So hello again dear readers. It’s been a while since I last posted. I’m not sure why really. I like to write about stuff that interests or amuses me (even if the laugh is on myself) or stuff that really pisses me off and I feel the need to vent about it. I guess I just got fed up writing about the terrible covid situation and this Government’s hapless handling of the pandemic. Well 6 months or so later and, sadly, not a lot has changed has it?  It remains a very difficult scene but I felt the need to hit the keyboard again because I’m not looking forward to what further restrictions the PM may be announcing later this afternoon. You could say I’m writing this with some trepidation.

The reason is a tad selfish. We have been incredibly fortunate in being spared any personal contact with coronavirus within out family (touch wood) but like everybody we have had our normal life turned upside down and in some ways we feel like we have suffered some massive disappointments too. One of our closest and dearest friends passed away in March and against our inner feelings we followed the Government’s stringent ruling to not travel, and didn’t attend her funeral. We still haven’t forgiven ourselves for acting responsibly. Then we were denied the opportunity to fly to New York to visit our daughter Sarah on her significant birthday. We haven’t seen our youngest grandsons now since last Xmas and don’t know when we will be able to see them again. We’re currently missing her husband E’s significant birthday too. The guys are whale-watching at Cape Cod as I write – something we always wanted to share with the boys, as we did with our girls many years ago. Sigh.

For months we weren’t allowed to visit our daughter Rebecca in London, who because of her Down’s syndrome, really struggled to understand the situation. We were even denied visiting our daughter Emma in nearby Buckingham and our two other grandsons and son-in-law in the early lockdown period.

Once things eased slightly we did have a long w/e away with Emma and Rebecca and the lads in Whitby and that remains our only change of scenery this year. It was lovely to get away together but the town was absolutely thronged with visitors seemingly determined not to social distance nor wear face masks so we avoided the town largely and escaped to the beach for long walks.

We have been seeing our (UK-based) family as much as we can since then of course whilst still complying as much as possible with the Government’s constant tinkering with the safety regulations. We were looking forward enormously to attending my nephew’s wedding in a week’s time. You may remember me writing about his father, my brother Mark, who sadly and very suddenly passed away from dreadful cancer whilst we were having a break in Italy. We were determined to honour his memory at his eldest son’s marriage. We were still ok to attend the event when the numbers were reduced to no more than 30 guests but once the number got reduced to 15 (and that includes all officials, clergy, servers etc) we simply had to accept that we’d be unable to be accommodated. We were so sorry for the guys who have been planning this day for two years. It seems so hard on them but what can you do?  The location is in Blackpool and under local lockdown restrictions so even visiting the northern arm of our family is difficult at the moment. My father is 89 and my young sister is suffering from spinal cancer and we cannot easily visit for fear of compromising their health and wellness. Sigh.  We’ll try and catch up virtually with the wedding party on the big day.

So we resolved to make some use of the few days we’d set aside next week for the event and try and have a break somewhere, just Carol and I. We have booked a couple of days away down in Lulworth Cove – somewhere we’ve always fancied visiting. That’s a shot of the place at the top of the page and whatever weather turns up to greet us, we’ll just enjoy getting away. But this second wave of covid is getting really serious and worrying and the PM is set to announce his latest restrictions in an hour’s time. If he says that all non-essential travel is to be stopped again, then I’ll just despair. Or maybe just do the irresponsible thing this time and fuck off to the Jurassic coast and walk on that beach because we just feel that we need some pleasure in our lives. Something to remind us that life is OK and not hopeless.

Watch this space.


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About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

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