I’m reviewing the situation

22 Nov 2020
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I recently watched the musical ‘Oliver’ again. For those of you with good memories and/or a passion for this spectacular production, the title is a song sung by Fagin, played by Ron Moody. For the last few months I got worried I was descending into real depression – did not want to get up, no plans for the day, everything that WAS planned cancelled – daily crises (real ones, tiles off, no hot water) and struggling with bureaucracy. I have been a stern critic of self-pity, and here I was, wallowing in the hopelessness of the present, and watching too much news. The Apocalypse was here, now, on my door-step – Macron shuts France down, and I couldn’t even go out to lunch. Having steadfastly avoided the temptation to drink too much – what the hell! I had half a bottle of champagne while watching ‘Strictly’ – but champagne drunk alone is depressing, you need to ‘effervesce’ with others.

The ‘situation’ comes down to self-criticism: keeping standards, active mind and body, keeping well, that is not adding to doctor’s burdens and being fit enough to travel when and if it becomes practical. The first ‘guilt’ was not wanting to get up – top of slippery slope. But really no point getting up early – just makes long day interminable. So wake up, turn on France Musique, open curtains to see geraniums still on terrace, if back hurts turn on electric blanket, then – relax and enjoy, then coffee, bread shop, e-mails and Moodscope. I make sure the minimum of hygiene is maintained, me, my clothes, my house. No point in bothering with looking smart, not seeing anybody. Ditto face – see horrible white image – make-up pointless, covered in mask anyway.

Keeping the ‘glooms’ away is another challenge. Drowning sorrows in alcohol is NOT on – at my age not worried about units. But too much will give me a headache, also will dull reactions, and although not doddery get a bit shaky sometimes. I have to admit that for a time last winter and during first lock-down life seemed so hopeless that I ‘wangled’ my sleeping pill prescription so I always kept enough tucked away for the ‘escape’ route to be there. Never really serious, and stopped now. My appetite has reduced, so no temptation to ‘comfort’ eat. Often real nuisance bothering to eat at all – not good news at my age. Friends who have always been alone cope OK, but until I was 82 I don’t think I had eaten alone more than a few times in my life.

I’ve stopped ‘pushing’ myself when I am tired, or it’s cold and windy. Had guilt feelings that this was ‘letting go’. But, without going as far as cocooning in a blanket and never going out why get tired, and risk getting ill because you feel you MUST walk, do exercise, get fresh air? Complicated outlines of travel also binned, nothing can be planned until you see who survives the economic crisis. Well, another song from ‘Oliver’: here, ‘Consider yourself one of us, consider yourself one of the family’ (Artful Dodger).

The Gardener

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 12:52 a.m.

Lovely piece of writing Gardener. Although bitter sweet content. Drinking champagne alone sounds like heaven to me! But you are used to company and socialising which must have created a big hole in your life. I certainly don’t think that you should push yourself to walk or exercise if you are not feeling up to it. Eating though. Hot soup? Easy to do and will go nice with your fresh bread. I love musicals, but can honestly say I don’t think I have ever seen Oliver. I might have done many years ago. ‘Please sir, I want some more’ I hope for you Gardener, that you will get some more normality back into your life as soon as possible. Love Molly xx

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 9:53 a.m.

Thanks Molly. Without undue pessimism, normality, as in before Covid - will never return. There will be lots of changes - there MIGHT be hope next Spring, but for me, be 18 months since any travel, what will my nerves be like then? Love G xx

Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 5:04 p.m.

Cross that bridge when you come to it Gardener. I know things won’t ever be as they were but maybe see it as something to look forward to (hopefully!) M xx

Garry

Nov. 22, 2020, 11:54 p.m.

Thanks for your words, I'm not far off what your going through, I put lots on the long finger, I don't just want to be perfect but 150% perfect, so maybe like you I'm putting myself up for a fall. thanks, im not the only one in same place, lack of mojo, a purpose. so try something tiny that you can finish today. I got up today, had a shower, I would have meted against having a shower but I did it, I won't shower every day too much brother. I don't know if this is a help

Molly

Nov. 23, 2020, 5:49 a.m.

