It’s been hard for everyone in lockdown. We are lucky that we have quite a large home which means we can each have a room to ourselves if we want a bit of space, and a fairly spacious garden, which we’ve been able to enjoy in this lovely spring/early summer weather. Being able to sit out in the garden in early evening with a cup of coffee or cheeky glass of something alcoholic has been very welcome.
My heart goes out to all those living in flats or houses with no gardens. That must be so hard. Similarly, those who have had to self isolate or shield, and having to stay indoors, all these months must have been a nightmare. It’s no wonder there has been a rise in mental health issues and dementia in the elderly.
Speaking of the elderly, my 85-year-old mum has chosen to self-isolate given her age. She doesn’t look her age and has kept fairly fit by walking all through her life and eating reasonably well. She has a small garden front and back and loves to garden so that’s kept her busy. She’s not the best at technology so getting her a computer or tablet was out of the question. She has mainly kept in touch through her phone. Her phone bill is through the roof but then it’s a small price to pay, she says, for keeping in touch with family and friends.
Mark and I have shopped for her weekly and picked up essentials as and when as well. She’s also had help from my niece Jessica and my sister’s ex-husband Mike (he’s always been good to her).
This last week she decided enough was enough and, as she was going stir crazy, she wanted to start venturing out. Jessica, her grandaughter, took her to a supermarket and to the bank and Mike, Jessica’s dad, took her to a garden centre.
She’s always loved a trip into Cowbridge with me. She loves browsing the charity shops, window shopping and a spot of lunch at one of our favourite Cowbridge haunts, Happy Days Vintage Home Store. Happy Days has over thirty stalls of eclectic, the unusual, the up-cycled, the beautiful and the retro. It’s a real treasure trove of interesting items for the home and we both love it there. And a great cafe area with lovely food (not open until next week – 4th August).
I thought it would be good to take her there as she loves it and feels comfortable there. We bumped into owner Cath while we were there, and they were able to share stories of lockdown as Cath’s mum is in her 70s and also feels nervous about going out again.
I did notice that mum had slowed up quite a bit and she said it was because her legs hurt. Probably because she hadn’t been walking much and it’s like they say, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. I wasn’t overly concerned about this and felt sure that with more walking, they would be back to normal in no time.
Even though we only went into the charity shops and Happy Days, a few ladies paid me compliments about my dress, which was nice. I’ve spent most of lockdown in joggers, t-shirt and a sports cap. Mum likes me to dress up and put a bit of make-up on and has often commented that in my joggers, I look like a boy. She’s not far wrong. On one occasion, when a chap passed me in the aisle, he said “sorry pal!”
As lockdown eases and more shops, cafes and restaurants open again, the town of Cowbridge will hopefully be back to its bustling, busy self. It was quite sad to see it so deserted. I really feel for the business owners. Hopefully not long now! Perhaps as time goes on, mum’s anxiety will also ease, and we can venture out again.
When? 30th July 2020
Dress F&F at Tesco (old)
Photography Mark Roberts
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