When I was nineteen and not long out of convent school, I became pregnant. I had to ditch plans for a musical future and became a wife, a mother and a housewife. It wasn’t remotely like the future I and my parents had in mind. Chris and I spent our ‘honeymoon’ in a battered old caravan in a field next to Kirkham railway station in Lancashire. Neither of us had any money, we had no home of our own – we were both students and it was the Easter holiday. We had no certainty about anything other than the coming baby. Talk about change! At nineteen I was on a very rapid learning curve.
After recovering from the shock I began to piece together the remnants of my life and, from that grim beginning, I began to learn new ways of living in and dealing with my new world. It was difficult but we were helped by a few kind and caring people who helped us in simple ways. They were like flashes of light in the darkness. I’m talking about receiving food hand-outs, and the kindness of the guy in the local fishmongers who asked me “How much have you in your purse?” When I shook my head, he saw my situation and simply wrapped the fish and handed it to me with a warm smile. I haven’t forgotten that.
This week I’ve been in lockdown isolation here in Scotland and I’ve become aware of 2020 ‘flashes of light’ of caring and compassion. From deliveries to older people who can’t get out, to the sound of people banging their pans on a Thursday night, in support of our amazing front-line healthcare staff.
Much of what I’m hearing, becoming involved with and experiencing in this small Scottish town has highlighted the care and love shown by ordinary people in the community. Whether it’s practical help, ingenious responses to seemingly intransigent problems or relationships being forged or repaired. These everyday stories tell me one thing – the world has changed. And, as it changed overnight, so people responded. In the last weeks of darkness we have seen many of these flashes of light throughout the UK. Now we have to ensure in this new world, the kindness and ethical and moral values attached to it are what we aspire to. We need leaders we can admire. Leaders who speak truthfully and will lead with courage.
I want a more equal world society – one that values and treats people with respect, regardless of their creed, colour, religion or race. Beginning here in the UK, I want an equitable society that shares resources fairly. A society where profit and greed are seen as base values. So, I’m going to blog about the changes I see and leave scuba diving and adventuring to the future. It’s the changes I’m seeing that give me hope.
The changes in my life at nineteen, which at the time seemed dire, offered me opportunities and propelled me into such a different creative life – mother of three, grandmother of seven, television producer, management consultant, world traveller and latter-day artist. So who knows what the future holds!
The first days of something new in life are often called the honeymoon period . Whether it’s moving home, starting a new job, joining a new organisation, living together or getting married. It’s a time to experience change, growth, opportunities and, we hope, joy.
What we are currently experiencing is anything but a honeymoon period. The entire population of the world is going through this nightmare. One led by the deadly Coronavirus19. But adversity and change does offer opportunity for growth. So, as terrifying as it is, this is our big chance for the world.
Overnight changes to our daily lives, from the shock of enforced lockdowns to shortages of basic foods, have left us in shock. Freedoms that we took for granted in March have gone and joy is a casualty. Isolation and sadness is widespread. Grief and anger caused by the illness, the number of deaths and the politicians’ incompetence is rife. Against this background I’ll be writing blogs reflecting this new life as it unfolds. I also include amusement, ideas, images and inspiration for you. And maybe, somewhere in there, you’ll find a little solace, hope and joy.
Thank you for reading this. Do respond on WordPress or message me privately.
I’m sending you, your family and loved ones blessings and love from my wee house in Scotland. And I thank all of you for the love and blessings that I know are being sent back to me and my loved ones.