I did wrestle with this week’s title, as given the current pandemic and the financial effect on people’s lives, it felt like a humble brag. But, Mr S and I have worked hard to pay off our mortgage, not one penny has come from gifts or inheritance and we have earnt every penny we have paid over the past 19 years. Mr S is very financially astute and has ensured that if we ever had a few extra pounds in the joint account it went to the mortgage account, and these little amounts add up over time. Some periods were hard, when the children were young we both worked part time to ensure a parent was always at home, so our income was lower than it is today, but we ensured we had a lifestyle to reflect our means. We have considered moving a couple of times, a 4th bedroom would be useful, but the balance between an increased mortgage and the bedroom meant we have stayed here, we have the room in our house for us to live comfortably. It was a strange feeling paying off the final amount, we used a little of our savings so a few clicks and it was done. It felt like the sort of occasion when we should have gone out to lunch to celebrate but as we’re in lockdown it was lunch at home and just getting on with the day. However, I did feel a sense of pride when Little Man and I came back from our walk this morning and approached the house with the knowledge that its all ours.
It is nice to have a positive in what has been a really difficult week of the pandemic. The number of deaths this week have been the highest of the pandemic and the situation feels really scary. I continue to work and the daily Lateral Flow tests cause anxiety and relief. We wear more PPE now and it all seems so unreal when you pause to think about it all. In years to come we’ll look back on this period with disbelief.
However, I have been distracting myself when at home and here are some of my sparkles.
- Steven Attenborough. Little Man has brought home from school this image of his new hero, Steven Attenborough. No matter how many times we tell him its David Attenborough, he insists its Steven and its kind of stuck now. His topic at school is animals and I think they’re watching a lot of Attenborough clips. Its lovely to see his interest in the natural world and at dinner time he has been telling us about different species of animals, the most dangerous, biggest etc..
- Video Recordings. Today, Little Man and I went to our local country park ( a few minutes walk from our house) to prepare for his Scout project, a video or animation of a local attraction. I was camera man and he was to introduce different things about the country park on film. After a few repeated attempts we did manage to record clips and take photos ready for him to put together tomorrow. It was a stunning day, cold but beautiful blue skies and it will be a nice little memento of a lockdown Saturday. We walked for around 5 miles which helps another Scouts project as they try to record their mileage for a month.
- The Marvellous Mrs Maizel. We’ve just started watching this series and have watched 5 episodes so far this week. I love it, its so beautiful with the fashion, décor and music from the 1950s and this style brings as much to the series as the storyline.
- New slippers. Its the little things which make you happy in lockdown and with my sad, worn slippers looking a little pathetic, its lovely to have a new pair. Normally I wouldn’t get that excited about slippers, but hey ho its lockdown.
- Fresh flowers. Mr S does the food shopping online and kindly added a bunch of fresh flowers to the order as a surprise. Fresh flowers are one of those things I miss in lockdown and it was lovely to see them blossoming in the kitchen this week.
- I Found You by Lisa Jewell. I need to switch off every night before I go to bed so always read my Kindle under the covers. This is a good book and I am intrigued, perfect escapism.
- The Presidential Inauguration. It felt like there was a worldwide sigh of relief as Joe Biden became president of the USA this week and much of the rhetoric has been on recovery, unity and hope. I was wowed by two women on Wednesday. Kamala Harris as the first female VP woman, a role model for us all and Amanda Gorman, the American youth poet laureate. Her inauguration poem blew me away and I hope we can all live by her words.
Its difficult at present, when there’s no plans, to look forward to in the coming week. It is simply one day at a time. I was expecting January to be tough but thought life would look more hopeful by the end of the month Whilst the number of vaccinations is high, the lockdown remains essential and I think we’ll still be in lockdown for a while yet.