I’ve just made mince pies, which is as good a reason as any to publish a blog post.
Back in February, Ann and I had a weekend in Oslo – first holiday of the year. We spent most of it in the hotel room, watching NRK’s (delayed) live broadcast of the ferry around Svalbard, as well as catching up with our friends on the fjord. It was extremely chill, and very lovely. We came back from it saying ‘We should do more of this at home’.
Reader, you will not believe what happened next.
It’s 230ish days since the start of lockdown one. Both of us have been working from home for the duration. It’s been about as good a version of [gestures at everything] as we could have wished for, on the whole.
(Using italics there because Ann got COVID. She is okay, but being ‘okay’ has taken a lot of effort and healing)
Home has been *excellent* though. We moved about 18 months ago, and were pretty much settled by Christmas. We have a lovely little garden, which we’re slowly making ours, the rooms are pretty roomy, and we both have an office.
I’m typing this in the garden, likely one of the last chances to do so this year. There are two parakeets squabbling over the bird feeder, sparrows flitting around the bushes, and a robin scrounging for… nope. One of the neighbourhood cats has just vaulted the fence.
I told Alice we were “Springwatch-curious, pre-lockdown”. We’ve gone in hard since.
Our garden list includes goldfinches, goldcrests, blue/coal/great/long-tailed tits, loads of pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, wagtails, wrens, a nuthatch, magpies, jays, crows, a semi-regular greater spotted woodpecker, a sparrowhawk (it was like a thunderbolt – completely amazing) and a probable kestrel (definitely hunting, smaller than the sparrowhawk, chased off by magpies).
We’ve invested in candles – that’s been a thing – and made changes/fixed things in fits and starts. I have felt very protected here. I also regret not getting more people over when we had a shot at that in the summer. But… it’s been such a good space for us that thinking about inviting people into that space is hard.
(I’m typing this, in part, so there’s muscle memory for “2020 in review” blog post in a couple of months. Whatever rhythm I expected to have with writing this year, the year had its own ideas.)