Breaking Bland

Posted on: 28 Aug 2020

Ok, with reference to the title, perhaps one of the good things to come out of the craziness of these last few months is the discovery of "Breaking Bad". I'd heard of it, made my judgements based on what I was told and the way I was told it; "not for me that kind of rubbish". Well I was wrong, it's very well written and it keeps you guessing. A good (for once) bit of TV.

They've been hard months these months since lockdown was first sprung on us in March, not just for me, for everyone. They must have been - I've been watching a bit of TV! I know I've been affected by it, I know so has everyone else - perhaps in ways we can't even acknowledge yet because we don't yet fully know.

My beloved hills have become more important than ever, but using them has been a struggle in itself. Those wide open spaces, the very same spaces where it is easiest to get away from other people, had been closed off to us.

*Official closures somehow not as real as hostilities.

Strange choices.

I could freely walk around my tiny little local park, brushing shoulders with ignorant swines who have no intention of staying 2 metres apart, nor of showing any courtesy or respect towards others that do. Yet I couldn't go to my hills, where I could walk around all day without any human contact at all.

Where was I most likely to be catching (or spreading) Covid-19?

In a way, I quite envy the recklessness of the "covidiots" - they haven't let a thing like lockdown ruin their lives, they've just carried on as normal, written it off as a conspiracy and stood resolute in their refusal to comply. Doesn't mean I want to be brushing shoulders with them down on The Moss.

I haven't joined their ranks, I've been compliant, I've been sensible, I've tried to protect myself from others and others from me...

*Apart from getting in a fight outside boots with some dipstick that not only left the car engine running but drove to the shop next door (yes, next door!) and did the same again (he didn't think the environment mattered anymore now there's covid and didn't appreciate his behaviour being challenged so he tried to punch me! Obviously he wasn't worried about social distancing either 😃)

... I've (sorry, we've) stayed out of the crowds, stayed away from the idiots, stayed away from our friends and our families and allowed the restrictions imposed to shrink our world to a size that is unbearably small.

In Wales, we had to tolerate that extra layer of restriction that directly results from the inequality in our society - rich folks over in England with second homes in Wales never had a 5 mile exclusion zone to live with. We couldn't visit our hills and mountains, even local ones, because of the threat of overwhelming cottage hospitals. Like it's not enough that much of the population of Wales has to live with the poverty left behind once the hillsides had been raped of all their slate and the ground emptied of it's coal.
That 5 mile restriction was not aimed at us, it was aimed at those people with the second homes, and the visiting masses who drive to Snowdonia and stay anyway despite there being nowhere to park, but it was the resident people of Wales who suffered, as it always is.

Anyway, things are opening up, people are on the move again. The most important thing it seems in British lives is that we all get back to shopping and then everything will be fine.

It's not fine.

But, as the butterfly emerges from it's pupae so too are we beginning to emerge from the crusty skin of our house.

Friday last was a good day, from my early shift in work we headed straight off for the mountains - not where the crowds are around Snowdon but a quieter peak and one I love, and through swarms of flying ants we made our way up there - into the clouds - where the ants cleared in the cooler air and we had a lovely stop up top - the cloud dropped and we had that rare and lovely treat of standing up on rocks above them, in glorious sunshine with a mountain summit almost completely to ourselves (after the youths with their music on the trig point buggered off).

I felt like me again. I felt alive again. I felt the mountain re-charging me every step of the way.

Speaking of charge, how spectacular was the lightning Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights? I watched mesmerised for 2 nights, on the third night, the rain was lashing down and I ran home from work in it.

I felt more alive than I have felt in months; Molly can feel the lightning in her arms and hands - I told her not to see what the internet says about it but she did - she said people who get struck by lightning often feel it just before - the thought was fresh in my head as I felt my own arms start to tingle whilst  the lightning cracked around me  - definitely didn't feel bland 😁.

My friends sister lives in a terrace, the house next door but one to her got struck, and the power of the zap blew all the plug sockets out of her walls, not just frazzled the cables, literally blasted the sockets out of the walls 😲!

Anyway, it has taken ages to finish this blog. All time references you just read are wrong by at least week, most likely more. I wasn't sure of where I was going with it nor certain of what I was trying to say. I've come to realise that perhaps that is precisely the point.

None of us know where things are going right now. None of us are certain what will change, or how quickly. We don't know if we'll be keeping our jobs or what will be happening with schools - and even if Covid-19 by some miracle is all sorted by Christmas, we will stumble into a New Year where we're not a part of Europe anymore.

Language teachers by the way are already losing their jobs because of that choice. Not so much "ugh, bloomin' Poles coming over here taking our jobs", more like bloomin' Brit's, voting to leave Europe and doing themselves out of jobs! I know the ones who ticked the "leave" box won't see it that way. It would take a better person than me to convince them of personal responsibility too.

Maybe I'll get back to my running again, maybe I won't. For now I'm finding happiness with my Molly walking through the wimberry bushes on the hillsides she knew as a wee girl. 


And I am certain of only one thing; when I said to my boy that I would rather die giving him a hug than live in a world where paranoia says we can't - I meant it.

I mean it still.

Something doesn't sit right about protecting the lives of the weak, the elderly, and those of self neglect, with scant regard for the well-being of the kids.

Nature says "survival of the fittest" - by what logic did our Governments think they are going to over-ride that?

I very much doubt that Gaia is finished with us yet.

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