For me.

I’ve done it again, but this time it wasn’t my fault. I wrote and redrafted a post five days ago. And then I left it to check and post later. But whenever I do that, as with this time, I forget about it and don’t post it. I have a large number of unpublished but finished posts like that.

That’s why, often, my posts are published and they have mistakes. I will read them through of course but – as I was taught in Uni – if the writing is fresh, your eyes will read what your brain planned, ignoring the mistakes. Therefore, you won’t pick up all the mistakes just the glaring ones. This is where ‘fresh eyes’ come in- someone new to check, or leaving it a few days.

On this occasion, Covid is to blame. Oh yes. I’ve got it again. I’m now on my third day in bed and have a lovely crop of coldsores appearing around my nose for good measure.

And yet, I am pleasantly spritely. Why, I hear you ask?

Possibly, cabin fever. Maybe, I’m so well rested, I’m happy? No, I was really ill and only the last few hours have I started to feel well.

My last, unpublished post was a different matter. I talked about how flat I felt. How I have lost hope.

By stopping the obsessive thoughts about my future with Wildcard, I’d actually removed my hope for them too. So, by taking away all thoughts of them – by focusing on just the present- I’d removed the negative but all the positive too. I felt flat and well…everything is pointless. It’s what happens when you have no direction.

I know, I know. I obsess about him in general. My posts are mainly about him. I don’t know how to change that. My career is a distant, painful memory. I’m floundering in a present with no direction – the only thing I’m certain about, is that I want him.

Anyway.

Back to now. What has changed today?

I can’t tell you exactly. But I will try.

1) I watched a great Netflix series. Something I was genuinely interested in. Why is this important? Because having fun, particularly on your own, is important for your happiness. I’ve realised I do very little which is fun.

2) I called my ex-tutee and his family today to catch up. It was lovely speaking to him. Made me remember I have done some good in this world, even when I didn’t feel my best.

3) Despite not getting paid for this week, I’m getting more money than I thought. Hopefully, I will be ok.

4) Someone helped me this week – showed me a true and genuine kindness that I will never forget. It has come at a time of need financially and personally. And it felt like a gift from my Dad.

5) I’ve started Tony Robbins’ free five day challenge. Although it’s been pretty similar to a previous challenge I’ve done of his, it’s had a real positive effect on my thinking. That is what I need.

6) I spoke to a counselling service today who have offered me some support. I’m lacking someone to talk to, to help me process my overthinking. Counselling and CBT can help.

7) I realised something. In the three years of my relationship, we’ve dealt with Covid, my career going down the drain along with my confidence, me being over-emotional and everything else in between. He’s still here. He’s still loving me and calling me. I’m not my best and he’s still here.

As Tony Robbins says, what happens in life is for you not to you.

Do I really want wildcard here, when the rest of my life isn’t ready? No. Life is giving me a chance to sort myself out because that is the right thing to do whatever the outcome of my LDR.

As Tony says, I’m in the winter. A life cycle has ended for me. Winter can be long but underneath the surface, bulbs are starting to sprout and trees are storing energy for those glorious leaves again. I feel flat because I’ve not yet set my course, my direction….the ones I can choose.

Well, I’m going to. And I’m going to do it for me.

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Positive v negative

“Well son, I’m afraid life doesn’t work like that. You will have problems every day and you have to learn to deal with them.”

Oh yes.

My parent-wisdom words, no doubt regurgitated from hearing them myself as a child.

Is it wisdom though? Am I teaching resilience there or perpetuating negative thinking? As in, they’re not problems but a natural part of day to day life?

April has been a ‘problematic’ month for me.

I came home from seeing Wildcard, exhausted after travel and heart ache, and threw myself into work. Then a moroseness swept over me. And flu. So my solution was to stay in bed for four days. Yes I was ill, but equally I was down.

I got better, but within a week I was ill again. The annual, ‘Is it hay-fever, is it a summer cold’ debate resulted in a fever induced covid test which of course, turned out positive.

I’m grateful I didn’t have it as bad as some. But it was bad enough, despite my three vaccines. Head cold, fever, tight chest, aching limbs and neck, cough and absolute fatigue. As the days went on, a temporary well feeling would be quickly met with a need to go back to bed. My re-test only became negative after 8 days, and whilst I could have followed ‘Government’ guidelines after 5 days to return to work, as I am sure they are banking on, I couldn’t face going and infecting someone else.

