I am living a pretty solitary life because of COVID restrictions - always trying to stay safe. Before there was conversation, laughter, people to meet, things to do. COVID has stolen most of that away and you feel it more in these winter months as the virus continues to rage.
My main Sunday highlight was a walk down to our local "Sainsburys" convenience store. There I purchased a four pint carton of semi-skimmed milk and a pack of pork sausages. Then I walked back home. Whoopee-doo!
The second highlight was making the evening meal while listening to Chelsea v Manchester City on the radio. I grilled two pork chops and prepared delicious potatoes-dauphinoise with Brussel sprouts, apple sauce and gravy. Dessert was homemade apple pie with vanilla custard.
Ordinary things have become more significant than they used to be. Life has shrunk.
Over in America, Trump has been taped trying to bully Georgia's Secretary of State to "find" the votes he needed to defeat Joe Biden. Perhaps my way of looking at things is misguided but to me the contents of the phone call constitute attempted fraud. How ironic when Trump continues to bang on about how the presidency has been "stolen" from him! He used to lead an unjustifiable chant about Hillary Clinton - "Lock Her Up!" but in my estimation they really should lock him up instead. Disgraceful.
What will Monday hold I wonder? More of the same no doubt. More solitariness. It doesn't look like a day for a hike in the countryside. Besides, I now need to be at the end of the phone in case our Frances needs us. The grandbaby's due date is January 6th.
Shirley will be off to work today getting her health centre ready for the COVID vaccination marathon. I am so proud of her nursing career. She came to Sheffield at the age of sixteen to undertake a pre-nursing course. In March, she will be 62 years old with 45 years of nursing behind her - broken only by two maternity leaves. It is a hell of an achievement. As a nurse, she has had to change with the times but still maintains the girlish enthusiasm for her laudable vocation that brought her to this Yorkshire city in 1976.
Your dear wife's 45 years in nursing is an achievement all right, and now she is using all her professional expertise to give us vaccinations. Two elderly porters in the London hospital where my brother works have died of Covid-19, robbed of their retirement.ReplyDelete
We must not fall into despondency or despair.
Kierkegaard said the worst hazard is to lose one's own self and dignity; and that it can happen before our eyes, while we are still alive.
We must find hope and courage every day, supporting those who are frightened, and remembering all that our parents and grandparents did in making this a decent and honourable country.
Thanks for the pep talk John. So sad to think of those low paid porters. Tragic.Delete
Amen to that John.Delete
You've every reason to be proud of Shirley. To carry on in these trying days speaks powerfully of her resolve and commitment. I am proud of all the health care workers.ReplyDelete
Trump? It is against the law to interfere with the results of an election. He should be arrested.
We are on the same wavelength Debby.Delete
Assuming Shirley has worked shift work over the years, partners are often due thanks as they are affected by the shift worker's at times unsociable hours and being quiet when they sleep.ReplyDelete
That was only true in the first twenty years of her career. For the past 25 she has worked more socially acceptable hours in health centres. Sounds like you are speaking from personal experience Andrew?Delete
Beggin’ yer pardon, guv’ner, but being the stickler for accuracy that I am I feel compelled to point out to you that the film title in the caption under your delightful photograph should be “Carry On Nurse” and notReplyDelete
”Carry On Nursing”.
You are most welcome.
Thank you Bob. Even Alexander the Great made mistakes in spite of his greatness.Delete
To do 45 years in such a demanding role and still be enthusiastic is really something! Shirley was fortunate to find the thing she loves to do and for it to remain in her life.ReplyDelete
I used to have a theory that babies arrive on weekends because the mums know their partner is home and available. With extensive restrictions, the idea is largely moot these days
We are just a little concerned that her husband - Stewart works down the motorway - 45 minutes south of Sheffield.Delete
Baby knows this! It will all work out wellDelete
As a qualified doula you know a lot about childbirth Kylie. Could you fly up here tomorrow? Thanks.Delete
Covid has changed it all, hasn't it? Of course I am solitary all the time anyway but not being able to pursue hobbies outside has made it worse. At least you have Shirley.ReplyDelete
That is true and I can get out for my long walks weather permitting. I have much to be grateful for.Delete
Shirley is one of the many unsung heroes - I have the utmost respect and admiration for her, and I hope you will let her know.ReplyDelete
Yes, life has shrunk; I miss the occasional night out dancing with my "girl"friends (we are all between mid-fourties and -fifties), the pub quiz and going out for nice meals at good restaurants as well as the gatherings with family and friends for birthdays and similar occasions.
