Hazel Stevens is a Writer and Story Teller from Wigtown in Dumfries and Galloway and this is her story.
Its been five months since I saw my youngest daughter, yet I saw her last week, okay it may have been on a video call, one of regular occurrences lately, but at least I saw her. My eldest daughter lives locally and though it was weeks before I saw her and our Grand kids, again seeing them on the computer screen it really didn’t seem like that.
What was rather strange is that before lock down I longed for time at home! Yes it’s true, I was writing a sequel to my début novel you see, and I had a deadline to submit it to my publisher. Lock down, for me, meant time to work on it, edit and re edit and meet the deadline.
Of course I couldn’t go about my business, promoting my first novel and my children’s stories. With the latter I had been going into schools, reading and organising activities derived from the stories. Along with U3a meetings and various other clubs and groups I belong to.
When we moved to Scotland, ten years ago, I asked what people did to pass the time and was told if I wasn’t careful I’d be doing something all day, every day. Believe me wasn’t that the truth! It was becoming ridiculous and I felt I didn’t have time for me, for just the two of us, well three if, along with my other half, you include our dog. So suddenly we found we had all the time in the world and the weather was superb, long warm days found us both in the garden; creating new spaces; painting outside; cutting wood and filling the log stores; generally giving the whole of our outside space a good sorting out and tidy up, ‘What shall we do all summer?’ I asked.
Of course, as it does, the weather changed and bright sunny days became wet and wild. We took refuge inside and I started to sew. I make Linus Project quilts, little patch work quilts made as a hug for children in hospitals and refuges. I messaged our co-ordinator to ask how many had I made so far. Seemed I’d done 85, sounds a lot, but in the 8 or 9 years I’d been making them well perhaps not so many. Anyhow I set myself a goal of making another 15 to reach 100. It became a bit of an obsession and I was sewing everyday for several weeks. I made it though and reached my goal, I cheated with one or two, making baby quilts from one single piece of material, a whole quilt we call them. I was so proud of my 15 quilts, I laid them all out on our sofa and took a photo of them, which I put on Facebook, loads of people liked my post, so I was well pleased.
Lockdown eased and we could start to travel more and meet up with one other household outside, so we were able to see our eldest daughter and her family. We spent several afternoons on a nearby beach, glad it was very quiet, beaches usually are in our area, yes aren’t we the lucky ones.
My other half has itchy feet and is longing to get back with his walking group. Also to get away travelling in our motor home. He’s been pouring over map books for several days this last couple of weeks. He does, however, start his voluntary work at the museum shortly, I’ll miss him, you see he is my best friend along with being my other half. I have loved the time we have had together; just the two of us. Of course we have kept in touch with friends on the phone or via messenger. A couple of times, I have sat in the car outside one friend’s house while she has sat in her hall having a chat. To be honest it’s been enough. Yes, I’m not sure what day it is, but oh the joy of not having to clock watch because I’ve a group or meeting to go to! Before lockdown it was hospital and doctors appointments I was attending too. Every day it seemed there was something happening and I had to be somewhere. Have I missed that – NO! It may seem strange to some folk for me to say that but it’s true.
My other half has asked where I would like to go now lockdown has started easing and especially with camp sites and restaurants opening. I just don’t feel the desire to go anywhere. We have had several overnight stays in our motor home, on the drive I hasten to add. Some thought we were losing it, but it made a change. I guess I’d like to travel further North, but then I’m just as happy staying local. Yes, I’d like to see family, but I’ve seen them on our video calls. Okay I confess I do want to hug my youngest daughter, as I have my daughter and grand kids up here. Not sure it’s allowed, okay with the kids they are under twelve and don’t have to social distance, but adults are still supposed to maintain two metres apart.
Am I worried or scared to go out? I haven’t even been shopping, other half has done all that. I can’t stand for long due to my osteoarthritis you see and I’ve been glad not to have to do it. No, I don’t feel scared that I am going to catch Covid 19 if I go out, at least I don’t think so. I am just, honestly, enjoying life at home. Going out when we want to go out. Some days I just feel like ‘stopping all the clocks’ Lockdown for me has been hard work with the jobs we have done around the home, it’s been satisfying to get them completed though. We work well together my other half and me, we’ve had laughs and tears if something hasn’t gone quite right. But we haven’t fallen out, never have in the twenty one years we’ve been together, but that’s another story.
Speaking of stories I’ve three more children’s stories to write and my novels, well I could make it a trilogy, but we’ll see. Writing has been far from my mind since I submitted my the sequel to the publisher, time for that when winter comes. Yes, the days, weeks and months have rolled by for us. Now we have caught up with garden project, decorating, oh and I forgot the spring cleaning too. Well, I just might make a start on making my Christmas cards!