Unfortunately, morals don’t always pay and I will be missing a week’s wage in what will already be a tight month. I will survive. And that is positive thinking for you. Or possibly sheer dumb avoidance. I can’t change the situation either way and it could be worse. Maybe karma will send me some better luck.

Of course, positive thinking doesn’t immediately help my daughter when she has been ‘dumped’ by another 18 years old who has decided after months of sweet talk and pursuit that he doesn’t want a relationship. It doesn’t help my son who is still waiting for his ASD diagnosis or not as the case may be. In these situations, a dose a negative actually does the world of good – in life, it seems that things always be a lot worse more often than a lot better.

This is my current and forced train of thought over the booked but no longer required trip to see Wildcard in the May Half term. As both sisters and my daughter are away themselves, there is no one to house and pet sit. I haven’t really got the money to pay for train tickets and a hotel and Wildcard didn’t even know I’d booked and nor has he asked if I am going. So, I’m not.

No, I haven’t yet tried to move the tickets and yes, I have longingly looked at my flights and train ticket prices. But it’s impossible at the moment so I need to just get over it.

On the plus side, one of his brothers is finally going over after three years (covid) and as this was one of the stipulations for Wildcard deciding that he is ready to let his parents fend for themselves so he can marry me, I guess this is another occasion for trying to see the positive side.

Boost

Hello all,

I’m sat in the waiting area of a pop up vaccination centre. I’ve just had my booster and my flu jab. Through choice. Eeek.

I really don’t want time to sit and think. It’s not good for me: I dwell, I ponder, I stress.

It’s THAT time of the month again so naturally, my brain has switched to permanent negative and emotional.

A weird thing happened yesterday. It’s hard to explain, unless you know me, so I will summarise.

*********

I continue my post nearly 24 hours later.

Whilst I was typing away happily, I started to feel dizzy. Before I knew it, I was flat out on a hospital bed sulking a glucose tablet with a fan on me. Highly embarrassing.

Apparently it was something to do with blood pressure or blood sugar or something. I was there probably an extra 25 minutes and then suddenly perked up.

I’m now sat on the train on the way to work. I’m tired. I hope I’m not coming down with some symptoms like my first vaccination and I will be over an hour away from home. Eek.

I’m still loving work. Tutoring is all the best bits of teaching. I was surprised by my wage too, and need to look further into it. I was expecting much less. Obviously, more is great, but I’m wondering whether I have to sort my own tax and NI.

At the same time, I’m ready to break up for Christmas. Weirdly, as I’ve only worked about 6 weeks. Ah well.

What do they say…this is the life?

As an aside, my arm is killing me. Not just the injection site and muscle, but in my armpit. Think my lymph nodes are working overtime. In fact, I generally feel achy and extremely sorry for myself.

Covid, I hate you.

Of what we think

“I dreamed that my mother had a baby. I asked whether it was a boy or girl but she wouldn’t tell me, no one would tell me. And then I asked you, and you told me it was a little girl.”

He told me about the dream this morning. Whilst I don’t subscribe to dream dictionaries as such, I do believe in the symbolism of dreams and that we dream of what we think.

Yesterday an earth shattering clang was heard across the land. It was the sound of borders closing again.

Who knows how long for this time? But I believe it played on his mind as much as it is playing on mine and his dream says it.

Our age gap only matters in one distinct area and that is reproduction. I know he wants a baby. He has told me. He has shown me. He loves children. He wants a little girl. He dotes on his cousins and children flock to him, including those in my family.

After my last child, I swore I would never have any more. I was done. But that was before Wildcard. That was before I fell so in love with this man that all I want is to have his baby. Not just for him, but because I want his baby too.

I’m 4 months off 42 years of age.

I know women who have had babies at 42 and older. It happens. But we still seem a long way from that point. He wants to marry first. I get that. I respect that. But it takes time, a lot of it. And I am definitely not getting any younger.

The borders shutting have delayed everything again. Any hope I had of seeing him at Christmas have been destroyed by Omicron, who definitely sounds like some futuristic robot villain.

So my biggest fear, the one which has simmered on for two years like some nasty potent spell of doom, is that he realises that I can never give him the child he wants and he leaves me. Even though he loves me, he leaves me to go off into the baby making sunset with some lithe and fertile youngster.

