It’s all a bit weird…

Its all a bit weird and strange isn’t it?  The world is suddenly a very different place.  Our lives have changed radically .  A lot of what we were used to doing we can no longer do.  A strong lesson in impermanence!

I must admit it all threw me off course for a little while.  I must admit to not taking this virus seriously enough at first – I never really believed that it would be this dangerous and as widespread. I always try to look at things calm without catastrophising.   Obviously I was completely wrong! It is something to take very seriously indeed.

I am okay at home.  I had a very stressful and worrying few days when I thought that I would have to leave here and go elsewhere.  Fortunately I have a lovely friend who was fully prepared to welcome myself, my two cats and my dog into her home.  I think that we are both truly thankful that that didn’t happen.  We get on very well – but her flat is very small!  I miss my girls who are with their Dad.  However, I know that they are safe and looked after.  And we have FaceTime, texts etc.  I am okay here with Pretzel, JD and Smirnoff.  Pretzel and I have just had our one trip out for a walk for the day on Bexhill beach staying well away from others.  The cats come and go as they always do – they are currently asleep on Callie’s bed.  It is actually really lovely to have space and time to read, sew, crochet, meditate, watch a bit of TV and just be.  Life can get very hectic normally.

I do feel sorry for those who feel very isolated and alone though.  It must be very tough for those who haven’t got access to the Internet and / or people checking in on them.  I am also in awe of those wonderful people working in hospitals and care homes risking their lives in many cases and working extremely hard.  Also those working in supermarkets having to deal with stressed shoppers looking for toilet rolls and pasta.  There are a lot of people (Keyworkers) still working very hard.

And what about those poor teenagers who have spent the last couple of years studying hard for GCSEs and A Levels?   This must have thrown them a bit of a curve ball!

This is making me realise what is important to me.  Family, friends, a safe place to live. I am fortunate that I don’t mind a simple life. I enjoy being on my own. I have time to meditate, read, sew, work on a spreadsheet for the local hospice. When we get back to “normality” I hope that I continue to live spaciousness, calmly and peacefully.

If this hadn’t of happened; if we were living normally – not in lockdown – I would have been at my Sangha evening earlier.  I was planning to build a shrine to Amoghasiddhi, the fearless dark green Buddha of the North.  Instead I sat at home, in my caravan, and worked on a spreadsheet.

So this evening, I consider myself to be lucky.  The caravan site hasn’t closed its doors to us.  I have a home; I have food; I have my pets.  I can talk to family and friends on line.  I can read, sew, sleep comfortably.  I can play Zoo Tycoon, watch Law and Order SVU.  Once a day I can take my Pretzel out for a walk.  I can meditate, reflect and continue my study of the Five Buddha Mandala.

I am not sure that I would be taking it all so well a couple of years ago. The Three Jewels help me to stay balanced and calm. This human life is precious. It is full of suffering and impermanence but it is precious and can be joyful.

At last a little normality and space

I saw a woodpecker today – feeding on the suet balls that someone had hung on a tree outside my caravan. I didn’t believe it at first but he kept coming back. It’s hard to explain or even know why this made me so happy and excited. The last time I saw one was years ago when I lived in the country – four woodpeckers – mum, dad and two babies – pecking at the grass. And then there was a squirrel 🐿 hanging upside down trying to get at the feeders. Of course, I have seen plenty of these in the last few years at the park. Was still exciting to see it from my settee though!  I wouldn’t even have noticed these things a few days ago!

Concentrating on my work properly today – catching up on emails and ticking a couple of things off my to do list.  Arranging long over due meetings.  And a trip around the supermarket with my daughter – doing a proper shop;  a planned shop.  Not just a supermarket dash type affair for a few random things.  A leisurely shower.  Managing to read a chapter of a book without falling asleep.

I feel as if I am slowly escaping the stress of the past few weeks.  I am still tired.  I still ache.  The bruise on my ribs from where I fell off off the chair I was standing on is still in evidence – and hurts.  But I have experienced some normal.

And I love this life.  The caravan needs some tweaks (decking outside to prevent a very naughty, speedy little Pretzel from escaping, a bigger fridge freezer, better beds for my girls…) but it is home.  My daughters still need chance to get used to it – the smallness of the bedrooms and the eccentricities of the shower.

So I can see a few more days adjusting, trying to catch up on sleep and then I can continue my journey properly.  Of course, this has all been part of my journey but now I can be more intentional again.

The joys of normality and space.

Another busy day


Another day of unpacking and trying to find a home for far to much stuff!  I still cannot work out how to use the oven so no pizza for me this evening!  Pretzel has escaped three times because she just dashes out the door at top speed whenever it is opened…  Need to get the fenced decking sorted so that she is better contained.  And I have looked at the launderette – so complicated!  What is this card I have to use?  Arghhh.

Despite the tedious unpacking and the odd problems, I have had a good day.  I have no deadline – for the first time in weeks.  I can get things done at my own pace.  I enjoyed my short trip into Hastings.  I enjoyed waking around the site with Pretzel trying to get my bearings.  I now have caravan envy – some of the vans are so wonderful.  I have found some ideas for decking though.  Lots of people were siting outside today in the sunshine.  Some were sitting at the Club House – I haven’t ventured there yet.  Would be a lot nicer with someone to go with.  I am currently Billy No Mates lol.

I am falling in love with this place.  My van is in a really good spot…  Not too noisy.  I like the compactness of it.  I stayed with a friend who lives in a 4 berth touring van a couple of times last year – I loved the simplicity of it.   I remember it as a very peaceful home.  My van is a lot bigger and I have so much more stuff!  And I will have two teenagers living here too.  But I still love it.  The site is strangely quiet considering its size and the number of families who live here.  and all of the vans and plots are different.  I loved the little bit of Hastings I experienced too.  I am excited to see more.

As I was unpacking, I started realising that there is a lot of things that I haven’t had a chance to do recently – reading, crochet, walking.  I want to do more art – maybe mandalas.  I have not had the chance to meet up with friends.  I haven’t meditated enough.  I haven’t been to the park or the beach.  I have missed so many Sangha nights because I was in Hereford.    I haven’t even cooked myself proper meals.   My life has consisted of driving, packing, grieving and organising…   And today I realised that I had got into the habit of collapsing on the settee at the end of the day with Netflix / Amazon Prime and a drink.  Not skillful at all.  I have also realised that it is going to be very difficult to get back into good habits / skillful living again.