27 March 2020

Nostalgia

It seems like only yesterday. I close my eyes and I am back there in that other world - the world we knew before.

Back then we had pubs. They were gathering places for local communities. You drank beer. You laughed. You chatted for hours about this and that - things that mattered and things that didn't matter. Sometimes you would look up at the TV sets where live sports were forever being screened. All gone now - rugby, cricket, football and golf. It was the way of the world. And boxing and tennis.

When you met people you shook their hands or hugged them, You got up close - not like today when you keep your distance. Back in 2020 they said two metres and that is how it has stayed.

We used to enjoy cheap flights and if you had the desire to do it you could go just about anywhere you wanted. The world was your oyster as they say. From Sri Lanka to San Francisco. From New Zealand to New Orleans. It's different now. Nobody goes anywhere much.

In those days gone by the living was simple. It was vibrant and there was hope. You could realise your dreams. Big dreams or small dreams. Most of all, I remember the freedom. We went here and we went there. Nobody stopped you. Nobody questioned you. There were no pass books, no phone numbers for whistleblowers, no rubber stamping. We were free.

But of course that was then and this is now. The dead lie in their graves.  Perhaps we will never get back to where we once resided. To those innocent days of yore.

36 comments:

  1. Powerful caption. After covid we're not sure what things will be like.

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    1. Things will not return to the "normal" we knew.

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  2. This almost made me cry since this is where we are now and we have no idea how the world will be even when we do get past the worst of this. I believe it will change the world and change us at least to some degree. Things will get better but they won't be the same.

    My son came by for his birthday last Saturday. We were breaking quarantine rules to even have him over. I am a stubborn mom and did it anyway, but I could not hug him even on his birthday - my own son. Grandparents can not hug their grandchildren either or even spend time with them. I know there are good reasons for it and those of us over 60 are at a higher risk but still, that hurts.

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    1. This is a cruel virus isn't it? At a time of anxiety and hurt, we are obliged to view other people - even family members - as potential carriers. In wartime our people banded together as one.

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  3. I dare to disagree with your point that life was simpler. Actually, I find it much simpler now - before, the nearly unlimited choice of where to go, what to do, whom to meet up with was sometimes overwhelming. Now, we know there is nowhere to go (in terms of pubs, restaurants, discos, cinemas, theatres etc.) apart from out for essential shopping and the occasional walk. We can not meet anyone except for those who are already living with us. We have to make do with what we find at the shops; maybe "our" brand of organic linseed oil or fair trade coffee isn't in stock.
    Nonetheless, a poignat piece of writing. Thank you.

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    1. Interesting response. Good thinking and I can see where you are coming from with this. Will you still be able to meet up with OK? Can you still see your parents and your sister?

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    2. O.K. will be here again for the weekend. He travels by car, so does not incur the risk of infection on public transport. Also, neither of us is in closer contact with anyone else, and we are both well; therefore, we still feel we are acting responsibly.
      I did go for a walk just now after work with my sister. We did not hug or shake hands and kept each to one side of the path.
      As for my parents, I have only seen my Mum at the door last Saturday when I delivered something she had asked me to buy for my Dad at the pharmacy. My Dad would most likely die of Covid-19, and I would never forgive myself if I had been the one to pass the virus to him.

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    3. More evidence that these are strange and unsettling times. Hee the police are getting heavier about travelling. I understand there was a police road block on the road to Stanage Edge yesterday.

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  4. That reminds me, Neil, of the saying on the wall of a coffee bar on the Wirral "Remember, these are the good old days.". I wonder if they have taken it down.

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    1. They have probably changed the wording to "Remember, those were the good old days!" Is the coffee bar run by Mary Hopkin?

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  5. I think I agree with Librarian that life is certainly simpler at the moment - we have no choices left! I just hope that we still have our family and friends when it is eventually all over. One positive outcome (I try to find something positive) is that my sister and I now chat daily - via Messenger of course - which I am enjoying.

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    1. That's so good as I know that your sister is, after Peregrine, the most important person in your life.

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  6. I hear that "Driving to go for a walk in the Peak District is not essential travel." Has the intrepid YP tried it yet? When will we see your first picture of a police drone?

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    1. The rules on this remain confused. This confusion was illustrated in the Radio 4 lunchtime news today. I will continue to use my considerable commonsense.

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  7. None of us know what's going to happen or how it will be when this is all over. Different, I do think. No use trying to guess. Nothing about any of this has been what we expected spring 2020 to be like.

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    1. Guessing can be a vital ingredient in creative writing.

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  8. Prescient, I think the same way, but setting it in the past makes it much more powerful. I had a patient who said she hoped it would all be over in two weeks. I gently told her that this will be months at least and that it's just starting to get worse here. She is an immigrant, she has cancer, she works two jobs which are essential and her kids are home from school. Her mother is here from Nigeria caring for her kids which is good. I asked her if she got along well with her mother and she smiled and said yes but grown daughters and mothers are not meant to live together. I couldn't have lived with my mother.