Covid exacerbated that fear. Omicron is now blowing it up like a huge neon zeppelin for all to see.

And, after he recounted his dream this morning, I have to believe that it is on his mind too. Apparently his mind feels it is still possible. Here’s hoping.

However, his dream added the final kick this morning and I’ve been a bag of nerves ever since. Despite a great day – I’m loving tutoring – those shut bordered are closing in on me.

At the end of our call, I couldn’t help myself.

“Will you wait for me?”

He told me no.

He also told me it was a stupid question so deserved a stupid answer.

Half an hour after our called ended, he sent me a message-

“I love you baby. Stop crying now.”

He knows me so well.

Power

I’m lying in bed and I have tears streaming down my face. Some are through pain and some through laughter.

Wildcard is definitely moody. But he won’t talk about it.

So I’m not sure if it is the fact my ex (and my daughter) drove me home or the fact that he thought my sister had, and now knows she didn’t. It is probably both.

He is still calling me at the usual times. There is an awkward atmosphere occasionally. Other times he talks as normal; I swear until he remembers he is supposed to be annoyed. He won’t tell me he loves me though, or kiss me goodbye. I expect that now, as after 18 months I know his m.o. when he is annoyed with me. Yesterday I managed relatively comfortably with it, somewhat secure that it will probably pass with time.

Today has been a little different.

I was heart warmed when he messaged me first thing with ‘Good morning my love.’ I hoped this signalled he had got over it and would be back to himself. He had quite a stressful day on today which I know had been bothering him so I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t respond to my reply for a while.

His contact today has been limited though. He eventually called me at lunch when he was at a restaurant with his parents. The call was brief and he had no headphones so couldn’t talk much. As requested, he did call me back to show me what they were eating- and I had asked for a picture because it was something traditional I had not seen before. But still, no love you, no kisses and no response when I questioned it.

Since then my mood has dipped. I’m already anxious about this relationship and things like this don’t help. I took myself off to bed and wept a little.

My ex is angry I’m with Wildcard. Wildcard is angry I got a ride with my ex. My daughter would have been upset if I had got a hotel. I can’t win.

I lay in bed feeling the despair of uncertainty all over again. No news from the union. No call from Wildcard. No sign of any decent jobs.

And so I prayed. I thanked for the life I did have: my family and friends, the opportunities I’ve had, my health. But then I asked for help. I asked for strength. I asked that I could stop worrying and be happy and enjoy my relationship. I asked for guidance.

I swear to you, within minutes Wildcard called. He was visiting family. The call was brief but at least he called. He messaged then to say he was tired, it was very hot and we would talk later.

I lay back down and thought. He must have seen that I looked a little upset. But at least he called. I could see he was tired after a stressful day and a lot of travelling so now was not the time to air grievances. I felt a little better but was still anxious to move on.

As my eyes began to close again, and considering this was only five minutes after Wildcard’s call, the phone rang again.

This time it was test and trace. They’ve called every day. I wasn’t in the mood but knew I had to answer. A youngish male voice answered and started his spiel. I interrupted and asked if I was going to be called every day. He replied yes, and that I would probably know the script better than him by now and should he continue at speed?

I told him to continue, I would listen and I.knew he was only doing his job. He then proceeded to speak as quickly as he could, meaning I was laughing hysterically down the phone. He paused, asked if I was crying or laughing, then started again. Amidst laughing, I answered his questions. He retorted that he could tell I was at home from the echo of the room – was I residing in a Palace? Did I have any further questions?

I replied no, but asked if he could call me tomorrow as that had been the best call I’d had so far from Test and Trace.

He said it was probably the worst then told me he would say the next part slowly so I could hear him properly. He then proceeded to read at speed again, and I was laughing once more.

He finished the he wished me a good day and said he hoped he would get to speak to me again.

The call ended with a smile and I thanked the power of prayer and laughter.

Should I stay, or should I go?

This post is full of staying and goings. But please stay until the end and please leave your thoughts too. I like reading others’ perspective.

To be honest though, you can’t beat Mumslovelife for advice. She always knows what to say and it always makes sense.

Take yesterday. After my somewhat melancholy post… Sleeping Beauty.