Hi Garry, I am the same with a shower, it doesn’t need to be done every day. I used to bath every day without fail. Things change, now I’m unwell it’s a real achievement when I have a shower.

Garry

Nov. 23, 2020, 7:20 p.m.

Thanks, I sometimes wear socks for a few days especially when there the thick warm ones

mandy

Nov. 22, 2020, 7:07 a.m.

Normality is something none of us have right now but the level of introspection at this unprecedented time is enormous. I loved it Gardener. Because it was like turning a corner and meeting an old friend again and a again. That feeling when you just met one of your own tribe and the 'ahhhh yes' moment at almost every paragraph. You are right not to be too hard on yourself. Do only what helps at the moment. Laying in a tad longer with electric blanket and only doing minimum to be clean seems pretty sensible to me. When the time comes for the lipstick to reemerge make sure it's bright red - parties always suit bright red lipstick! Thanks for your piece this morning... 'We've taken to you so strong, it's clear we're going to get along'!

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 9:56 a.m.

What a lovely warm reply Mandy - thank you so much. I try not to play the 'age' card - but feel so useless - not a 'caged bird' because I have a garden and windows on a street, I meet people briefly at bread shop and market.

mandy

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:24 a.m.

I have in mind a film set in the Marais when I think of you now. Hope your window boxes are sight enough to make your heart race! Coffee and bread - French style. Glad to hear that Shakespeare & co have been saved too! ***

David Gosling

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:04 a.m.

I"m reviewing the situation I find a cool dark room without any distractions it can be a cathedral or a small village church or a nuclear underground bunker, anywhere that you ate happy to find that works for you,until my mood is calm and the I carry on. It could be a book/puzzle/game/music/computer or whatever floats your boat anything that distracts your brain from looking in in to that very big deep black hole of depression. David Gosling

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 9:59 a.m.

David, thanks. I have knitting, plant care, TV in French and English, books dumped, as well as thousands already. Crosswords, SUDOKU, Logic puzzles (French) Future Learn. Much blessed, but I am a chatterer!

Ach UK

Nov. 22, 2020, 2:17 p.m.

ah, David . " I think I'd better think it out again" Warm thoughts to you and hope your bunker is warm and you have food and peace and no pressures. Not meaning to teach grandpas to suck eggs -- I get the feeling you are well versed in the unpredictabilities of BP. Look forward to ' see' you through this rough bit. XX Ach

Sarah yellow rose

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:06 a.m.

Hi Gardener, thank you for your blog this morning. When I was a child the whole family watched Oliver on Christmas Day afternoon, it was a tradition I remember because we were all together and joined in singing all the songs. Our Moodscope community has a feeling of togetherness too

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:02 a.m.

I only have pink and white roses out at the moment, must buy a bright yellow one. Musicals - come round every Christmas - but Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, M M in flying machines, St Trinians - good for a laugh or song for all ages.

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:03 a.m.

Oh, often think I am intellectual snob. Never watch soaps. Have to occasionally when visiting - the omnibus editions are depressing - Eastenders always quarrelling - boring (addict daughter won't see this?)

Sally

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:32 a.m.

