Yesterday my BBC Weather App predicted sunshine and 20 degrees near Nantwich. This morning the 20 had become 19. With a strong wind all day, and a hazy sky, by this afternoon it was finally pleasant enough to sit out in our ‘garden’ – at least 2 metres from anyone walking or running along the towpath.
This morning I drafted a short piece for Waterways World about what it’s been like so far living on narrowboat during the lockdown. It’ll be interesting to read the range of experiences in the collated article. I’ve just got to reduce the draft from 700 to 500 words later!
Our UK family gathered around their devices at 12.30 pm for a Skype catch-up call. But we’re struggling to see everyone well on that medium, so next week we’re trying Zoom. They’ve generously removed the previous 40-minute limit on the free version, with three or more people. We’ll see how that goes. It’s definitely a bonus of this enforced stillness to see them so often!
This afternoon I gifted myself the treat of sitting in the sunshine reading an inspiring magazine my daughter bought me on her way here. I’ve not seen it previously. Called ‘Happinez’ I love it! I’m really not interested in the usual magazines about ‘beauty’, ‘fashion’, or ‘swanky houses and home decor’; they hold little in common with our chosen lifestyle or my values. This one though – yes Kim you hit the nail on the head.
Barry continues doing all sorts of boat-jobs he’s been wanting to do. As well as inventing some he’d not even imagined previously! He’s rather like a pig in the proverbial …
Other Freebies …
It’s easier to notice and enjoy the simple free pleasures of life on earth when we stop. The wind; the sun; the bees; butterflies – the first this year I’ve spotted today. And a ladybird.
What other free gifts are people experiencing at the moment?
Our lifestyle hasn’t altered too much despite the lockdown. We’d be hard-pressed to simplify the way we live much more. I realise it’s easy for us to say; we have no debts, our own home (boat), have a small income, savings to fall back on (though I daren’t look at how much my NHS pension lump sum investment has dropped in NZ recently!), and we’re fit and healthy. I know many others aren’t so fortunate.
Simplifying Our Life and Needs
But, one of my hopes from this time is those people who could simplify, look at options to do so. To recognise what’s truly important in life. Not the never-ending accumulation of wealth and possessions and one-up-man-ship. Of looking down in judgement on those less fortunate as if they’re there because they ‘didn’t work so hard’ (oh believe me I’ve seen lots of those type around during the elections especially!). It could be that some of those smug people are discovering they don’t have so much after all.
This evening I’m reminded once more of the Mexican Fisherman story by Heinrich Böll. It really sums up where we are …
“An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
Profound. Thought-provoking. Admittedly it took Barry and me many years to get to the stage we are now.
I wish you all ‘enough’.
Once again we’ve logged in ‘no symptoms’ to the COVID-19 Symptom Checker. Today’s figures are 2,123,172 people contributing.
I was rather shocked to read that Matt Hancock has today announced a different COVID-19 ‘status’ checker! Why on earth aren’t they collaborating with the one from Kings College? Isn’t that called ‘reinventing the wheel and wasting time and resources’? Or am I missing something?