Am I still on holiday?

Waking up to bright sunshine, chorus of birds and blue blue skies I have that holiday feeling.  A whole day ahead of me to do with what I like. Yes, I have a ‘to do’ list but none of it is that pressing.  After my morning exercise class, I can choose what order to do the rest of the stuff – or not to do. Yesterday I just went to bed for a siesta because I had one of my nocturnal insomnia nights.  Still awake when the night owls were hooting and when the birds began their morning chorus. And when  Mo the  cat, covered in bits of bush, jumped on my face demanding breakfast.  I told her in no uncertain terms, that breakfast is not until past 8 am and it is only 5.  Think she understood as, after her night out doing whatever cats do all night – she settled down and fell asleep on my bed.  She is most definitely  a DLSO (dirty little stop out)

I like this holiday feeling – it is quite liberating.  And if I ignore news alerts and don’t watch any of the news programmes, I could be forgiven for thinking this is a great way to live.  But of course, it isn’t, and I apologise for those who are having a hard time and of course for the thousands that are sick and have died. For those who have lost their jobs, who cannot afford to eat, who are cramped up with small children in a confined space and for the thousands of asylum seekers with whom I used to work  prior to lock down.

So, as one of the privileged ones,  I am taking morning coffee on the terrace. The views over the garden are glorious. But then out of the corner of my eye I spy the same blackbird as earlier in the week and in  its very yellow beak is a twig.   Wtf – I scream.  I climb on a chair and there sitting between the two fences is an even bigger nest.  The third one in a week. This is just one determined bird. What doesn’t it get? I am not being malicious, but this isn’t a good place to build a nest. Not if you want any of your offspring to survive.  So, I carefully lift it out and take it to the bottom of the garden where climbing a ladder, deposit it high up in a tree.  I left a note “Dear Blackbird, for safety reasons I have moved your nest to a safe place at the bottom of the garden in the tall maple tree on the left, next to the big old Oak. Just hope she can find it. I did think of leaving a trail of breadcrumbs but with the cat in mind, thought better of it.   FYI moving birds’ nests is illegal and one has to apply for a licence to do this! Another illegality to add to my already long list.


Holiday mood was suddenly dissipated when I remembered I had a midday Zoom meeting with a solicitor to write my Will. I did think of delaying it   — again but realised it has to be done.  And it is done!  But it certainly killed the holiday spirit. I had to address matters that I would rather have not thought about. This mortality thing is a hard one.  And because there is less time ahead of me than there is behind me, it is a bit scary.  Obviously, it is a fact of life that we are all going to die. Some sooner than others as we all know only too well. But that doesn’t negate the fact that I just don’t do well with this death stuff.  And I have had a lot of practice – not with dying but with watching others die. I sat with my best friend, my mother, my brother and my husband.  And it doesn’t get any easier. There you are – living with a whole gamut of experiences, emotions, energy and dreams and then suddenly you are not there anymore.  So where do you go?  What happens to all that stuff in your brain.  Why couldn’t the brilliance of Tod’s brain be transferred into my inferior one? It  is such a waste.

I suppose for those who have a belief it helps. I  am quite envious of them. If you think you are going to ‘heaven’ and you will meet your loved ones, maybe it is not so scary or upsetting. And I suppose for some quite a nice thought. But me – – well I have a sneaky feeling that it is all just a bit random.

When my girlfriend was dying, I asked her if she felt scared and she replied. “It is just the last of life’s big adventures and I am going to be there  a bit sooner than the rest of you. “

I fear I might have put a damper on what started out so well with the lovely holiday spirit. So, I am going to end in the same way that I started.

Sitting on my terrace with a few nice nibbles, a glass of single malt, chatting with my son and contemplating how I am going to spend tomorrow. Hopefully not destroying nest number 4!

“Happiness doesn’t always come from a pursuit. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it.” – Dalai Lama

“Let’s be careful out there”