I agree with Molly: it’s a lovely piece of writing. Maybe you are part of an online.. or village/ town..creative writing group. Are you writing your memoirs?. One of our members is, for his grandchildren.(I run our U3A writing group now . backed up by very capable writers of course. Delightful) Now online, alas...not quite the same, but better than nothing... Bitter sweet , Molly calls it. A plea from someone ( yourself, Gardener who’s also had to face.....and is facing every day of lockdown/ Covid restrictions.. loneliness in later life, I would also say. And you are not afraid to voice it. I would love nothing better than a good old chin-wag with you to explore further that fascinating wealth of stories about your former life and the folk you met along the way.....but COVID has for the time being put paid to all that....and we’re all getting tired of eternal Zoom meetings...great in some ways, but never the real deal.( From talking to others they feel the same.) I have a great-niece I hardly know! She was 1 last week. I’ve held her and talked to her only twice . Her family only live a matter of miles away....it’s sad. And my niece could’ve done with help. We won’t get this time together again. My (disabled ) son in lockdown has had to experience loss. His friend of 16 years died in his sleep, only 32! Tragic. Irreplaceable. The Care Home staff have been left traumatised by the sudden departure of a cherished tenant, and my heart goes out to the young girl carer who found him that morning, dead in his bed....We can only pass on our sincere sympathy by phone or post ! Limiting. Nevertheless, we are here, we are lucky so far, and haven’t suffered economic or housing loss.like so many. Grave faces greet you in small shops and businesses...they've had, ( and are having it ) bad this year...they certainty of will they be able to go on must be terrible. Businesses built up block by block, step by step...with love and dedication andhard toil. Like Leah, who’s had a **** of a year .... I can only offer sympathy and whatever I can give...

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:08 a.m.

Sally, when I go to bed at night, warm, comfortable, lovely room, good book - I have a list - I don't pray, past it - but all those who are suffering - small shops and businesses, lose that, huge wall to climb to start again. And carers.

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:40 a.m.

Sally, I've written loads in my life. Don't think autobiography viable. Know you love travel. I did start 'memoirs', one section on 'Sicily'. Will sent it to Caroline to transfer - think it might intrigue you.

Sally

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:39 a.m.

“Our Moodscope community has a feeling of togetherness too” Yes, Sarah Rose, it certainly does. Long live Moodscope and its super, caring, there-for-me community!

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Sally

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:40 a.m.

Sarah yellow rose..so sorry..

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Sally

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:40 a.m.

Lovely title, and song, Gardener!

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Jul

Nov. 22, 2020, 9:08 a.m.

I agree with Molly how well you have expressed your feelings Gardener. Your blog makes a soothing good read. It has rhythm to it and sums up what many of us feel about lockdown and the restrictions on leading a normal life which varies enormously from person to person but nevertheless affects us all. Even before lockdown we were cajoled to do this and do that. We all know the rules, eat more vegetables and fruit, exercise a precise amount each day, meditate, get enough sleep, drink lots of water, the list goes on. Then when we all were familiar with these mantras and the "experts" had nothing left to tell us, they decided to refine the rules, add bits here and there, so that we must raise our heart beat when exercising, go to bed and get up at precisely the same time each day, we must eat 5 or is it 10 pieces of veg or fruit a day, we should mediate in a certain way , they think they have carte blanche to drum up more ways of making us feel guilty because in the end that's how constant nannying affects us. Perhaps we could have a get together with you in France Gardener once this Covid is no longer around. It sounds unachievable, cost wise but there are ways to reduce costs,car share etc .. Trust your own instincts Gardener; they've served you well throughout your life. Give them priority once again. Jul ***

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:12 a.m.

Thanks Jul - be lovely to get together in France. Do you still have your house? We had a system of meeting friends half way (in France, or 'posting' grand-children via a picnic on the Seine) - where there's a will! ***

Oli

Nov. 22, 2020, 11:12 a.m.

I get frustrated too Jul, not so much with expert opinion but rather the poor and shoddy way non-expert journalists write *about* expert opinion. Science writing is so full of caveats that you're sometimes left wondering what it's saying! It's the very opposite of cajoling. Cajoling happens when the science is mangled by journalists and politicians.

Jul

Nov. 22, 2020, 12:34 p.m.

It's lazy writing/journalism. So easy to jump on the bandwagon of something someone has already said. Jul xx

Jul

Nov. 22, 2020, 12:39 p.m.

Hello again Gardener. We've actually sold one of our houses in France but we can't go over to sign the papers and there's silence from the French agents and notaire. I expect they will email me soon and say "the meeting with the notary is on such a such a date. See you there." Despite several emails and calls telling them we can't travel cos of Covid. They read only what they choose to read! We still have the main house and once we have sold that we are planning to buy near to Calais. I'll keep you posted and I am serious about a Moodscope trip to see you! Could start a crowdfunding! Jul xx

Sal

Nov. 22, 2020, 9:16 a.m.

