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Freedom isn’t free.

So as of Monday, we will be able in Wales to meet other people outside the house.

Within five miles.

And two metres apart.

We are happy but looking at it from a captive point of view, we are far from free. We can roam a little further.

This is far from over.

So much talk of it not being real, of it being as easy as flu.

The news says in an estimated study only six percent of France is actually immune to covid 19.


All about the “R” rate see?

Growing bones.

Parents of children be warned, they are growing.

The lock down and spring combined has created a massive problem, literally.

You might not have noticed yet but you will. Or you may be like me and gawp in disbelief at the extra foot of difference sticking out of the bottom of trouser legs.

Or an emptied cupboard of sweets (you thought were safe) and there’s a smug child sat there looking full and very proud of themselves.

Or the fact they keep bumping their heads on things they used to happily walk under.

Or they just walk up behind you and tap you slowly on the shoulder…

“Hi mum, you look….smaller”.

This is happening right in front of our noses.

Please don’t panic buy shoes, I’ve only got wellies left now…

Go go go for launch.

Houston we have a problem, we’re not go for launch.

We’re in the house, under a lock down.

Have a safe trip to the International Space Station.

Mission control, Swansea, no go.

God speed Bob and Doug, we’ll watch you from the skies tonight.

Big sky.

Got all three to step outside tonight with dog, me and a boomerang.

Up on a hill, long grass, a warm breeze.

And big sky.

I’m busy.

Mam.

What?

Can I have a sketchbook please? Need to draw some monster hands.

From the boy who hasn’t drawn since lock-down.

I’m beyond smiling. But I am being very cool about it and trying not to look. Of course I always have spares because to run out of sketchbooks would not be worth thinking about.

It’s hard not to peek okay?

Come sit with me.

I have too any words tonight to write. Too many emotions.

The end of May is here.

The trees are full of leaves, the breeze is cold today.

The nights are so light now, that dawn chorus is so early. Can’t be morning yet?

The news is full of outrage and retribution today.

Social media is the same.

It’s draining and pointless. There is no solution, not yet. There is talk of a vaccine and trials and an antibody test to be rolled out soon but nothing concrete.
I just want more of that mint chocolate from the cupboard but I’ve eaten the last square.

There’s a robin singing, I think it’s been singing all night under that new LED streetlamp.

It’s not two metres.

Thoughts when someone comes closer than the required two metres in the supermarket checkout queue.

You’re standing too close to my broccoli!

Get back! (outstretched arm, palm up for dramatic impact).

Please would you mind taking a step back.

Oh hi, I can see you’ve stepped over your two metre line, that’s interesting. Glares.

Please stop moving forward.

Where’s the fire?

Runs…

If you build it…they will come.

Here they come!

Invaders!

Defend at all costs.

(No cats were harmed in the defence of this splendid lounge den and much chocolate was consumed and squash drank).

How do you like your head in the morning?

Fill me with coffee.

Keep it going.

Right to the top.

Floats away.

Step outside.

After a long sunny day, the old paving slabs out the front of the house stay warm throughout the evening, long after the sun has gone down.

It feels wonderful on your feet.

Good morning four walls.

There’s sorcery in coffee and vision in spectacles.

Combine the both and I transform from shadow to human.

Magic.

Ta daa.

The dawn chorus.

Sleep hits me when the birds start singing.

Might sleep in the garden, might sleep in a tree.

Might sleep.

Might not.

Can I have a coffee yet?

Let’s go to the park.

I watched a little boy scoot past today with his face mask on. Happy to be going to the park to play with his mum.

Are children going to play face masks in school history lessons and write about what it was like to stay in their houses?

What did you do in lock-down?

Discuss



Curtain call.

The roads are busier now, there seems to be more people going out.

I wish you well, I’m glad you haven’t been affected or infected.

Maybe you will be lucky why should I judge you?
Why should I even bother to draw my curtains to look out at the road so busy with cars.

We all have our reasons, hard not to feel something when you hear the noise of cars back on the road.

The news is split into where you live now. Wales will continue the lock-down for three more weeks, opening garden centres for essential begonias and fast food drive throughs. In England there is talk of primary children returning to school but Westminster is still keeping parliament on reduced numbers. That’s nice.

The infection numbers have risen today.

This is not over.

Cat on a hot slate roof.

