It’s not at all surprising that the oft-repeated messages from government telling us to stay home, keep our distance from each other, look but don’t touch are making us all look inwards, rather than outwards.
I gather, for example, that the sale of jigsaw puzzles and board games has been, to coin a much-overused word, unprecedented. In the interests of family harmony this may
not necessarily be a good thing. Take my family, for instance, and the annual Ball Family Championship played out every Boxing Day when our Foursome were young. We would work our way through every board game we possessed (or, at least, all those with no pieces
missing), painstakingly recording every score until we had exhausted our supply and a winner was proclaimed. But, oh, the arguments along the way - every year, we vowed never to do it again. Come the next Boxing Day and everyone was clamouring to play out
the Ball Family Championship. We never learnt...
On the whole, however, I am a person who prefers looking outwards, rather than inwards - and never more so in
these trying times. Fortunately I have a kitchen window which looks out onto the road where we live - and it has become my view onto the world outside and vice versa.
It started in the days just before the first Lockdown when the Rascally Trio presented me with the beautiful rainbow they had made, all colourful bobbles stuck onto a sheet of blue card to represent the sky. While other rainbows have gradually disappeared
from people’s windows over the months since then, mine has stayed firmly in place - a promise of better times ahead to anyone who walks by and might happen to spot it still hanging on in there in all its bobble-ness.
Next there was the Bear Hunt. Children on their daily walk / exercise were encouraged to look out for teddy bears in the windows of the houses they passed. Obviously I couldn’t pass up on such
an opportunity to participate so out came Mother Bear to sit expectantly in our front window. I had to prop her up on an old biscuit tin or she wouldn’t have been visible from the road outside. I wasn’t at all sure whether anyone had actually spotted
her, I was half thinking about removing her - until I happened to be washing up at the kitchen sink one morning and witnessed the delight of a littl’un jumping up and down as she pointed out Mother Bear to her parents. Which made me think that one never
knows who will appreciate my efforts to look out, not in.
On Remembrance Day, I fixed a poppy poster, downloaded from the Royal British Legion website. It’s
still on display in the kitchen window because I can’t bring myself to remove it. There it is, along with the rainbow picture, Mother Bear, a selection of orchids in various stages of growth (or dormancy) and a bunch of orange roses chosen for their
cheerfulness. Given my track record, it will probably still be there in the window this time next year.
My latest effort to show the world beyond our garden gate
that we are still alive and happily engaged with life outside is an empty wine bottle filled with multi-coloured flickering lights, a present from my Little Sister and her fella. I have two more flickering bottles cheering up our dinner table every evening
- but it seems selfish to keep the joy all to ourselves so that’s yet another addition to our increasingly cluttered kitchen windowsill.
say anything, it is perfectly true that I can never know if anyone at all is looking in.
All I do know is that, thanks to my cluttered kitchen window sill, my
window to the outside world, I am still looking out...