The more things change… they can still nonetheless seem at times not to have changed all that much. For example, I wrote this back during 2018-19. It comes from the perspective of a 1700s man unable to be with the woman he loves – separated from her by the Channel, distance, and worst of all by governments – at Christmas:
First, in recreating something of our world before instant communications, it may be necessary to look to capture how personal letters were usually earnest and declarative often to the point we might consider them embarrassingly sentimental. They were so because in the back of the writer’s mind was always the distinct possibility that they might never see the recipient ever again; and the writer knew that from the recipient’s perspective that letter might be their last letter. So letters – their only means of distance communication – reflected that reality.
Second, naturally none of us imagined where we would be in our real-life Christmas 2020. Yes, we have FaceTime and such; but in terms of in person contact we may be now in much the same position as they were in “1799.” Those we wish to be with may not be even all that far away, yet they might as well be in another country.
Yet we have a reason to be optimistic. Down in London back on Sunday evening at a mobile NHS site that did nothing but the vaccinations my mother-in-law received her first injection to protect her (she is in her late 80s) from COVID-19 (and her booster will be given in early January). She has had NO side effects whatsoever. She was also given a vaccination card and was told to keep it safe as proof she has had the vaccine.
Recounting it all, she sounded happier on FaceTime on Monday evening than she has been in months. Hopefully, we all shall eventually have the anti-COVID jabs. As we do life will begin to return to a more comfortable and relaxed “normal.”
Lastly, our travel abroad self-isolation finally finished, we bought the last Christmas tree for sale at a local tree farm: it was grown there. The farm was not even open. Talk about shopping safely: We slipped their requested £20 hono(u)r payment through their letterbox, put the tree in the car, and drove the five minutes back home – having seen no one:
And now there he is. He is one of the nicest trees we have ever had. (It is tough to get a good phone pic of a Christmas tree with its lights on.) This is probably my last post before Christmas: if you celebrate, hopefully you have a Merry one. 🙂