Between then and what will be

I have been feeling very unsettled, grumpy-grumbly in a vague unfocussed sort of way, fraught with unfinished to-do lists and a sense of time running out.

Rob moving out of the cabin early in lockdown left me with no help in the garden over the summer. Not that he would have been much help had he stayed. The death of a close friend and serious ill health of two close family members hit his fragile mental health hard and his usual slowness became almost catatonic. Now it is Autumn; Laura has moved in and will, I think, be a huge asset. She is intelligent, keen to learn and cheerful. But for now she has to be given time to learn where things are and how to do the tasks that need attention. That means I have to work alongside her, explaining and teaching and our speed is slow.

It is also the time when I pick wild fruit and preserve it. The time when there is an abundance of fresh produce in the shops to make chutneys and pickles. Having swapped my big chest freezer for a less capacious upright one I can no longer stash it all away until I have more time (that mythical ‘more time’!) – it has to be bottled or jammed or whatever at once.

At the same time restrictions have been easing and we all want to meet up again – I am greedy for the company and sociability. And at the same time I am alert to the risks – another juggling act. We have started to have workdays and meetings at Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust, a very delayed AGM – where my treasurer’s report felt like something from another lifetime – and resuming work on the roundhouse we are building. They have thrown up another dilemma for me. We are able to meet outdoors but with everyone 2 meters apart I am a long way from anyone on the opposite side of the circle. I should have had new hearing aids in the spring but of course the hospital stopped doing hearing tests. So I struggle to keep up with the discussion, often mis-hear and find the effort exhausting. Now we must all wear masks indoors, a ruling I think is sensible since masks remind us to be careful in other ways too, but it makes voices muffled and I can’t lipread or see expressions so well. I have decided that for now I will not go to indoor events involving more than 2 or 3 people and decide about outdoor ones on a case by case basis. None of this is anybody’s fault but it is frustrating and wearing.

Whilst all these practical things are demanding my attention I have been challenged by some books I have been reading. Three are memoirs written by women who chose to scratch a living in remote rural areas. Three very different personalities and stories but thought provoking. The fourth is an academic work, ‘Sitopia’, about the centrality of food to life, politics and culture and how the world might be different if we recognised that more overtly. I had already been reflecting on the plans and projects I have been working on to prepare me and this place for my older age. So now my head is full of ideas and words which roll around and, like a snowball running downhill, accumulate more and more, getting bigger and bigger. But I can’t seem to get them organised into coherent strings or know what to do with them. I will just have to wait for them to reach the bottom and the ball to break apart. Maybe then I will be able to make sense of it! Meanwhile I am wary of sharing much of it because in this mood I am likely to put it badly. Which means using energy to both contain it all and manage my impatience with not being able to organise it into something that makes sense! Another problem when meeting friends and a block to writing blog posts.

For all these reasons blogging has taken a back seat. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading other people’s posts and my apologies for the shortness of my comments.

One day soon it will all click into place again, my sense of joy will be restored and normal blogging will be resumed.

21 thoughts on “Between then and what will be

  1. Lynda September 21, 2020 / 12:53 pm

    “One day soon it will all click into place again, my sense of joy will be restored and normal blogging will be resumed.”

    I certain that more than a few of your readers are suffering from similar frustration and depression. Adding to the Covid calamity we’re suffering from total anarchy here in the states. For good or ill our calamity will be decided on the 3rd of November… I guess what I am trying to say is, that it is never so bad it couldn’t be worse.

    All of this has found my husband and I redoubling our efforts be more productive here on our little acre. It is slow progress, but it IS progress.

    Sending blessings and good thoughts to you for the days ahead. ❤


    • Going Batty in Wales September 22, 2020 / 9:49 am

      Thank you Lynda. I was listening last night to a BBC podcast about the Presidential election and the issue of fraud. I had no idea that the process was so complicated and that postal and absentee voting could draw it out so long! I do hope things improve after November though I suspect that whatever the official outcome there will be griping all round. I have found that building my personal resilience has helped a lot particularly through lockdown – I might have eaten bizarre meals but I would not have starved and there was no need to queue for hours to get into a supermarket.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynda December 3, 2020 / 5:54 am

        I am grateful that we have finally gotten to a place where we can eat a whole meal that we grew ourselves. Veg, eggs and meat were all grown by us this year. We are not totally sufficient, but on those nights when we can eat a whole meal that we grew/raised ourselves, well it feels pretty good! And yes, bizarre is often on the menu here as well. 🙂
        As for the vote: We need to get rid of the voting machines as they are too easy to tamper with. (Both sides have complained about how easy they are to hack into!) As for the paper mail in ballots, well if you are in a nursing home or overseas or in another state getting an education; fine. However, the problem with taking so long is that some states MASS MAILED the ballots to everyone. No names, no signatures required, postage paid (ergo no cut off date in evidence) and thus no accountability. They were supposed to be turned in on or before the official voting date. Some places were still receiving van-fulls of these ballots a week after the vote. I believe it was Turkey several years back (don’t quote me on the country) who had everyone dip their finger in ink to prove that they had already voted… I think in 2024 perhaps that wouldn’t be such a bad idea. There is a terrible amount of hanky-panky going on with the machines, and for cripes sake; why did we have to send vast amounts of our votes over the internet for another country to tabulate? Insanity pure and simple. I’m sure voting is much simpler and infinitely more easily verified where you are. Trust me, here we are all reeling with the insanity of this election.