Mam. The cat’s on the roof!

Again?

Yes!

Goodbye.

Myles’ brother left his house for the last time today.

Long steps, hat off, the funeral director bows his head. The hearse leaves the house slowly, slowly down the steep hill to a small ceremony of fifteen at the crematorium. There can be no more.

The escort of twenty Welsh Water vans and the children in their rugby shirts waving from the sunny streets.

Goodbye Hugh, Swansea turned out for you today.

Thank you for always reading my blog.

Heaven has a huge cheeseboard but don’t eat the chives, your Dad picked them.

Rest in peace.


A suit for the occasion.

It’s the smart black trousers, tie and jacket. The shined shoes and ironed shirt. The one we all keep in the wardrobe for that occasion. The funeral. We take it out, check the moths have left it alone and iron the shirt again. Then we hang it up ready to wear.

I remember buying a suit when I was twenty seven, days before my mother died. I bought it ready to wear for her funeral, I didn’t want to be thinking about clothes, I didn’t want to be wearing the suit at all, nobody does but it is what you do. It is what everybody does.

Tomorrow the funeral will happen, and then the suit will be taken off and will go to the back of the wardrobe once more.



Evening song.

The walk was quiet tonight. My first steps outside today.

Tomorrow’s rubbish piled up outside each house. Black bags and pink plastic. Tonight’s litter dances around the empty streets in a happy scuttle, the ground is dry making for quick passage. Gloves, masks and cans of energy drinks race each other amongst the growing weeds.

The news is baffling, in England there is news of the lifting of restrictions but you’d need a code cracker to understand the words out of the Prime Ministers mouth. I don’t think anyone is the wiser right now.
Here in Wales, we are still grounded and we are still no go. There is still too much infection. The lock-down remains. We are allowed out twice a day, garden centres can re-open and fast food chains.
The shape of my cat with a squeaking mouse in her mouth can be seen leaping the walls of the back gardens in the evening sun.

That is not coming in the house.

Problem solved.

Gruff loves maths, he loves numbers. He hates writing but loves to scrawl, (there’s hope there…)

Anyhow, the moment every great mathematician dreams of.

This particular problem to solve was four days of scribbling on sheets of paper, vast amounts of midget gems eaten and a refusal to give up.

I had no part in his struggle, I was kicked out of my studio.

He got there! What a moment.

Head in the clouds.

We might not be able to let our feet roam right now but our heads can soar in the clouds any time we like.
A book, a day dream, a song, a drawing, a tree that sways, the clouds that build in the sky, the birds that ride the wind, the perfume in the breeze from the blossom.

Float away and never feel the time is wasted because that is when your mind is truly free.

Remembering.

It’s the 75th anniversary of V.E. day today and there is bunting everywhere. The street behind us have all moved into their front gardens and are having a socially distanced street party. The music is thumping away and I hear laughter. There is an eager d.j. on a microphone and children laughing.

The sun has been shining all day, a light breeze and dancing seagulls in the sky.
Our road is a little busier so there is no sitting outside in the spring sunshine here.

I didn’t make bunting, I drew it on the pavement outside with chalk. Coloured arms and a smudgy face.

We don’t really feel like joining in.

Myles’ brother will be cremated next week. It was sudden and quick.
He didn’t get to say goodbye. There wasn’t time. Cancer moves in that way, I know too well of that.
The sun shines on and the news can’t tell me enough how the lock down will be gradually eased and that it’s brilliant.

I see no good news yet, I see 30,000 dead.

I want to stop crying now.

Dogs and lock down.

They know when you need them. Even if you have to pay them in sausages.

They know.

Feather busting.

Cats on stairs.

Cats in pairs.

Watch out!

They go for your toes, they go for your head.

Sneaky little murder mittens swipe-swiping through the banister.

Watch out!

Suspended animation.

The Cwtch.

The Welsh do the very best hugs although the debate really should always be, do you hug enough and the answer should always be, never.

The irony being that we all have to do it from 2 meters away.

A Grey Day.

Now this is Swansea, this is the great, grey, gloom that descends when everywhere else is basking in sunshine.


And a bright green face mask. (Get off Bonnie you don’t know where it’s been).
The rubbish tells its own tale of the pandemic, gloves and masks litter the floor. Why the rush to drop these things? Does it chase you?

I hurry home just in case.


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