Tuesday, January 5, 2021

New Year, new lockdown!

The whole nation is back in lockdown again. It had a certain inevitability about it really didn't it; people partying in huge groups with no social distancing, others just going about their lives as if everything was just how it had been before we heard the word 'Covid', the 'deny it all' brigade, the anti-vaccination front etc etc. 

With both of us being in the co-called 'vulnerable' group we've been 'shielding' since before the first lockdown so little has changed in relation to how we live. It just seems a lot more scary now with the new variant rampaging through the land. My heart goes out to those people who live alone, it must be unbearable. I keep in contact with friends via Social Media/Zoom which has helped enormously but it's still not the same as face-to-face contact with hugs!

Let's hope the vaccination programme goes smoothly.

As I mentioned Zoom I must share this cartoon which is so appropropriate in our household. It was sent to  me after a rather serious Zoom call during which Shelley kept making an appearance having rattled the door until she got in. When I shut her out of the room all you could hear was howling and scratching! Thankfully the rather senior dementia expert leading the discussion is a cat lover so understood the problem.

I felt rather guilty when I wrote that as it feels wrong to be jolly now doesn't it when so many people have lost their lives.

One of my nursing friends, the lovely Karen seen here in happier times when I'd just completed my 100th marathon, is living with 'Long Covid'. She is a senior MacMillan cancer nurse and in the first wave 2 of her staff were seconded to help with patients suffering from covid. They both lost their lives. Karen is still off work after many months.

The husband of another friend posted a photo of his beautiful wife in full protective clothing as she headed off for another 12 hour shift in the ICU. I found it incredibly moving but I won't show it here as it was a very personal snap taken by her worried but very proud husband.

Our nursing staff are angels and those people who have ignored the rules and made this dreadful situation even worse should be ashamed of themselves. This poem was posted in our Neighbourhood network recently and I think it's worth sharing:

Finally, and this is my last mention of the pandemic for now, the words of Arundhati Roy really resonated with me:

Right, let's put that aside for a while and have a catch-up!

I said goodbye to 2020 in an unusual way, which seemed rather appropriate. I've done plenty of marathons on New Years Day but I've never done anything on NYEve so when Rik announced his latest event I thought, yep, that sounds OK to me. It was called the New Year Chaser and I'll let Rik explain it{

Think you could run 1 mile, on the hour, every hour, for 6 or more hours - maybe up to 27 hours?. Well, here's an endurance challenge with a difference because starting at 10am UK time we're going to literally chase the New Year's Eve celebrations around the globe, by running 1 mile on the hour every hour and welcoming in each New Year around the planet; beginning with Samoa & Christmas Island and finishing with Baker and Howland Islands, the outlaying US. We're going to virtually take you around the world from New Zealand, to Australia, through the Far East, Europe, London, South America and the USA and each hour we'll run another mile and welcome in another New Year in yet another country! 

Well that piqued my interest and after Mike's eye-roll and agreement I signed up with a view to completing 12 hours with some runs outside and some on the treadmill. It was a unique experience and great fun with huge respect to those doing the 27 hours. I recorded my 1st, halfway and last times on the treddy and was rather surprised that I got faster!

Just before dark I did a lap of the land to check on the sheep and took a couple of photos as a reminder:

Having finished at 10pm it was time to break open the champagne which was most welcome!

Then the next morning it was back out for another challenge, to run every day in January, which I do every year. This time I decided to cut my mileage down - I couldn't believe it when I totalled my mileage for 2020 - it was 3123 miles, mostly virtual ultras/marathons!!! My highest annual mileage ever. So I'm doing 5k a day with a view to getting some speed back into these old legs, not that I've ever really been speedy.

Time for a knitting update. I'm really enjoying Snowy Forest and have just finished the cabled section on the yoke, with plenty of help from Shelley of course.

First there was the swatching. I started with the 4ply together with a black mohair, then a blue mohair, but the fabric was too flimsy and didn't get the correct gauge so I tried the blue and black together but didn't like the colour although the fabric was perfect. Having rummaged around in my stash I found a light grey mohair and it combined beautifully with the 4ply and the black mohair (centre swatch).

It matched my pinafore dress......

.....and Shelley!

My old cardigan is very useful when using a cable needle. When I thought about it I realised that this was the first cardigan I made using an alpaca mix yarn and it must be over 30 years old as I made it when we lived in our flat in greater London, and there's still no pilling!

I wish you all a safe and healthy 2021, wherever you are in the world. Take care and let's beat this virus.