Thanks for your heartwarming blog Gardener. I loved being reminded of 'Oliver', such memorable tunes and clever words, and the touching story well acted. You sound tremendously alive and aware, despite the constraints of lockdown. I do appreciate you sharing yourself with us on Moodscope, it is like having a friend to talk to in the morning. May your day be filled with sunshine whether of the external or inner kind (ideally, both :) . Sal xx

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:14 a.m.

Thank you Sal, sometimes I get a bit worried about 'open-heart surgery' blogs - but as things get more difficult (confusion the worst, I think) the more we share our problems, the better we cope. xx

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:18 a.m.

No room on blog. I do a lot of knitting - highly original and 'fantasy'. I used to take stuff to India - then sold it on behalf of our kids there. That stopped, I continued knitting, sold a bit to tourists, that's stopped. Thought what a useless occupation. But no. My mind does the designs, creativity and working it out, it is calming and exercises my fingers. Now, decision (direct from blog). I will direct that it is all given to Emmaeus (major charity) near a big city, to make what they can of it. Knit on with clear conscience. Not expensive hobby anyway.

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Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 5:07 p.m.

This is lovely xx

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:23 a.m.

Anybody out there help with this idea on Social Media? Big media fuss about Christmas, families get together whatever the risk. People want to meet, the food and all the fuss secondary. Why not spend what you always would, and give half of it to a food bank. Or, in your road, single parent, father lost job, elderly alone - cook extra meals - carry them along as a sharing/gift. I presume Crisis at Christmas and other plans for the homeless will not be able to take place. What WILL happen to them? It's a long holiday, as well.

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Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 5:25 p.m.

Again lovely, how thoughtful. If I could afford to help others I would. I used to donate to the Samaritans, being an ex Samaritan yourself Gardener, hats off to you xx

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:38 a.m.

Just looked up 'Emmaus'. Founded by Abbe Pierre. In 1949 he met Georges Legay, one-time deportee, desperate, suicidal. The Abbe tried to restore the will to live. He said 'I can't help you, and I have nothing to give you. But you, you can help me to help others'. When I was with the Samaritans, though nothing was said, you got the feeling that many volunteers had 'been through the mill' themselves. I joined, because everybody talked to me, thought I'd put it to good use.

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Oli

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:40 a.m.

Thank you for the blog Gardener. I can see how infection control measures have affected your life and it’s good for me to read the replies which remind me how others are finding things. I love seeing the different thoughts about champagne and exercise — probably no surprise for guessing I feel much better for living alcohol free, and I like pushing into discomfort with exercise. It hasn’t always been like this for me so that's why I really appreciate being free and being able to move. I’m still comfortable with the changes we’ve had this year. I strongly prefer working with people online — it’s much better — and it would never have happened without coronavirus because I’d still be wasting hours, and fuel, driving to a rented room to see clients who could also drive there. Now I see anyone, anywhere. I’m great with not being expected to touch people pointlessly (handshakes), and I’m indifferent to face masks. On Friday morning I was practising with a hypnotist. I was suddenly back playing live. There were four of us in the final band. While the singer was being the peacock at the front the three of us musicians would catch each others’ eyes and smile and lock in to the music. It was an in-joke. I’m glad I’ve had that experience and it was nice to re-visit it. I miss going to Wales. And it would be nice to see son in the US.

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 11:58 a.m.

Oli, glad you are more than 'coping' with lock-down, but finding it rewarding and saving travel time. I wrote a blog about 'people who need people'. I am reasonable with IT, not up to your standards - but many of my friends have not even used a computer!

Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 6:25 p.m.

Hi Oli, I too am glad you are experiencing the benefits. I must admit, I am too. No more excuses needed to be given not to see people or go anywhere. This doesn’t stop my empathy for others but personally for me, it’s been a bit of a relief xx

Nicco

Nov. 23, 2020, 11:05 a.m.

