The importance of a hug.

Spontaneity and freedom are not the only things we have lost during this pandemic. I was just sitting and thinking about the situation in general when I remembered a conversation with a friend and neighbour some weeks ago. It was about the importance of a hug. Hugging comes naturally to me, being a gesture of true liking, a silent communication which signifies warmth, affection, comfort, friendship and love.

This all started another train of thought. Where did this come from for me? My father always hugged me, my brother did too, as did numerous aunts, uncles and cousins but I have no memory of my mother hugging me but I was hugged by my maternal grandparents. I did spend a great deal of time with them during my young formative years and until she died when I was fifteen, my grandmother lived opposite us. Because the AP worked and my father worked shifts, I usually went to my grandparents after school and during the holidays.

I do remember hugging the AP when I was younger and definitely in later life but I suddenly realised that she never instigated a hug for just the sake of it. She was the receiver of hugs but never a giver of hugs. Except, of course, when she had been particularly nasty she would play ‘the give me a hug’ card which in the end was studiously ignored. That is not what a hug is about .

Is it significant? It certainly explains a great deal about the AP’s character and attitude; she has always expected people to come to her. Her desire to be the centre of attention still continues even in the care home where the AP still tries to play her silly little games.

Fortunately it no longer affects the LSO and myself; we are too removed from the situation now and because of the coronavirus cannot even visit her. A weekly phone call is endured by me rather than enjoyed but whatever the situation it has never affected the way I feel about hugging; there is no doubt the world is a better place after one.

A little is better than nothing.

There’s no doubt that these are strange times to be living through. The arrival of the coronavirus has drastically changed many people’s perspective on life and then just as some modicum of normality resumes, the number of infections begin to rise again, with the result that more restrictions are put in place. As usual these are only followed by those with a conscience or people who are vulnerable in one way or another. Sadly there are always those who feel they are bombproof or just don’t care if they get it or pass it on.

But in the midst of all this there are places where people work hard to do everything they can to make the environment as safe as possible but they seldom get a mention. Bad news always travels better and faster, drowning out anything positive or good and this seems to be a cornerstone of our lives in general. I do get tired of all the wingeing and carping that the newshounds seems to thrive on. Politicians are no better, single handedly they have raised the ‘blame game’ to dizzying heights.

Will we ever go back to our previously normal lives or is this new normal here to stay? Sadly I suspect this will be with us for some time to come and we will slowly adapt to a different life style. None of this does anything to help me alter my mindset in order to lose weight. I still bake occasionally to relieve the boredom but I have reduced portion sizes and cut down the carbs a little with a tiny positive result; I am no longer blowing up like a funfair balloon and there is even a very slight loss of about half a pound. A little weightloss is better than nothing at all so I will continue doing what I am doing and try to maintain a steady loss.

The situation with the AP is still on-going although I do have a better understanding of the situation. I have spoken to several people at the County Council who have all been extremely helpful and efficient as well as the Department of Work and Pensions which when I lived in Newcastle was always referred to as the ‘Ministry’. Things have changed since those days and the people I spoke to were in Blackpool and hopefully all finances will be in place in time. Unfortunately the AP refuses to understand or is unable to understand the need to sell her property and seems to think we can sell ours to fund her care! Apparently she also thinks that the fortune she has coming in with her pensions should be more than enough but sadly it isn’t, her savings have almost all gone and the massive pensions don’t even cover half a month of her Care Home fees. We will eventually be able to sell her property and then the whole ball game will start again.

In the meanwhile, we are having some work done on the exterior of our house before the winter arrives which involves the waterproofing of exterior brick work which is one hundred and seventy-six years old and the painting of the barge boarding under the eaves. The LSO has also re-painted our red shed and my studio and with the help of our daughter and the two grandsons has sorted it all out for me so I will, once the roof has been secured, have a place to work in again. That really is something to look forward to.