… I stayed in bed. I slept. My head was heavy and weary. It’s more that I had to rather than wanted to. I awoke just before one and only minutes to spare before Wildcard called me.

“No” wasn’t an acceptable answer. Neither was “nothing”, “I’m ok” or “I don’t feel like talking about it”.

I told him most of it was to do with work. Today was the day of initial settlement discussions. I’ve been at that school for 11 years and up until two months ago, have been successful and praised. I’m being forced out and I haven’t done anything wrong. His words of wisdom set me straight as always. He gave me my options, boosted my confident and made me feel more positive.

Which kind of makes me feel a little guilty for the next part. But only a little. I admitted I was a little upset with him too. I told him how happy I had been when the borders had opened and how excited I was to come. Yet he didn’t seem bothered and acted like nothing had happened.

He pointed out that it is not in his personality to get excited like that – which is true. He told me he wants me to come every day but he is just worried. His dad has told his brothers not to come yet. He is worried about curfews, variants and his Government’s often rapid and last minute changes. He reiterated that it is my home. I can come when I want but I need to do my research and be careful. “If you want to come, come.”

“But I want you to tell me you want me to come.”

“You know I want you to come, every time. But I want it to be easy for you, with no problems.”

We discussed maybe a quick trip sooner and then a longer one in August when he can have holidays and we can travel.

So do I…

Stay because he is still worried at the moment or Go because we both want to see each other?

Stay because I’m officially off sick or Go because this is the best medicine I could have?

Stay because my settlement isn’t sorted or Go because hey, they don’t want me anyway, my union is sorting it and I can still be at the end of the phone?

Stay because I’ve let myself go a little in my depressive state or Go because he should love me anyway?

Stay until I know this Delta variant isn’t going to cause problems or Go because I can get over there – 4 flights – for £75 and I am not going to miss work even if I am stranded a little.

Stay because my kids will miss me if I get stranded or Go because they are in school now anyway and I will have more time with them now than I ever have?

What are your thoughts??

Following our call, I finally was contacted by my union rep who told me that the academy CEO doesn’t want to give me my contractual pay and doesn’t want me back – there is no place for me at the school. So, even if my leadership wasn’t good enough (no complaints so far) my teaching isn’t. Thanks for that. I’m sure the countless kids and parents that have said otherwise are wrong and my good exam results are deceiving.

It was a slap in the face but a good one. There was a very small part of me that wondered if I had overreacted, maybe I just needed a little support to get me back on the ball etc etc. Nope. She wants me gone. I’m not part of her plan for whatever reason. And now, considering her treatment of me, I don’t want to work there anyway.

So, taking Mumslovelife’s excellent advice, I made myself go for a walk and had a little jog midway which killed my hip but was something. At 6 this morning I went out with the dog again for 40 minutes and had two small jogs. Still ouch, but this was after a 15 minute yoga session which had helped a little.

So that’s me. I’m showered, feeling OK, but still none the wiser about going or staying. Oh and I would also be there for his birthday too.

All comments below considered. And I am vaccinated twice by the way. And I will be responsible.

Underwhelmed

You never thought that I would write that, eh?

My state of being seems to be constantly overwhelmed although I do an amazing job of ploughing through it 90% of the time.

So why the title? Allow me to explain.

Today is the three year anniversary of my dad’s death. It’s a weird one, because I actually count yesterday too. On the 6th June 2018 we made the decision to end my dad’s suffering and take him off the respirator which was prolonging his life. He was tired, bruised and had suffered for two weeks in attempt to pull through. He was staying alive for us. Fighting, but ultimately losing.

That day we said our goodbyes. And then my sisters and I stayed with him all night, watching him fall unconscious, singing to him, talking to him, loving him the best we could at his bedside. So although he died at 1am on 7th June, we lost him on the 6th.

My eyes are stinging as I write this, but there are no real tears. Maxed out antidepressants will do that to a girl. If you remember, a month ago when all the crap with work started I was reluctant to up my dose – defiantly not wanting work to be the thing that put me on max dose. Honestly, I’m still not sure I should have agreed – I’m not the walking zombie I was four years ago. But I have taken them and today I am coping.

The fact is, for the first few years, every significant date seemed like a massive hurdle, a tsunami of emotion. Today, I realise it doesn’t matter what day it is. I miss him every single day. I wish he was here every single day. So the date is irrelevant.

