Graham: I have been in my regular day job, but working from home all year. I’m sure I will be back in the office one day, but for the time being it is easier for the software engineers to work from home than it is for most other staff at the business.
Dylys: I have been able to restart my voluntary work at the hospital. When I first resumed work after lockdown, I was restricted in what I was allowed to do: giving out masks as visitors came into the hospital, and filling up the mask stations. Since then I have been able to do an extra morning: two mornings a week in recent months. It was good to be able to go and do regular work again: my old job in Subject Access, and a new role, encouraging patients to check-in at the self service kiosk.
As “Open the Book” teams have not been able to go back into the schools, I have joined them in making some videos which we can send to the schools instead.
Graham: I used to cycle to work regularly before the pandemic, but whilst I am working from home, I like to get out for an early morning bike ride. I had a serious accident in June: although it was not raining, the roads were wet after rain overnight. I remember coming down a steep hill towards a sharp bend, but can recall nothing after that, although the cycling app on my phone showed that I spent 25 minutes at the scene of the accident, and it shows the route that I took home. Dylys took me to hospital, and after short term dressing in A&E, I went back a week or so later and had a plate fitted into my arm. In the follow-up consultations I have been told to be more careful on my bike. Despite having the accident in the summer, the winter feels the more risky time on the bike, and in recent weeks I have been trying a mix of walks/jogs in the local area when the weather is fit, and following video exercises in the house on other days.
Graham: I have struggled to get jobs done at home: like repainting the passageway gate, and trimming hedges around the garden - in part this is due to the resumption of family visits after lockdown, which take up at least half of our Saturdays. But also, I have been needing more sleep - whether this is part of getting older, or a consequence of the cycling accident, I am not sure. I did get the gate painted, and half of the laurel hedge trimmed - the other half is outstanding at the time this newsletter was written.
To be honest, I could have made headway on these jobs on August bank holiday, which was a fine day; but we chose to go off for a day's walk from Tegg's Nose Country Park, including Lamaload Reservoir and Shining Tor. We appreciated the opportunity to get out for a summer's day together, particularly with our holidays this year being delayed to the autumn.
Reached some milestones
We “celebrated” our Silver wedding anniversary in April this year. Dad and Val very kindly sent us money for a meal out, but although restaurants were starting to open, we did not feel that the time was right, and we had a takeaway on our special day.
Graham: I hit a different milestone in May – my 60th birthday! We would have liked to mark the occasion better, and maybe we still will next year, but as for the wedding anniversary, we had a celebratory takeaway.
I took a couple of days off work in November, and we did go out to use our anniversary gift on the Thursday lunch time, anticipating that it would be a less busy time. The Legh Arms was a bit more busy than we were expecting, but we really enjoyed the meal.
Normally we like to book our holidays at the start of the year, and select one week in May, and another week in the autumn. With the Covid situation the way it was at the beginning of the year, it felt wise to delay the holidays until the autumn.
We had an excellent week at Trearddur Bay (near Holyhead) in September – during the course of the break, we covered most of the perimeter of Holy Island on foot, and managed to include a short stretch on Anglesey.
|Holyhead Mountain summit|
|Lovely weather on our walk to North Stack|
In October we spent a night in Cornwall (around visiting family) before a second week’s break at Brixham in Devon. Brixham is on a peninsula, and we were pleased to cover the coast path around the peninsula.
There were no meetings in the church building from New Year until the beginning of May. The two of us would watch the pastor's pre-prepared video message together, then spend an extended time in prayer, and then join a Zoom fellowship meeting.
We miss the Service @ Home routine - it was much less hectic, and seeing people face to face on Zoom feels safer than doing so in the building. We have an ongoing Zoom prayer meeting and Zoom cell meeting each week, but are disappointed at the low participation: clearly, most people prefer meeting in the building, and would rather take the time off for something else than meet on Zoom. We are not eager to return to late nights in the building or people's homes, once we are able to meet physically more regularly again.
Graham: It’s difficult to avoid being busy, as I am an Elder, and responsible for most of the IT tasks in the church, as well as for Data Protection.
Dylys: I stepped down from deacon’s duties this year, but I am still managing rental groups within the building, and regularly doing church cleaning activities.