Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Mags

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Mags, aged 70. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown

Before I sleep at night I often stand with my head and shoulders out of the skylight in the top bedroom. I look out over the very heart of the city, the city where I was born, where my father was born as was my grandfather and my great grandfather too.

I am a Cardiff girl to the core and I feel it.

At the tender age of 70 I went into isolation with my husband and cat and here we have stayed.

My husband is an architect and since I retired I have been his right hand woman, running errands, filing paperwork and all the other vital things a Girl Friday is required to do.

We live and work in one of those inner city Victorian shops with living accommodation above and a large (for inner city) garden. In fact from top to bottom it goes like this:-
Cellar,
Office, shower room, and large room leading to the garden.
Kitchen/dining room (with stair case to garden), living room, bedroom, bathroom.
Attic bedroom and bathroom.

It is a cosy arrangement and we love it and as you see we never have an excuse for being dirty.

Work has never stopped for us. It has been easier, it’s true. No sudden phone calls from builders and smaller jobs which call for close contact have been shelved and although not furiously busy, work has been steady.

It has been hard to see those around us, neighbours, friends etc ., with no work and no immediate prospect of it. Rents and mortgages to be paid, food to be put on the table, nothing in the bank. That is hard.

Initially I volunteered to help out in the community, ok I’m 70 and should stay in but I don’t feel 70 and am fit and didn’t tell anyone my age. It seems to be quite common that people volunteer and never hear again and so it has been with me.

Thank goodness for tech. Social media has been great for keeping in touch. Saturday mornings have been our morning for elevenses with our youngest son and his wife…video link obviously though you soon forget that as the chat starts to flow.

My eldest son has also kept us in touch with our toddler aged grandchildren and we often get to ‘virtually’ bath them of an evening or at least chat with them while they splash and sing songs. When the video calls with the tinies are over, o/h and I high five one another and sink into the relative peace of our own home with a cup of tea.

Walking and standing is a problem for my husband at the moment. He has a back problem and would have had corrective surgery by now had it not been for lockdown.

So for exercise he makes do with the green house and has heard this week that his surgery has been rescheduled for September all being well. I have my fingers crossed. I do the shopping, I do anything that needs walking and standing and it’s been fine.

Like many others I have been catching up, not just with people but with things.

I have painted a wall, I have darned socks, I have made bread of course and I have a sourdough starter in the fridge. In my defence I did harvest the yeast for the starter from an apple that was sitting in the kitchen so it’s an apple yeast sourdough starter and my goodness has it got a lot of go in it!

My brother who lives in the Australian outback, totally off road and miles from anywhere and doesn’t usually call or move from his normal position of dog at his feet, gun on his lap and whiskey at his elbow has been moved to message me to find out how I am. It has been fun trying to find out what he’s up to, but he’s very closed and gives very little away.

It’s a start though and he was worried that this virus was about to carry me off so how cool is that?

Before I sleep at night I often stand with my head and shoulders out of the skylight in the top bedroom. I look out over the very heart of the city, the city where I was born, where my father was born as was my grandfather and my great grandfather too.

I am a Cardiff girl to the core and I feel it.

Watching the ISS appear west of the moon these last few nights and spin eastwards until it leaves what I can see of the sky takes me out of the city too, but I always want to come back again. I am never really isolated.

I don’t believe any other city or place would have made me feel quite so lockdown contented.

Love Mags.

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