Nomadland

9 August 2021

We watched the film Nomadland last night and of course the title also reflects a bit how we feel at the moment, only without the van! We are looking at at least 3 more moves in maybe as many months. But the trick will be to enjoy the changes, and whatever each one brings. Here in Hereford, it is the ability to get outdoors into woods, hay meadows, nature reserves, riverbanks – not enough, since our work is indoors, but still, keeping us sane.

It is definitely still threshold time for us. Of course the incendiary news coming from Greece is giving us some pause. On the one hand, from the frying pan into the fire, almost literally. On the other, the necessity for a good eco-build is clear, somewhere that will be warm in the winter, cool enough for the summer, and low enough in its carbon footprint and energy costs to be sustainable beyond our own lifespans. And segueing through to mortality: as some of you know, we are temporarily living at my cousin Kay’s house. She died in April after around 5 years of widowhood and a year of lockdown. Dealing with her earthly goods brings about quite a bit of reflection on our own lives. My friend Chitra, familiar with Hindu traditions, says that this involves a lot of negative energy and perhaps that’s what I am feeling. She says that in India the possessions of the deceased are dispersed within 14 days. Here the process seems to drag out, assisted in this by the legal process of probate. Maybe also my own reluctance to tackle the job in the absence of clear cultural guidelines. Yesterday I managed to overcome some of that and called some recipients of bequests from Kay. I was moved by their humanity, as well as curious to hear their experiences and impressions of my cousin, with whom they had had long friendships. I am sorry not to be able to meet them. They are mainly sheltering from Covid, as we are ourselves, keeping social contact to a minimum.

Dealing with someone’s clothes – such an intimate thing to do. The hopes, dreams, expectations that must have gone along with each purchase, the vision of themselves gardening, on holiday, at a wedding or funeral. The task has been made more difficult by charity shops apparently bottlenecked by a lack of volunteers, a dearth of shoppers or a flood of donations. Whatever it is, it makes it more difficult to disperse Kay’s clothes. She was a person who cared about clothes, and had a lot! She clearly looked after them – washed, cleaned, hung, folded…. She was the sort of person to have a wedding outfit.

Music

I am afraid that today’s music choice is ‘no music’.

Sunday 15 August

I really need to let this blog go….

We managed a micro-adventure this week and took a couple of blankets out to a dark field to lie on our backs and watch for shooting stars, of which we saw a few, and satellites of which we lost count. A couple of planes flying high – so strange to think of the people up in their tin can, drinking, sleeping, watching movies. What an odd world we live in! Surrounded by countryside, yet so little that’s natural and none of it unaltered by human presence; I think maybe that’s why I am drawn to rocky landscapes.

I have found some interesting g poppies growing wild in cracks in the pavement and lane edges, pale orange and mauve.

Now only just over a week before our flight. We have our European vaccination passports – hoping that RyanAir recognise these!

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