A MOST UNUSUAL YEAR

I’m sure that many of us, since the lockdown, have become more aware of the natural beauty that surrounds us. With the reduction in traffic noise it’s been uplifting to sit in the sun-drenched garden and listen to the birdsong. I for one felt it was almost like being on holiday.

But I have not been idle. I have written another novel, the sequel to my rom com Where There’s a Will, which I hope to publish later this year. I found having a daily routine helped to keep me focused on my writing and to block out some of the worry that goes with a pandemic. After breakfast I took a walk around the village, keeping to the social distancing guidelines of course, and came back to enjoy a cup of coffee in the garden. I wrote until lunchtime then continued writing in the afternoon until I broke for an afternoon cuppa whilst watching the daily Coronavirus update. This was followed by a glass of wine in the garden, listening to Mr Blackbird chattering away high up on a chimney pot, while the dinner was cooking.

One of the most entertaining pastimes has been watching the blackbirds foraging for food to feed their young which seems to be a full time job. The male blackbird in particular has been very active, gathering bugs and worms all day to take back to the nest in the laurel. Every time the soil was newly dug the blackbird was there, eager to see what had been unearthed. We followed the blackbirds’ progress daily, wondering when the juveniles would leave home, and came to the conclusion that the bird world has certain similarities to our own! Lately we have noticed the red kite winging its way across the sky; we are delighted because we haven’t seen it since last year. We’ve also enjoyed watching a pair of buzzards occasionally circling high above in the thermals until they disappear into the clouds. Another glorious sight is the swans and geese flying over in formation, squawking happily, the sun catching their wings.

Being prevented from visiting our family and friends has been one of the worst restrictions placed upon us. Our sons and daughters who have planned to get married this year must see some similarities with their grandparents’ weddings  immediately after the Second World War. Hopefully the ones who are getting married later this year will be able to go ahead with her plans, unlike others whose celebrations have had to be watered down or postponed.

Similarities to wartime include the food shortages, fearing for our loved ones and having to make do, but we are now fighting an invisible enemy which, in some respects, is even more difficult to overcome. We find ourselves in limbo waiting for a light at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel, and although our lives may never be the same again, we will look to the future and the New Normal.

Julie Newman

Email: julie3wwn@mypostoffice.co.uk

Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/J.A.Newman.author

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