Without my frequent walks, I would have probably gone bonkers. Also, work has kept me busy and in touch (even if mostly only by phone and video conferences) with many people - so many, in fact, that some evenings after work I did not feel like speaking to anyone.
As I am typing this, I am 5 minutes away from the start of this working year.
I hope that you are now enjoying the start of your working year.Delete
I chuckled at your perfectly correct use of "gone bonkers". I can't imagine that many for whom English is a second language would know how to slip that expression into their writing with such consummate ease.
Take heart YP, all our worlds have become so small these days. If we want to stay safe then that's how we'll have to live for the moment. You have made the most of your enforced lockdown, managed to get around in your trusty steed, taken some beautiful photographs and shared them with us, so don't be too downhearted.ReplyDelete
Cheer up - what an exciting time you'll have over the next few days as you welcome another little Pudding into your family circle - we all wait to hear the news.
Shirley embodies all that is the very best in Nursing. I hope that her patients appreciate her dedication.
Thanks for the pep talk CG.Delete
Shirley is a much loved and much respected nurse. It is second nature to her but she may well retire this year. She keeps talking about it.
I have great respect for the nursing profession. It is something that I am too squeamish to have ever pursued. I usually faint at the sight of blood.ReplyDelete
I hate to see any hospital operations on the TV. I close my eyes and turn my head. Don't know why.Delete
The highlight of my week is the Thursday trip to Waitrose to shop for the weekend food. Otherwise P goes every day to our local Tesco Express for the newspaper and any other food we need. The only thing on the diary for this week is the dog's "haircut" and I am worried that that might be cancelled if we go into a more severe lockdown!ReplyDelete
You may have to trim the dog yourself Frances. Has your young man got an electric shaver?Delete
Dog’s appointment was cancelled about 5 mins after I wrote the comment!Delete
Spooky! You must be what Shakespeare called a "soothsayer"!Delete
45 years is real staying power. The nurses in my family all love the job, but the changes to the NHS have not made things easy.ReplyDelete
Barbara Windsor - as I commented on Cro's blog, the BBC 'We Remember' programme this year (excellent on iPlayer) contained the impressive fact that she passed her eleven plus exams with the highest marks in London.
Well that's funny. In 1965 I passed the 11+ with the highest mark in The East Riding. Perhaps Barbara and I should have got together.Delete
Just to enter the affray I, too, passed my eleven plus with flying colours. It's just a shame that everything went pear shaped from then on in.Delete
Aye. It was all downhill from that lofty height.Delete
You need to get a mobile phone to take on your walks and read blog comments and listen to some Prog music and speak to people YP.ReplyDelete
Thanks Dave but he happiness I feel when walking would be impaired by a mobile phone. I actively hate those things and wish they had never been invented.Delete
You should never hate anything YP. It is a destructive emotion.🙁Delete
Okay. I won't hate them. I will crush them with a steam roller.Delete
Like you YP, I have no great love for mobile phones. However friends have insisted that I have one for use in emergencies, which makes sense as I live alone and frequently go out and about on my own or with my dog.Delete
Perhaps it's time to reconsider? On your walks you could so easily slip and fall, and in worst case scenario, break a limb or knock yourself out. Though no-one would wish it, you could also have an accident in Clint. If the worst happened, think of the anguish it would cause your family, if they didn't know what had happened to you. You pick some remote places for your walks where there are few people around.
Everyone's life has shrunk. I don't mind so much. I'm an introvert by nature, a quiet person. I'm happy with my own company.ReplyDelete
That said, I do miss my grandchildren.
Thank you to Shirley and the thousands like her without whom we would be well and truly stuffed.
I have had my life saved by the NHS and could never repay them.
Hope your grand baby is punctual. It's my very dear grandfather's birthday, 6th of January. He was an excellent human being. I miss him.
Thanks for calling by again and for leaving another splendid comment. Like you I am not particularly gregarious but even I can have too much of my own company! Other people can give us such a boost.Delete
Well done, Shirley! Hope the vaccination process goes well for her center.ReplyDelete
As for you, I hope for better, sunnier days so that you may walk off the stress of life. And for sweet times with your grandchild-in-waiting.
