Despite the best efforts of the latest briefings from Downing Street to dampen our spirits, life for Mr B and for me seems, miraculously, to be opening up.
Mostly this is due to the daily progress on the Room Outdoors Project which is taking shape before our very eyes, beyond the patio doors. Despite a rainy day which forced a stoppage yesterday, play has now been resumed in
our back garden and, boy, is it exciting!
Handy Andy says the frame on which the decking sits is so strong I could park a car on it. Clearly he has never
watched me trying to park my car or he wouldn’t make so rash a claim. I am possibly the World’s Worst Parker. Then, the following day, he suggests I could have a whole brass band playing on it, without a problem. This, inevitably, gives me ideas
of summer concert evenings, with live music playing on the decking before an invited (socially distanced) audience of favoured friends and family. I could invite my friend Roland to bring his ukelele group along to entertain. Granddaughter Hazel Bagel and
her fellow Arts Ed students could perform their latest routines from Moulin Rouge and wow an audience of musical theatre impresarios (as yet unknown to me) whom I will invite to watch (once I track them down.) All the world (for “world”, substitute
“decking”) is a stage...
There is still quite a bit of work to be completed next week but I am now able to try out the new threshold ramp I have purchased
to bridge the small gap between the living room floor and the decking. I will practise using the Giant Penguin sitting in the wheelchair in place of Mr B, the GP being considerably more compliant than Mr B. We (the Giant Penguin and I) will try out the ramp
with both wheelchairs, the self-propelling one which Mr B refuses to propel, and the smaller, red wheelchair which he prefers not to use because it is in “Arsenal colours.” He isn’t entirely joking.
Can you imagine the feeling of freedom for Mr B, who is used to being more or less confined to one room? In the Room Outdoors, life will feel so much more worth living, so outward-looking if you know what I mean. Our diary
is already filling up with people who can join us there, including a visit from the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys and their parents and a long-anticipated Brothers and Sisters Day which has had to be postponed for a couple of years now, for various reasons
and will be making a welcome return next month.
For me, too, there have been some welcome signs of normality returning. A splendid morning out with the Birdy Group,
our first gathering for over fifteen months; lunches out with friends; a free Picnic in the Park at beautiful Parham House and Gardens, organised by Carers West Sussex. At the latter event, I met up with a tortoise named Romeo who seemed intent on making an
escape; he moved a great deal faster than I imagined any tortoise could manage. He, too, it seemed was experiencing a Taste of Freedom. Apparently there is a Juliet at home but she turns out to be male rather than female. That’s life...
Next week, when the Youngest of the Darling Daughters pays us one of her (blessedly) regular visits, I have booked an outing to one of the jewels in Worthing’s crown - Highdown
Gardens. Like Mr B and me, it is just opening up after a long closure caused not just by the pandemic but also by some major heritage works. The gardens are one of our favourite places so we know it well - but I’ve downloaded a couple of garden trails
to follow. One of them is a Kids’ Trail which, as you can imagine, will suit us down to the ground.
Then, yet another Sign of the Times - an email from our
Sporting Memories club to say that we should be able to reconvene towards the end of July! Oh, joy for a return to our weekly Thursday mornings arguing over the latest results from football, cricket, tennis, rugby according to season; reminiscing over sports
personalities of the past and debating how they compare to those of today; and (hopefully) devouring Rhona’s latest batch of delicious biscuits.
that news was the icing on our Freedom Cake!