Except of course it isn’t. And I probably will cry at some point. But, I’m not the mess I was last year, or the year before.

And I’m convinced dad sent me a little gift last night. Late at night I received a message from a friend telling my that Wildcard’s borders are finally opening and that at present, the UK are on the list for entry.

You know I believe in the power of coincidences. And for me, at this time, being told that is a gift, a message….

Life changes. It has its ups and its downs. It ebbs and it flows. And you just have to ride the waves, keep your head above water and keep swimming.

Being honest though, the underwhelmed title is less about me and more about Wildcard.

Last night, whilst morosely but stoically remembering the pain of my dad’s passing, I was also filled with an excitement and happiness about the news. (As someone with anxiety and depression, I am a pro at feeling conflicting emotions at once.) I went on to Ryanair to see the flights and allowed myself to reach in to the now no so distant future to when I can fly to Wildcard.

So this morning, I was even more looking forward to speaking to Wildcard. I sat, drinking coffee and attempted to complete a painting I had started of me and my dad. Up until this week, I haven’t had the strength to finish it (thank you antidepressants).

So when he called and we had got the daily ‘good mornings’ and ‘how are yous’ and ‘did you sleep well?’, I waited for the moment…

‘So, do you have any news?’ At this point he is in the car driving to work. He is a little late, as always, and 19 months in, I know the exact moments of his drive to speak and when to wait whilst he manoeuvres out of a junction etc.

He hasn’t mentioned the borders. Maybe he doesn’t know yet?

So I tell him.

“Ah yes, around the 15th I think.”

So he did know. And that was that. No hasty discussion about when I was coming, not even excitement that it won’t be long until we are together.

I was stunned. There was a few moments of silence.

“What baby?” He glanced at me as he drove.

Maybe this isn’t the time. He’s driving, he is late for work. It is my Dad’s anniversary. His friend died yesterday. We are still on amber.

“Nothing, I’m ok.”

And so, today, that is what I will settle for. An underwhelming ‘ok’.

Birthday

In 55 minutes from this very moment, I turn 41. I feel old. Maybe 41 isn’t old to you. Maybe I am old enough to be your mother or big sister. Either way, my 41st birthday has hung around my neck all week.

I realised whilst lounging in the bath that I haven’t actually celebrated my birthday properly since my Dad died.

On April 2018, my Dad was in hospital. After an evening of pizza, cake and WWE (my son’s request as it was some big event), my sister and I drove to the hospital. Dad was drowsy but woke when we arrived and quickly reached into his hospital bedside to pass me a present and a card. I remember he apologised it wasn’t something more but I was just happy he was still with me.

The card, the last he ever wrote, is forever imprinted in my heart: it forms part of the tattoo that I had about a year after his death. There are photos of us too, me holding the joke moustache pencil topper (like dad’s real tash) to my lips as he kisses my cheek. Daddy. ❤

2019 I purposefully booked a week away in France with my children for my birthday. There were no presents or cards, no other family. I bought us a cake each from the patisserie and we did go out for dinner but it felt like a normal day and that is how I wanted it.

Last year, my 40th, I also chose to have alone. I had originally wanted a garden party in the summer but Covid ruined that. I had also planned to see Wildcard and not let on it was my birthday but covid ruined that too. My dad wasn’t there, mum wasn’t there and I couldn’t see Wildcard. So I spent the day pretty hard to myself with visits from my kids and ex and my sisters. I made my own dinner and my own cake.

This year, I am not ashamed to say that I also want some time alone.

I don’t feel like celebrating. I don’t want another year of me cooking for everyone (although someone usually makes my cake.) We can’t go out for a meal, I can’t see my mum, dad or Wildcard again. No-one can afford gifts and I certainly don’t want them to buy me anything, plus I don’t need or want anything anyway.

I lie.

I want my Dad again. I want my mum to visit. I want Wildcard to be here with my family. I want all the people I love to be around me. And I can’t have it. So because I can’t have it, for the third year running, I don’t want any of it.

Yes I am childish. Yes, I am sulking. But I am very much an all or nothing girl.

However.

I want nothing until tea time. Up until then, I am going to do whatever I want. No housework. No cleaning. No cooking for everyone else ( I love cooking, but noone really cooks for me. My dad did.) I going to eat what I want:

Fresh berries and yoghurt with a side of buttery sourdough toast. I may even have an egg.

