• Trombonedaddio

Instead of a week sailing in Greece...

Updated: May 27, 2020

This week we would have been sailing in Greece. We’d saved up for an extra-special holiday, going with my sister and her husband. Our dad had been a keen yacht sailor before he had children so we felt like we’d like to experience it for ourselves. We had booked an instructor to teach us the ropes and we’d have been sailing between islands for a week. The holiday has been postponed for the same time next year – rather like some of my gigs.

My brother also officially postponed his wedding till next June. He lives in Barcelona and his fiancée is Italian. His wedding was due to happen in September but he felt that the chances are there would be problems for either or both the Italian and English contingent.

Many people I’m in touch with feel a lack of motivation to do anything. They have time but no energy. A lack of direction in life, not being able to see friends, a fear of what life will be like in the future and how things might change all seem to be taking a mental toll on us. I wonder if I should just sit it out, enjoy the time and wait till things get back to normal, or plan for new directions, and if so, what? I could focus on practising my instruments, try to develop composing and recording (along with thousands of other musicians in the same boat), or look into using my skills from school and university days and brush the dust off my mathematics and physics? I could try to find work tutoring? Or should I look around to help others and get involved with volunteering?

I did manage to cajole myself into painting some of our doors last weekend – a job that’s been needing to be done for years.

St Martins Lane in central London, empty, with boarded up establishments.

Last Sunday morning we also cycled down to meet a friend in Trafalgar Square before taking a coffee to St James’ Park and having a chat. We found a Pret A Manger that was open, although virtually empty. The streets were very clear that morning, but since the government has encouraged people to get back to work and more businesses are finding ways of opening the roads are back to being busy.

Pret A Manger with just one customer.

I fitted in a game of tennis with a friend – tennis is now permitted, had a video chat with a friend who lives in New Orleans, saw another friend for prosecco and Bakewell Tart in a park, had a chat with my family using Zoom. This was fun – for some reason none of us had thought of doing it before. My mum inevitably had a few technical problems meaning we could see her but after a long phone call with her the following day I sorted her out.

There are numerous hints of breakthrough vaccines, tests and treatments from around the world, but these are generally qualified with the fact that they won’t be available for general use for another year, even if they turn out to work.

Unemployment is obviously at a record high, but farmers and fruit growers in the UK still can’t find people to pick their crops. The Prince of Wales made a plea to the public to help which feels a bit desperate. Also government debt is at a record high.

So life is feeling a little bleak at the moment, although the weather has been lovely and gardens are looking glorious with flowers blooming everywhere.

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