Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Challenges & constants...

So much for my intentions...

The end of February, March and April disappeared with not much thought of daily photos. I made a rash spur of the moment decision to apply for a job in a hospital at the other end of the country, was shortlisted and visited to take a look at the place and the team, managing to coincide it with their first Covid-19 case. Amidst the ensuing flurry of reorganisation and planning, no-one had time to talk to me, I only met the outgoing post-holder and spent a couple of days trying to decide if the area was always that bereft of life and activity, or if this was the 'Covid effect'. 

I cut short my trip, returned to my unit and work family of 35 years and decided this was a completely ridiculous time to be thinking about such a massive move - combination of loyalty to my colleagues and complete disbelief that the place I was considering was pushing ahead with recruitment without any opportunity to meet prospective colleagues. I rather suspect I would have been 'interview fodder' and that there was an easy to appoint local candidate lined up. Decision made, application withdrawn and within 10 days we were entering lockdown with the prospect of difficult times ahead on the work front and in our personal lives.

It has been challenging - our usual roles and working patterns have been upended as services have been shelved, staff redeployed and we all focused on the 'job in hand'. In my nursing career to date, I have never seen anything quite like it and my heart goes out to those patients and families affected. The resilience and compassion of colleagues - both clinical and non-clinical has, so far, been admirable. We are a long way off from being out of the other side of this as yet but we are coping, we are, for the most part, retaining a sense of humour and we believe passionately that we will continue to do our jobs, whatever that throws at us, to the best of our ability.  

I have still randomly taken some photos - mainly in appreciation of the fact that the natural world continues unabated. The birds sing, the feeders are emptied apace, the Spring bulbs have come and gone and the bare tree branches are clothed with fresh green leaves. 

So these are my reminders of the things that continue, the reassurance that the default position is for life to go on. I don't think things will ever be entirely the same but the flowers will still follow their pattern, the seasons will move on and, who knows, perhaps there are opportunities ahead in some form or another...

These are in no particular order; wintery trees in early February and my eldest son's birthday - 31years since this precious and incredible new person appeared in our lives, and a container of geraniums and lobelia that has continued to flower all winter. Daffodils, hyacinths, anemones, grape hyacinths and tulips all a little ahead of themselves I think, thanks to the warm weather in March and early April. A jay that has taken to hoovering up the mealworms in the birdfeeder, clumsily hanging there but at less than 3 foot from my window a treat to see. Blossom opening on the tiny apple tree I planted last year and a froth of blossom on one of my walks against the blue sky. Pretty heuchera flowers, also one of last years newcomers - the pleasure I have had from these reliable perennials rewarding my efforts by reappearing is immeasurable. And a bunch of flowers from my lovely 31 year old for mother's day - a 3 months worth gift of flowers and the kindest words as he acknowledges that I can't 'do' mother's day for my Mum this year.

As April moves on the petals of the tulips take on a translucence in the sunshine before they fall, the garden is filling out and there is enough warmth for coffee at my little table in the courtyard. The tiny flowers of lungwort up close reveal a myriad of colour not immediately noticeable from a distance. I extend my walks to footpaths within reach of my city home I didn't know were there, negotiating the 'social distancing dance' around other walkers and trying very hard not to mind that I am always walking on my own. Another beautiful bunch of flowers from my son and the heady scent of wisteria around a local church. On my Mum's birthday, the first of the year of her favourite flowers, sweet peas from seed saved from her garden last year, subtle shades of cream and pink, with the tinge of pick blushing stronger one the next few days. And after I succumb to the virus and have to self-isolate at home - a rainbow appears on my living room wall and the milkman leaves an  unexpected delivery just at the point I ran out of milk.

These are strange times and there is much to feel sad about. But also things to be uplifted by and soothed by. Here's to milkmen, postal workers, bin men and all the other unsung heroes that keep us all going. And to the people who clap and sing and let us know all key workers are in their thoughts - the staying at home bit is not easy either so hats off to us all.

Keep safe and well. 
S x

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