On the coming Tuesday, we should know if there will be more restrictions in place for Dublin. This comes in the wake of the high number of community transmissions, and many of these cases in Dublin are caused by household clusters.
If the new restrictions come in place, it might mean that there may be a reduction in the number of families allowed in any one house during visits.
Even though these new restrictions might come as a damper to many plans, perhaps these are not too bad. There will be no curtailment of movement from the Capital – you would still be free to go to other cities and counties.
Some plans will need to be cancelled however. For instance, we had plans to hold a potluck party at a neighbour’s place – a sort of a farewell for another neighbour who had bought her own place and was thus moving away from our apartment block. We had been planning this potluck when the news came in on August 18th that indoor gatherings were restricted to only six members from outside the home, with no more than three households. Since we were definitely more than six people, we had to do away with the plans.
Even if many such plans are cancelled with the new restrictions, it will be a small price to pay for the safety and health of everyone. Personally, the fact that I had a few absolutely beautiful days gives me the strength that if the coming months have more of social isolation, I will be okay. There’s just so much loss and suffering around us because of Covid-19 that whatever problems the new restrictions might pose seem inconsequential.
What were some of the things that brought me joy in the past few weeks and months, even if the joy was for that moment, or hour or day? Things, for the lack of a better word, that were to be chanced upon or to be availed of by going out of the house, in a way?
Being able to take in the purple heather at the Wicklow mountains on a trek that we did with a friend. Purple is my favourite colour, and it seemed that the hills were like a queen clad in a cloak of this absolutely gorgeous heather.
A brunch with neighbours and a neighbour’s mother. In the past few months, I really enjoyed the company of my neighbour’s mother. She was visiting my neighbour from India and like many others had got stuck with international flights and travel to and from India being banned. It was my husband who met her first when he had gone upstairs to give a slice of his burnt basque cheesecake. You will really like aunty, he told me.
And I absolutely did. We shared a glass of gin, conversations and food. She lovingly sent us piping hot Sindhi kadhi, pav bhaji, chole, halwa and so many other delicacies. Before she left for India, we had a little brunch together. It was one of those rare occasions when we went out together. (We were seated, as per the rules, six on one table) I toasted to mums – all mothers across the world, who bring so much joy and love wherever they go.
Rainbows that appeared like magic, as I sat and had my tea. I admit, I still feel a sense of wonderment and awe when a rainbow appears and in these past weeks, so many appeared. It was like nature was putting on a magic show, pulling one rainbow after another out of its hat.
Finding a stash of bhindi (okra). I love bhindi. And so does the husband. Whenever we find relatively fresh bhindi at the Indian store, we get deliriously happy. We bring it home, wash it and lay it out to dry in straight little lines, akin to soldiers readying for a march past. This photograph is from our kitchen in Reading, but we arrange it pretty much the same way here in Dublin!
All the flowers – wild, cultivated and tended to with care. During our three days out at Johnston Castle and the Powerscourt House and Gardens as well as the Wicklow mountains, I scooped up all the colours and joy of the flowers in full bloom. These are little bright sparks in my memories, little flashes of energy and love that can light up dull days.
Being able to be near flowing water.
Being pleasantly surprised at spotting peacocks (at Johnston Castle)
I am sure that there have many more moments, hours and days outside that have been wonderful, an asset to look back upon to find joy and happiness, but it is just these that I have listed and recalled.