I was just thinking that if I get to see our grandchild reach thirteen years old, I will be eighty! Hell's bells!Delete
I'm with you -- life HAS shrunk. Today I walked to the high street and that was my big excursion. Woop-te-doo indeed. I was going to go for a photowalk but the weather here is miserable. Ho hum.ReplyDelete
Keeping one's spirits up for ten months has constituted a big challenge.Delete
Shirley deserves all the accolades. That many years in nursing shows incredible strength of character and dedication. And also- constant education. What a partner you have in life!ReplyDelete
As to Trump- well- what did we expect?
When it comes to nursing I know that you know what I am talking about.Delete
Hats off to Shirley. You can only work marathons if you truly like your position and your patients like you. Yes, we will have to get used to more solitary confinement. I don;' mind it but the Micro manager has some difficulty staying apart.ReplyDelete
You are such a sexy dude - no wonder she can't keep her hands off you Red!Delete
Well done, Shirley. I have the greatest admiration for the profession having experienced it from both sides and over 60 years.ReplyDelete
You must have met a lot of nurses over the years. I hope you did not slap their bottoms - like Sid James.Delete
YP, perhaps you should think how you or Shirley would feel if someone slapped her bottom. It's a long time since I worked on a ward but I don't recall anyone slapping my bottom.Delete
Your bottom is probably too hairy and muscular for slapping!Delete
Nurses certainly are heroes in this awful pandemic. I hope your wife manages to stay safe herself while helping others! My walk today went to a chemist's (very quick visit for some necessities). I know that whoopee feeling. I also heard that piece of news about Trump today - in very close connection to listening to a chapter of Barack Obama's (audio)book A Promised Land. (Oh the difference in attitude...)ReplyDelete
At Mr Obama's inauguration he sat in spellbound dignity as he listened to Aretha Franklin sing "My Country Tis Of Thee". It was quite a moment. As you say, the contrast is quite amazing.Delete
My college career started out in nursing. I would have loved that, I think. I am so proud of Shirley and all the nurses the world over who struggle everyday to make others feel safe and secure and healthy and fit and they have to take the mental breakdowns of patients who are loosing their fight, either mentally or physically or both. The doctors who are with those same patients for just minutes a day, if that, do not deserve the prestige and heartfelt wishes of patients and their families. Nurses do!!!ReplyDelete
I am sure you would have made a great nurse Donna. Your innate kindness and common-sense shine from the comments you make here.Delete
I often find it hard to leave a comment on your blog and others from the Northern Hemisphere without feeling somewhat embarrassed by the relatively normal life we are leading here in NZ. It's a bit like survivor guilt. But then it feels rude just to take pleasure from your musings and not give back.ReplyDelete
One thing we do all share though is the pain of separation from family through travel restriction made especially hard when longed for grandchildren are born in another country. So many NZers have family living in Australia and we have all just taken that 3 hour plane trip for granted but it's been off limit since late February.
It's good to vent your frustration though and take some comfort from your online friends.
Well done to Shirley on choosing a profession so suited to her talents that it still brings joy after so many years and even in a pandemic is hard to walk away from.
I'm looking forward to hearing of the safe arrival of that grandchild, still 4 months in waiting for our first and yes it's scary to think how old we'll be as they reach milestone birthdays. We'll have to make every day count!!
I am pleased for New Zealand. It's nice to have a reminder that it's possible to live "normally". We didn't just dream it. Maybe one day we will get back to normality too. Four months to go? Better get on with the knitting Adele!Delete
Those needles need no encouragement. The hope chest is full!Delete
I have a daughter who is a nurse. I don't hear from her and I don't wonder why. I do wonder how the medical profession has endured this last year.ReplyDelete
Let us hope with all our hearts that they are way past the halfway mark Joanne.Delete
Well we are all in admiration of Shirley and her keeping and loving the same job for a long time. I have never written about Paul's death in hospital but will always remember the dedication of the nurses who looked after all the patients in the ward. Nurses are the true angels on this earth!ReplyDelete
I am so pleased to learn that Paul was so kindly supported as he shuffled off this mortal coil.Delete