Bridget Barling

2020 – Cancelled.

Housewarming – Cancelled.

60th Birthday party – Cancelled.

Trip to New York – Cancelled.

Festivals and camping trips – Cancelled.

The highlights and punctuations of the year all gone, time feels weird, beige, distorted.

I struggle to know whether something happened last week or last month in this limbo land of waiting. 

Waiting for the virus to either attack or retreat.

Waiting for the vaccine to be approved and administered.

Waiting for freedom, joy, hugs, friends.

Some of us have spent the whole year isolated and alone, with too much time for our thoughts and fears to grow and fester. Fearing this invisible but deadly adversary in our midst.

Others cooped up with partners and children in a time bomb of frustration and petty resentments simmering in a broth of anxiety and lack of headspace. Escaping into novels and films, when physical escape is not possible.

Our daily walks the highlight of the day, the chance to possibly have a snatched conversation with a passing stranger, adding some variation and colour to our day.

There have been small advantages, such as cycling on main roads feeling relatively safe for a short while.

The reduction in traffic noise highlighting and seeming to amplify the dawn chorus. More time at home to notice the local wildlife in more detail.

Some amazing sunrises and sunsets. Small joys replacing the larger life affirming joys we used to share with our friends.

I do love my home – but I see it as a refuge from work – not somewhere to invite work in. I struggle to concentrate on work, whilst looking out of the window at jobs that need doing – and things I might rather be doing – feeling disconnected and uneasy. 

Staring at a distorted face on a screen listening vainly to catch their words as the internet distorts and hides them is a poor substitute for observing a real human walking into the room, reading their body language and movements knowing so much before they have even spoken. I struggle with this internet world we are forced to adapt. It feels unhealthy and alien to me.

But spring is coming (apparently the virus prefers cold damp conditions to warm dry conditions), the vaccine is coming, the is sunshine and light to look forward to. I am impatient for it!

  • Charcoal drawing – view from my bathroom
  • New Pond
  • Putting up the owl box
  • Felt trees at sunrise
  • Photo Sunset over the hill