I feel the same, Molly. No excuses not to see people or to be somewhere. This has made me see what i would have been like if i'd had the choice before coronavirus. It has been a bit of a relief for me, too. I don't get/understand the pining for family thing, esp at Christmas, because most of my family have gone (dead), & i dont have grandchildren, tho i greatly sympathise with those who have mot been able to see/hold new babies coming into their families as they've missed that lovely first stage & will never have it.

Molly

Nov. 23, 2020, 5:45 p.m.

Nicco, I do feel that one Christmas without families is no great tragedy. I do agree that when children are involved it’s more difficult and of course those that are alone. I’ve not seen the PM’s announcement yet today but on a personal level, we are quite happy to be hermits!! M xx

Miranda

Nov. 22, 2020, 12:03 p.m.

Thank you for that! You've described my life, down to the crises, bureaucracy and opening the curtains to see my geraniums still flowering! I'm 62 in south-west France and alone, sharing the same thoughts at the moment. 'Consider Yourself' is now written out on a sheet of paper and placed where I will see it often during the day. Merci!

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Jul

Nov. 22, 2020, 1:34 p.m.

Hi Miranda. Where in SW France? We have a house in Limousin, near the border with the Dordogne. Near Brive. Jul xx

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 2:23 p.m.

Jul, just watched 'La Gloire de Mon Pere' (Marcel Pagnol) and 'Le chateau de ma mere' ditto. Also Jean la Florette, with Gerard Depardieu - super filming, so sad, have you seen them? xx

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 3:03 p.m.

Miranda, are you in the Midi? My neighbour, died a couple of years ago, was from Agen. Anybody from the Midi is convinced it is the best place in France, if not the world. You can always tell them 'maintenang'.

Jul

Nov. 22, 2020, 6:43 p.m.

I'm not sure if I've seen them. We do enjoy French TV films and saw the one with Gerard Depardieu where the neighbours stole all his rainwater. xxxx

Miranda

Nov. 23, 2020, 11:03 a.m.

I'm in Nérac.

Miranda

Nov. 23, 2020, 11:10 a.m.

Agen is the nearest big town, it seems to be a lot wetter and foggier there than here, 25 minutes away. But of course the Midi is the best place in France! The people are lovely. I know Jean de Florette/Manon very well, two of my favourite all-time films. Thanks for the names of the other films.

Miranda

Nov. 23, 2020, 11:13 a.m.

Someone once told me that the accent here is to French what Glaswegian is to English. (He was Belgian).

Marigold

Nov. 22, 2020, 1:07 p.m.

Gosh Gardener, an interesting blog. So many thought whizzing round my head. I think I have mood swings and they are worse with this lock down situation. To give an example, husband and I are grating on each other, the constant presence drains me, I can't motivate myself. Today a guy is here, striping wall paper, nice enough bloke, chatty but not too chatty. the sun is out, I feel OK. Is this "normal" to be swinging about like this? I have had to work hard to reduce alcohol. It does me no favours.

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Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 7 p.m.

Chatty but not too chatty is good Marigold. I’m stuck with my husband 24/7 and was before lockdown and will be till death do us part. Poor man is in so much pain. Managed to get an urgent prescription on Friday. Asked someone to pick it up from the chemist on Saturday, wasn’t there.... It’s odd to explain but if we were both active before lockdown I think we would be grating on eachother as well. We do have the odd argument and pop at one another, but I feel we have adjusted quite well to the situation we find ourselves in. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for us. Hate going on about it, but it gets it off my chest! Molly xx

Salt Water Mum

Nov. 22, 2020, 1:39 p.m.