A turkey salad sandwich and some crisps.

Ricotta and spinach cannelloni with a side salad.

Birthday carrot cake. Yes, that is a lot but I don’t care. I very rarely eat that much.

At tea time, I have invited my sisters and children and ex round and I am buying pizza for them. The above will be gluten free but the pizza won’t be. I feel like I have fulfilled my obligations to them.

Wildcard has asked me a couple of times what I want for my birthday. I told him the truth: I want him. That’s it.

“It is impossible.” He says.

I tell him he is an intelligent man and he can work it out. Let’s see what he comes up with.

Uncertainty

I know I have been absent for a few weeks. I began to write a few posts but my heart hasn’t been in it. What to say? How to explain?

I suspect, now being a few days in to the Easter Holiday, that I have recovered enough to feel able to write.

My anxiety is in full possession and control right now. I’ve had panic attacks before work, during work and in the evening. In fact, I feel like I am staving one off most days.

I am dreaming a lot. Not nightmares as such but the dreams always have a common theme – things going wrong, being in the wrong place, forgetting something.

I don’t know if it is the antidepressants doing their job but I don’t feel like I am depressed just very, very anxious.

But… I do have to say that at some lower points in the past few weeks, I have wondered if …well, you know.

Whilst the thought has crossed my mind a number of times recently, I wouldn’t do it.

I hate anxiety. I hate it.

I am exercising. I am trying to eat better after weeks of binge eating again. I’m writing in my planner, being thankful and celebratory. I’m quoting daily mantras. I’m trying.

Uncertainty is anxiety’s partner in crime and the pair of them have got me well and truly cornered, again.

I’m so tired. Tired of worrying. Tired of wondering. Speculating. Panicking. What if, what if, what if. Maybe, possibly, could…

Work has been hard and I got some tough news in the penultimate week of the term. I’m working hard to rectify the issue. I don’t know if it will be enough.

Uncertainty.

Every day…no, more than once a day…I am reading the news to find extensively conflicting information. Travel to resume in May. Travel to be banned until Sept. This airline has added more flights ready for June. This holiday company is laying of hundreds of workers. This MP is hopeful. This one gives a warning.

I can’t keep up. I’m constantly in a state of flux: hope and then despair.

I have booked for July. Should I book for May, just in case? What if I can go but there are no flights left? To book is to hope and I am not sure I can cope with another set back.

He loves me, he loves me not.

I’m tired of being scared, of second guessing. I’m sick of over analysing and worrying.

I don’t know of my negative mind is finding false evidence for my fears or my gut is right and I don’t want to believe it.

How can I ever know?

If I don’t go soon, will he get bored and move on? Does he really love me or do I just see what I want to see? Am I anxious and paranoid or is there truth in my fears?

Could I ever live without him?

Am I wasting my time?

Will my dreams ever come true?

Am I betraying him for doubting? If I don’t doubt am I stupid? How will I ever know? Could I walk away? Would I ever love again?

Why would he ever love me? Even more so with the ever present anxiety and fear?

How can I get this house in a better state? Who can I find to help me? How do I know they will do a good job? How do I know they are not scammers? What should I work on first? What is more important?

Is this Covid’s fault? Am I having another breakdown? Should I stop fighting and let it consume me? Do I have ASD? Should I see someone about my fears? What’s the point?

I am so, so tired of it all.

And so the bizarre and depressing continues.

Last night, our ‘esteemed’ Government decided that all schools will return on March 8th. So, in my case, that means that there will be around 1600 people moving about the building. Oh, and teachers are not important enough to get the vaccine early. The vaccine that reduces the spread when lots of people are together.

Ah well. Maybe this revelation means I can travel to see Wildcard. Nope, it does not.

If I am lucky it will be May 17th and as I am not it will be June 21st or something.

But it’s ok – whilst I am safely in the building with these hundreds of teenagers who constantly -and I will be generous here – forget to socially distance despite signs, stickers and warnings, ‘elite sportsmen’ can travel by plane wherever they like. Because sport is essential whilst visiting loved ones you haven’t seen for a year apparently is not.

So that is all good then. I am learning that I am invincible enough to not need a vaccine whilst everyone else shields at home or jets off for sport to another country. Fabulous.