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Nellie Knows : 2 July 2020

Tuesday marked 100 days of lockdown. It’s been a period of many feelings and emotions for sure. I was asked what one word I would use for this time, now that’s hard as I’m not known for my few words but I would say maybe exploration, and not just on my daily 10 mile walks with my dogs.

Over the last 100 days I have ventured further afield, listening to podcasts and audible, watching the changes in the seasons, seeing the fields turn from ploughed earth to crops. Sounds idyllic I know but in that time of solitude I have explored both inwards and outwards when listening to different writers, authors and presenters whilst getting a different perspective, I’ve cleared my mind of inconsequential nonsense, worked out what really matters to me and done some mental space juggling, giving me energy to tackle the life laundry at home. The bookshelves have been cleared out, the childrens’ clothes have gone to First Days, bed linen was made into scrubs for the NHS, odd bits of material are now face masks, cupboard contents have been streamlined and I’m patiently waiting to have enough stuff to make my trip tip worthwhile. In those 100 days I have spent more time with my family than ever, watched no end of nonsense on the telly, listened to a cacophony of music from the girls’ rooms (I’ll never understand rap), read and listened to more books than normal, gardened, cooked, slept, yearned and mourned. Now though restrictions are lifting, shops are re-opening and soon I’ll be heading west on the M4. The lockdown in Wales eases on Monday 6th and self catering properties, self contained b&bs, campervans, caravans and motorhomes should re-open on the 13th, in time for the summer holidays. 

Homeschooling has been “interesting” and I have been very impressed with the support and guidance from the Holt. However the past few weeks have been hard for lots of people. My girls and their friends have been brave, strong and united in their grief following the death of Mr Furlong, a much loved and well respected teacher. To have been taught by such an inspirational teacher was truly a gift and the life lessons Mr Furlong taught them has been of great comfort as they struggle on in this swirling darkness, unable to hug their friends and sob into their shoulders.  There have been such wonderful tributes and from my limited interactions with him and hearing what the girls have said he truly was a wonderful teacher.  He didn’t just teach history he brought it alive - none more evident than donning a Henry VIII costume at Options Evening.  As we stumble into July I’ll be continuing my walking with the added buzz of walking in Wales with a few familiar Welsh faces in aid of Prostate Cymru and I’m very much looking forward to catching up with Terry Walton at his allotment. Next year for Wales Week / Berkshire (20 February to 7 March) Terry will be prised away from said allotment in the Rhondda Valley for an event here in Berkshire and we can’t wait to welcome him here.  For more information on Wales Week / Berkshire and St David’s World have a look on the internet or get in touch. If you’re Welsh in Berkshire do join the Facebook group to connect with the Welsh diaspora, before lockdown we were looking forward to meeting up, please be patient.  And if you’ve got an interest in Wokingham from way back or want to know more about where you live do join Memories of Wokingham, in years to come people will be writing about these 100 days as just a memory. I hope that as lockdown eases and we begin a different pace of life, normal or familiarity the transition is easy, safe and healthy. Thank you to the local food producers and businesses that have kept us fed and watered, the charities that have come together to create a hub, the community champions who have worked tirelessly to make a difference, the farmers and landowners who have allowed us to walk through their fields, the Ramblers and Countryside Services who have maintained gates, stiles and pathways, the keyworkers and essential service providers.

When all this is over, there will be hugs and cwtches, albeit awkwardly but definitely heartfelt.


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