Lovely blog TG, thank you. I am a HUGE musicals fan. The film version of Olivier is stunning. As a child I was mesmerised by the orphan tales of both Oliver and Annie. It was only when I re-watched Oliver a few years ago that I realised the horrendously sad fate of Nancy. As a child, I hadn't understood the complexity of domestic violence and alcoholism. I actually cried a little - Nancy is so full of hope and energy and love and then so brutally killed by her 'lover' - a man who knows only of hate, not of love. Extraordinary really that it's a children's classic. So dark. So sad. Lords, sorry TG I have taken your musical theme and run off with it to some darker place!! Apologies! I wish you well and you are so right to stop pushing yourself when you've not feeling full of energy. As someone wise recently said to me - 'Be as kind to yourself as you would be to a close friend...' Hugs to all swm x

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 2:08 p.m.

SWM, glad you enjoyed. We saw Oliver from a box at the theatre. Mr G's company were entertaining director's of an Italian company. I was 'called in' to entertain wife who spoke no English. Super dinner, then a box for 'Oliver'.

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 3:01 p.m.

More, SWM. One of my lovely daughters chose awful partners, one actually beat her up, horrific. That Nancy son 'As long as he needs me' so poignant, Shani Wallis, I think.

Hugo

Nov. 22, 2020, 1:40 p.m.

Hi The Gardner, one thing that stood out from your blog - you are not a stern critic of self pity...however I think depression is not self pity! Well that’s the way I see it..others might mostly likely think it’s self pity or laziness but hey, it’s not! One knows this once you have or been through depression. Hard to be kind to yourself though, I know.

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Ach UK

Nov. 22, 2020, 1:51 p.m.

TG Good morning, thank you so much for writing to us today. I remember well wearing out ( it seemed) our video of " Oliver" and singing along with the tunes. Soppy, sentimental and simple ditties they were but " Music soothes the savage breast " and a couple of hours musical make-believe is just the ticket while we are confined. My favourite for today is Oliver's song from his upstairs window -- " Who will buy this wonderful morning? " -- for here in the Midlands we are having a beautiful day. Who will buy This wonderful morning? Such a sky You never did see! Who will tie It up with a ribbon And put it in a box for me? So I could see it at my leasure Whenever things go wrong, And I would keep it as a treasure To last my whole life long. Who will buy This wonderful feeling? I'm so high I swear I could fly Me oh my! I don't want to lose it There must be someone who will buy ... There'll never be a day so sunny, It could not happen twice. Where is the man with all the money? It's cheap at half the price! Who will buy This wonderful feeling? I'm so high I swear I could fly. Me, oh my! I don't want to lose it So what am I to do To keep the sky so blue? There must be someone who will buy...". This brings up some lovely memories. Not least of my mother who was always singing when doing the mountain of pots and pans after Sunday lunch. Not long before she died she gave me a small box covered with intertwined red and green sateen ribbon and a red bow and said " keep it always, it contains my love ". Thank you TG. Your blog has made my day. And the sun is shining. Sending best wishes to all. XX Ach.

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Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 5:37 p.m.

Thanks for this Ach, we sometimes don’t take enough notice of lyrics unless they are written down. And what an amazing gift of love your mum gave you, just wonderful xx

Ach UK

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:02 p.m.

Yes, I managed to undo the ribbon to look inside the box onetime. And yes the box was full . . .of air, I cried for all the love in there that takes up no space at all yet fills my heart. XX Molly. XX Ach

Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:03 p.m.

Oh my word, how touching. I’m so moved by this xxxx

The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 2:14 p.m.

Ach and others. I was worried this was a 'moany' blog - and it's set people off on glorious memories! Great for a gloomy November Sunday. I am going to watch an old movie with Shirley Maclaine, adore her. Has anybody seen the 'Yellow Rolls Royce'? It has three owners, 2nd is an Italian/American gangster, Shirley Maclaine is his 'Moll'. Glorious filming around Naples. Wish there was somewhere to discuss books and films - read and enjoyed so many books I would not have touched in 'normal' times! I think there is an 'Old Film' channel, anybody know it? xx

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Catherine

Nov. 22, 2020, 7:06 p.m.

talkingpicturesuk.co.uk The channel is Talking Pictures. Thanks for a lovely blog and, as you say, lots of uplifting comments. Floppy xx

Bailey

Nov. 22, 2020, 3:55 p.m.

