Maureen's Lockdown Story

Maureen from St Albans was a ‘regular’ at the Jubilee Centre Lunch Club until it had to be closed. She shares with us her experience of life during the lockdown.

When the lockdown began, I couldn’t quite believe it, and had such a feeling of unreality. I went for a walk that Sunday evening and only saw a man and a dog – such a strange feeling. Further in, I got more used to it and made a routine, so the days didn’t seem so long. The feeling of isolation is really very bad – not being able to have a friend round for a cup of tea is hard. But I think it’s brought the best out in people, with thoughtful offers of help. Little things mean a lot these days and the kindness of people is heart-warming.

I counted 25+ drawings on the ‘rainbow trail’ and reported back to my grandson - I think the children round here have excelled themselves. The Thursday evening clapping is great, and reminds me what day of the week it is!

When I light a candle on Sundays at 7pm with a friend (helping from outside!), I like the feeling of peace and fellowship. The lighting of the candle was thought of by the Archbishop of Canterbury to bring Christians together at a time when we cannot go to church. A lovely custom, and you don’t have to be Christian. Lighting a candle – a light in the darkness in a difficult time.

I enjoy my walk (on Mondays) for leisure and exercise and consider the fresh air essential for keeping me well/healthy. One hot day I bought a Magnum and sat under a tree – that was a highlight!

Although my family are well scattered, Alison in Australia, Paul in Sweden and Claire with grandsons in Somerset, Claire phones me almost every day, and the others weekly. They’re always sending me treats. The other day a package popped through the letterbox - it was magazines from Claire, which just arrived at the right time, when it was pouring with rain outside. I immediately settled down with a cup of coffee and read them! This morning I had a package from my young grandson – a beautiful stained glass rainbow and hot air balloon.

There are many benefits about lockdown too. Quiet roads, purer air – I’m asthmatic so really benefit from this. The people at HILS have been so good to me. When my phone stopped working last week, they were the first people I turned to, and they helped me with a replacement.

I also really enjoyed marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day, singing ‘We’ll meet again’ along with Vera Lynn and everyone else joining in on their doorsteps!

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