I was about to state the obvious but then realised it was too obvious!  Added to that, I can’t even remember what day it is, let alone which week.  Could this be a form of prolonged torture?  I write, I read and I walk on the beach or in the surrounding beautiful countryside.  I have company whilst, also, craving my own – regularly!  I have little to complain about and, yet, I feel trapped!  There is an invisible cage confining me as the monotony abounds.  Lack of normality and the incessant media beating has ensured a panic, deep within which, for me, seems to manifest itself at night.  I waken tired after restless sleep often, of late, checking the numbers on the clock just before 4am.  Why that time, repeatedly, I have no idea.

It is a tiredness difficult to define but I feel it is, largely, borne of the mundane which becomes all-encompassing when one is deprived of variety in one’s surroundings.  Whilst fortunate to have the tools to stimulate one’s brain, it has become increasingly obvious to me that that is not enough.  We live in the most beautiful surroundings but there is nowhere else to go.  Summer is cancelled!  Robbed of all that one had to look forward to, it is as though one’s lifeline has slipped from grasp.  Without it, one must surely flounder.

In recent times, our years were dappled with dates!  Something to look forward to no matter how tough things got.  Christmas in St Wolfgang, the familiar mountains and lakes nurturing the weary and providing strength for the year ahead.  A year broken by Wimbledon, bang in the middle, and a much-needed infusion of gentility to balance the routine vulgarity of life, now commonplace.  How we needed that!  Then, there was Roma …

The colours, the climate, the history, its soul!  The eternal city, welcoming and familiar, never fails to invigorate and dispel the clouds.  The ancient sites, a living reminder of its impact and story, affording much-needed perspective.  How insignificant we are.  Mere grains in the sands of time.  How trivial, then, our problems …

No Wimbledon.  No Andrea Bocelli in the Baths of Caracalla on 21st June, a magical treat about which we thought long and hard before agreeing life is too short!  No more.  I refuse to proceed any further in ‘cancelling my life’.  Too depressing.  However, realistically, what prospect is there of travel, in the near future?  What hope of escape?

It is numbing.  Prolonged, enforced lockdown falls little short of being mentally torturous.  Confinement dulls the senses feigning a fatigue which is not physical.  A lack of varied stimuli outwith the home imprisons one in one’s mind only serving to exaggerate the trivial.  Tiring.  Destructive.  A test of psychological strength.

Human beings subjected to enforced lockdown, deprived of freedom.  The same human beings responsible for the enforced lockdown of wild animals, denied their freedom for life in the name of entertainment.  Ours.  Time moves on.  Life moves on.  We will return to some form of normality.  Better people?  Having been reminded of all that matters, will it be forgotten in an instant as we return to a life driven by ego?  What of empathy?  An empathy developed for those confined; for those deprived of their freedom.  Just a word?  No more!  The elephant in its concrete enclosure, denied its family, its natural life?  That was you.  That was me.  Never forget.

Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.  Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they.’     Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

This is Trish, signing off.