Hang in there Gardener...always nice to hear from you. Remember...you are not ever truly alone years you really want to be.

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Lex

Nov. 22, 2020, 6:12 p.m.

Oliver Reed as Bill Sykes playing off Ron Moody's Fagin represents some of my favourite moments in the History of the Cinema. I'm trying to find the bit where Bill has his 'ands arand Fagin's froat. It goes something like this... [Bill] "Ever 'erd the saund of a chicken being frottled, Fagin?" [Fagin} "No, Bill..." [Bill] "Not a very beauuuuuuutiful saund!" Utterly malevolently brilliant! Not necessarily something to cheer the soul but I've just been listening to soundtrack of, "My Fair Lady," and, with a little bit of luck... ...it'll all work out!" "With a little bit!" "With a little bit!" "With a little bit of bloomin' luck!"

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The Gardener

Nov. 22, 2020, 6:36 p.m.

Lex, stuck for something to do My Fair Lady was on French TV, dubbed in French of course. 'Wouldn't it be luvverly' sounded idiotic as 'Ca sera magnifique'. My favourite bit was Wilfred Hyde-White and Rex Harrison doing the paso doble.

Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 7:03 p.m.

My favourite is Phantom of the Opera and the follow up was Love Never Dies. This sequel was a flop which I will never understand xx

Lexi

Nov. 22, 2020, 8:30 p.m.

TG, I love your writing. You encapsulate so well the fatigue of being shut down for months, no end in sight. I am not doing well at the moment. Lowest score in months. My head is "buzzing" with low dread, the start of a bad day. Hopefully it won't last long. xo

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Molly

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:07 p.m.

Hug Lexi xx

Patricia E

Nov. 22, 2020, 10:45 p.m.

Yes, the fatigue. Mostly one can just carry on, but sometimes, without warning, a great pit of despond simply opens up and one is sunken down into it. Don't despair Lexi. Trust in yourself and give yourself a bit of a break. It will be well. Just be kind and rest

Lexi

Nov. 22, 2020, 11:32 p.m.

Thanks Molly xo hope you're doing ok

Lexi

Nov. 22, 2020, 11:33 p.m.

Thank you for your kind words Patricia. Trying to give myself a break xo

Marigold

Nov. 23, 2020, 8:46 a.m.

Get you Lexi.

Molly

Nov. 23, 2020, 12:59 a.m.

I literally couldn't get out of bed this morning. Needed sugar. I have been tested for diabetes but told I haven't got it. Husband can't get up the stairs to help. As he did last time it happened, a year or so ago. Bit worrying really. I'm prepared now, I will make sure I have water and energy sweets by the side of my bed xx

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Orangeblossom

Nov. 23, 2020, 9:14 a.m.

Hi The Gardener, Thinking of you & hope that your week goes well.

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Nicco

Nov. 23, 2020, 12:38 p.m.

