I bought a large candle for the lantern, took the lights out and re-boxed them. Our house is obviously in some sort of UK Bermuda Triangle, because we turned every drawer and cupboard out pre-Christmas 2020 and could not find any trace of them. We still have hopes we’ll discover them, probably in the last place we ever thought of looking.
The one thing I have missed most during all three of our lockdowns is people, as I am sure most of you have. Social media is great but it is in no way a great substitute for actually being with people. Last summer, some weekends we spent time in friend’s gardens (and our own) for a socially distanced drink. It was allowed then, although not indoors. I’m hoping when they begin relaxing the rules that we will be able to do that again. It may be baby steps back to normality, but spending time with friends and family is so important.
Holidays too, are in limbo at the moment. We have a break in Norfolk booked for mid-May. It’s roll over booking from last year when Covid and the first lockdown scuppered our vacation plans. Not sure whether we’ll lose it second time around. Currently it’s all in the lap of the gods – and whatever decisions Boris decides to make. In the meantime, where possible, we have been continuing our daily walks for exercise and fresh air. It’s all about keeping going, making the best of things and staying positive.
I have just reached 53,000 words. As a writer of larger books (120,000 – 135,000 words) there still seems a long way to go. Certainly as far as the plot is concerned, the journey is no where near its end. So at this moment in time I’m not even attempting to predict the final word count. At the very beginning there was a slow start when I reused part of an already written manuscript. A bit like unpicking knitting; time consuming and laborious, but looking at the story so far, I know I made the right decision to re-use it. Currently I’m in completely new territory where the writing is averaging 1500 words a day and the word count is mounting up very quickly. I’m working towards (fingers crossed) a publication date some time in June.
Well that’s all for this month. I will be back again at the end of February. I hope by the time I post again, there will be a glimmer of light at the end of this very long tunnel. In the meantime, take care and stay safe everyone.