Someone posted on Facebook this morning about the “good old days” which set me to thinking about my own personal good old days, BC (Before Coronavirus). It has now been a whole year since the start of the pandemic and the first lockdown. I look back at my diary from 2019 and see how crammed it was with lunch dates, events, trips out and appointments. Then I look at 2020, after March, and see blank page upon blank page. I’m keeping both diaries as an important reminder. 

Also on Facebook this morning was the sad announcement of the demise of a local folk club I used to belong to. It had been running for a number of years but will be financially unviable come the day when we can all get back to enjoying events such as these. There will be new rules and things are not ever going to be quite the same again, vaccine or no vaccine. Even the RHS is hedging its bets (excuse the weak pun) and putting the Chelsea Flower Show back to September this year. Glastonbury Festival isn’t happening, either. No doubt, other organisers will take their cue from these two major events in the social calendar. 

While some people are in a tearing hurry to get back to so-called “normal” lives again (and just look what happened when they tried it last year!) others, including several friends of mine, are much more cautious. They have become used to a different way of life, now, and it suits them. One has come to enjoy being at home more and relies on their weekly food deliveries rather than going out to the shops.  (This was someone who, like me, needed to get out of the house every day, or go mad.) Another says she has a renewed appreciation of her life, family and work and has re-evaluated her friendships, gently letting some of them go… thankfully, I don’t appear to be one of them!

For me, aside from seeing my friends, I am missing seeing live bands most of all and am afraid that, like the folk club organisers, the promoters might feel it’s not worth the hassle of starting the gigs up again if there are going to be so many new restrictions in place. I really hope my fears are unfounded.

I know that, for many, lockdown has been a nightmare and disaster. It has not been a total picnic for me, either, but I’m not going to dwell on the negatives today, just the positives.

I have had the constant company of my partner (otherwise known as the OH), without which I would most surely have gone right round the bend by now. He may not agree, of course, and I know he misses certain aspects of his job, but appreciates he is lucky he has been able to work from home all this time. He certainly doesn’t miss the horribly early starts, unreliable, crowded commute and very long days. 

We have been able to explore our local area more thoroughly, discovering walks and interesting places we weren’t aware of before.

I don’t drive, so it’s been really handy to have him here to take us on short local trips to shops, or wherever, without having to contend with unreliable public transport.

I have become involved in an online magazine, having regular weekly editing meetings on Zoom, and also contributing short writing pieces. This has had a profound effect on my self-esteem, which took a massive battering when I lost my much-loved job over three years ago. I feel needed, valued, useful and productive once more.

I have also been able to write more on here, and was gratified to receive an email from someone yesterday, who asked if I was OK, since they hadn’t seen any blogs from me for a while. I was touched, and assured them I would think of something soon. And here it is. I dedicate it to that person, and hope you have enjoyed reading it. I’ll be back…

Author: Hampton Caught

The rants and ramblings of an ex Deputy Fiction Editor of Woman's Weekly magazine.

3 thoughts on “A DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE”

    How nice to see a Hampton Caught post again, Although this is a shorter post than some previous it resonates on several points. The comparison of dairies with their lack of entries, the demise of local clubs and the cancellation or rescheduling of planned larger events that usually break up our year so pleasantly. Gratitude for the company of an OH strikes a chord too, as does the ‘gentle letting go of friendships’ mentioned. You certainly pick up on the general mood of appreciation and trepidation as we return to some sort of normality.

    Good to learn that you are back in the world of work and are enjoying being involved in the online magazine, a positive to be dwelled upon indeed amongst the negatives we are all bearing.

    Thank you for crediting my simple enquiry as to how you were, with the inspiration for writing on here again. I am delighted to read the blog I have missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karelann! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my blog and thank you again for your interest and the gentle nudge I needed to get back to writing it. Best wishes. Clare.


  2. Oh weren’t they the good old days! Lunches, coffee and cake meet ups, browsing in charity shops. Y
    I think you are right, the additional hoops that organisers will have to jump through to put on an event will put off many. Maybe by 2025 we’ll be back to pre-pandemic world. Hope so.


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