      • Lynda December 3, 2020 / 5:59 am

        Goodness! I guess I got a little passionate in my response on voting? Sorry. 😯


      • Going Batty in Wales December 4, 2020 / 10:55 am

        Passion is fine Lynda!o n the election subject I vote in person here by going to the local village hall. When I arrive my name is found on the register of voters and a line drawn through it to say I have had my chance. I could get a postal vote if I asked – which allows for those people who can’t get out – but on the whole most people do it the old fashioned way. And whatever way the votes are cast they are all counted on the night and the result declared.

        I admire you being able to put a meal on the table that was entirely from your own plot. We used to keep poultry but a mix of my husband’s deteriorating health and visits from the local fox made me give them up. I would love to keep ducks again as I prefer duck eggs but need to find a way to keep them safe but not in a squalid run. So for now I get eggs from one of several very local people who do keep them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie Graves September 21, 2020 / 2:31 pm

    No apologies necessary. These are strange and stressful times no matter where you live. Write when you can. That is enough.


    • Going Batty in Wales September 22, 2020 / 9:50 am

      Thank you Laurie. I suspect there are several posts in that snowball and when I can untangle them you may wish they had stayed there! I am loving reading about your positivity and self care. Keep going and keep posting if you can – you inspire me to see the bright side.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves September 22, 2020 / 2:54 pm

        Oh, thanks so much for the kind words! Not always easy to stay positive, that’s for sure.


  3. nanacathy2 September 21, 2020 / 3:36 pm

    Life just stinks some days. i find writing everything down really help declutter my mind.


    • Going Batty in Wales September 22, 2020 / 9:51 am

      Thanks Cathy. Writing the post did clarify why I was confused and ratty. I just need to unscramble the snowball now!


  4. carolee September 21, 2020 / 3:41 pm

    I applaud the fact that you are reading! I can “do” blogs, but I haven’t successfully even read part of a book since March! And I normally read a book or two a week, but I just can’t focus. I’d like to read the biographies to which you refer…someday. So, don’t be hard on yourself. It’s all part of these strange times, and if you are managing to “squirrel away” some preserves, you are doing well.


    • Going Batty in Wales September 22, 2020 / 9:54 am

      Thank you Carolee. I think I have read to escape into another world in more normal times. The memoirs appealed because they were about a simpler life style and managing in isolation albeit with good neighbours (which I have) – a sort of ‘if they could do it with paraffin lamps and a fire to cook on then so can I’.


  5. tialys September 21, 2020 / 4:55 pm

    I think we are probably all feeling the same in varying degrees. Don’t worry about blogging if you don’t feel like it – that would defeat the object. One day it will just occur to you that you want to sit down and write and you will.


    • Going Batty in Wales September 22, 2020 / 9:55 am

      Thank you Lynn. Once I can untangle the snowball I will be back!


  6. anne54 September 21, 2020 / 10:05 pm

    For someone who is discombobulated (isn’t that a great word?) you have written a very clear and thoughtful post. I agree with the others, write when you can, we will be here to listen and perhaps throw in the odd supportive comment or two!
    I feel for people who are hard of hearing in these times of masks. Visual cues are such an important part of hearing. Our social interactions are so limited that I can understand your frustration at missing out on parts of the conversation, and therefore inclusion.
    Meanwhile, I hope the snowball reaches the bottom of the hill soon!


    • Going Batty in Wales September 22, 2020 / 10:00 am

      OH! I wish I had remembered discombobulated! Writing the post did help me see why I am feeling fraught and I think I may have found an end in the snowball that I can pull gently and maybe get it to untangle a bit. I don’t want to whinge about my hearing – as disabilities go it is very minor and certainly not life threatening. Usually I have good strategies to cope and my friends are very helpful and supportive but the strategies work less well at present and that is nobody’s fault but wearing!


  7. June Lorraine Roberts September 21, 2020 / 11:45 pm

    Yes, you will be back on target. Meantime, it is what it is and we all stand with you.


  8. The Snail of Happiness September 22, 2020 / 3:57 pm

    I am just starting to feel more inspired to write… I can’t address the big things, but I can share my creativity and my small steps. Like you, preservation is continuing apace. I’ve got a gazillion apples -let me know if you need more. Oh, and I will post you those instructions I promised tomorrow (I forgot to take them to the post box today).


  9. Helen September 24, 2020 / 7:18 am

    At the optician’s yesterday, another customer asked the staff to remove their masks, so that she could lip read. The thing is, even if you’re not hard of hearing, you still lip read and of course need facial expressions – 60% (approx) of meaning comes from body language. If you add in the physical discomfort of covering your mouth and nose, no wonder people are ratty.

    I’ve been blogging less. Not sure if this is pandemic related or more because after 8 years I’m simply not as excited about it. In any case, we all do what we do or don’t do what we don’t. Hopefully, you will find a new calm soon and I’m glad you have Laura to help you now.


    • Going Batty in Wales September 24, 2020 / 10:36 am

      Thank you Helen. I have hardly worn my mask because most of the things I go to are in the open air and until recently most shop staff were behind their perspex screens and so didn’t wear them. It was last week when I went shopping that I discovered how hard they made life for me. I am feeling more cheerful now and Laura is proving to be a treasure so life is on the up.


      • Helen September 24, 2020 / 12:36 pm

        That is good to hear! Hopefully, onwards and upwards…

        Liked by 1 person

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