    I'm rambling. Take care and stay healthy.

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    1. Sounds like you extracted a lot of information from that woman Lily! Did she learn anything about you? Keep washing your hands meticulously!

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    2. I always talk to my patients a lot but I had to talk even longer with her because we were having trouble accessing her port, an implanted vascular access device. It distracts people from what I'm doing and I find people endlessly fascinating:)

      She did learn that Miss Katie lives in a group home.

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    3. Good that there was some two-way communication.

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  9. It's only been less than a week!

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  10. A little less bargain travel might not be a bad thing, for the climate at least. And I'm not going to miss live sports one bit. But that's just me.

    Don't get into full despair mode yet, YP -- we've only been at this a very short time and I still suspect we'll get back to some degree of normalcy sooner than we think.

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  11. I said to my wife: "We'll have to get bunk beds now".

    She said: "That's a good idea. 🤔

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    1. Will you be on top or will she be on top Northsider?

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  12. I agree with Librarian that, at times, there is so much choice you have to be decisive not dither. I do not agree with her that life is now much simpler. At least not in England. There I am with my shopping list. Hunter gatherers, bow and arrow, had it easier.

    Eggs? You want eggs? Good luck. Anyway, yesterday, I had good luck (I bribed the shop keeper). So we are now in eggs. Earlier today I took a complete inventory (down to the last gram) of all supplies in my cupboards and the depleted fridge. I did count, wait for it, the number of eggs. It's a first in my life. Lucky me. The precise number (one hour later shrunk) was twelve. To bake a cake or not? That is the question.

    The whole current caboodle a bit like running a hurdle race. And now that the Angel (my son) is working from home, courtesy of his employers, my every outing is monitored. All I need now (to keep the Angel in eggs and bacon whilst forbidding his mother to endanger her life) is a hen, a pig and a garden to house them in.

    I wish I lived in the Outer Hebrides. The romance of it. Come to think of it, Friesland will do. How many Friesians does it take to change a light bulb? Don't ask. How many Friesians does it take to catch a mouse? You don't want to know.

    U

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    1. You should do stand up Ursula! You have an original sense of humour. But with this plague in full swing, you may have to wait a while for your first gig and the audience may be severely depleted.

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  13. Shame some older people who couldn't afford to bribe a shopkeeper would have loved a boiled egg

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    1. Or maybe a boiled egg clothed in sausage meat with a coating of golden breadcrumbs.

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    2. If there were a jury, YP's reply to you more succinct than mine (wait for it) not least on account of being short.

      Sorry, John, violins will not do. Young people also need to eat. Not least when they are six foot tall and work long hours.

      As so often you got the wrong end of the stick and don't get the joke.

      But let's stick with your literal interpretation of what I said. Why do you assume that "bribe" means money when, maybe, a long established relationship with some small shops in the area procures me an advance order, putting it aside as and when currently unreliable supplies come in? What makes you assume that I don't share my bounty with those in my neighbourhood who are not as quick footed and fit as I am, and who I have been looking out for well before the virus's existence?

      Having read your blog for many years, I am perfectly aware that you are a saint, John. Florence Nightingale squared, dusted with a sprinkling of Mother Teresa. Alas, my dear John, some people put their virtues on lesser display.

      Hope you won't run out of dogfood.

      U

      PS Now you have some taste in answer to your recent question, YP, as to why I am getting it in the neck on John's blog. It's a story - complicated yet simple. Only adulation will do. Questioning with only merest whiff of possible criticism won't. John's take on me amply helped by a clamouring for approval adoring (mostly female - of all things) readership/followers being set on me like handbag dogs on a wolf’s heel. If they knew how much they have made me laugh over time they'd hate me even more. John's (and my) misfortune that I don't know when to give up on someone. Though I am nearly there. There is only so much of someone's ... idity one can take before questioning one's own Richter Scale. Never mind. Tapestry of life and all that.

      U

      Delete
    3. I stand by what I said
      Bribing a shopkeeper for eggs....
      Not nice......especially when old people can't afford to bribe to get what they want..

      And to reply to your last point
      You came to my blog ,
      Then you took over the comments section as if it was your own private discussion base
      Then you would insult me personally and feel that it was inappropriate of me to take action
      You are inconsistent
      Thick skinned
      And too full of yourself
      And you are selfish enough to bribe shopkeepers for eggs
      Bad show

      Delete
  14. "It seems like only yesterday" - it was PRACTICALLY only yesterday.

    What makes it feel even weirder to me is that everything looks so normal outside. Feels like the weather should be apocalyptic as well.

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    1. I took Clint to the garage today. Out there it was like The Day of The Triffids. Perpetual Sunday.

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