Thanks for this blog, TG - as Mandy said, i resonated at almost every paragraph. I find the longer i stay in bed, the worse i feel, even though my body & brain are crying out for rest - that probably doesnt make much sense, but it's what ME & fibro does. Not to mention the guilt i pile on myself. This current situation with the pandemic has made me see how much of what i do/did is/was for others' benefit - in a, 'what will people think (f i don't do...)' kind of way, so i fell into the mind set where i thought nothing was worth doing because other people wont see it & therefore wont know if i dont do whatever. I cannot physically get dressed every day of the week, especially if i want to save the energy i would expend on it in order to be able to do something else during that day. It's all a balancing act, & the lack of physical mobility can fuel the emotions, & vice versa. I always have too much to do & so little time & energy in/with which to do it, which in turn has made me see that so much of myself is centred around goal setting, achievement, & what others think of those achievements, & that's what i would base my proved worth upon. Add a good dollop of perfectionism, & a dash of ocd, not to mention what the ageing process does, into the bubbling cauldron, & it's a lethal mix! And so full circle is reached. I have had to learn, during this current situation, to do things for me/myself, not for others... ie., getting up & washing & dressing for myself, not for others. I used to feel awful guilt if the postman called late morning & i was still in my nightdress & dressingown so i would get washed & dressed if expecting a parcel, & I would worry that i'd have an unexpected visit from a friend so would get washed & dressed just in case, even if it meant i had to litterally crawl to the bathroom, knowing that this very act would make me more ill. I must admit, bed-making has taken a bit of a holiday though. It's a good case in point because i would make the bed to prove i wasn't a slattern - to whom?! Very, very few friends/callers/guests would ever see that room! But now, because of the current situation, absolutely no one will so i allow mysellf to leave it unmade & use the energy saved to do something else. I read online a few years ago about the spoon theory regarding having ME & fibro... You only get given so many spoons per day to 'spend' & every task takes so many spoons. Say you have 5 spoons per day, & getting out of bed, washing & dressing take up 3 spoons' worth of energy. You only have 2 spoons left so have to decide what to use them on...making the bed takes another spoon, so you now only have one spoon left & have to decide what you'l use that one last precious spoon of energy on. Large tasks get pushed further & further down the list, other smaller tasks get left & pile up. I live in an eternal state of when i've got the energy i've not got time, & when i've got time i've got too little enrgy. When i'm relatively well do i want to spend that episode of wellness on catching up with household tasks or things i enjoy doing? It's an unpleasant conundrum. And i agree, it all begins when you open your eyes in the morning & don't want to get up because there's no point. We have to look inside ourselves & find the point, find that reason. I sympathise with those who really miss & thrive on social interaction, as the current situation must make it doubly difficult, especially for new grandparents who have not been able to see their new grandchildren & have therefore missed that never-to-be-retrieved first babyhood stage. I'm not sure how i would cope if i lived entirely alone (&thank goodness this pandemic didn't happen a few years ago when my marriage was in a very rocky phase as we would probably have done eachother some serious physical damage!) but tbh i've not missed being with people too much. TG, you sounded much more hopeful towards the end of the posts & seem to have found some good & enjoyable reasons & ways of keeping going, so i hope by now you are feeling more positive which, i agree, is difficult during thesebuncertain times. Sending more positive vibes to you through the ether, Nic.x Ps., i'm visualising your beautiful garden & window boxes, all of which thrive & depend on your tender loving care - a definite positive reason to get up & get going if ever there was one! x

Reply

Molly

Nov. 23, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Nicco, I can always relate to what you say. I’m not as bad as you in relation to physical health but I don’t even get undressed and dressed now. Unless I go out which is rare. I wear ‘lounge about’ clothes and sleep in them! M xx

Catherine

Nov. 23, 2020, 6:06 p.m.

Nicco Your response could have been written by me! I identify with everything you say. I also have fibro and ME and constantly feel guilt and judge myself against what I think other people will think of me. Lockdown has made it easier for me because, as you say, people don’t call or come in the house. I guess I probably manage to get dressed about three times a week! My dad lives across the road and I have a lovely Indian style padded long coat (expensive, but worth every penny) which I put on over my pjs and wander across to him. We live in a Close and the neighbours are surprised when they see me dressed! I have also got to the stage where if I need to walk my lovely Miniature Schnauzer (Martha) I do so in my pj camouflaging coat - and I’m past caring what anyone might think! Animals don’t care what you look like, they love you unconditionally. Actually it’s very liberating when you get to that stage (smiling face). The postman only ever expects to see me from the open upstairs window, calling down to thank him and ask him to leave whatever he can’t put through the letterbox in our 'hippo box' - a big metal lockable box for parcels, which the Amazon delivery person also uses. And if I have a meeting or appointment it’s now almost always online, and if I’m in bed I just turn the video off..... So THANK YOU for writing much more eloquently about exactly what it feels like for me to, and go well xx Floppy

Molly

Nov. 23, 2020, 9:56 p.m.

Love this Floppy xx

Catherine

Nov. 23, 2020, 10:07 p.m.

Thanks Molly xx

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