Human beings love to dream, think about and make plans for the future. In the dark of winter, or when we’re going through a person rough patch, it’s natural to look ahead and believe that things will get better again. In its own small way, the images and stories of The Butterfly Loft help people to that and to date every single actual visitor and almost 1500 virtual visitors have loved the Loft.
So it was a bit of a surprise recently to find that two people (whom I don’t know and who have never seen the Loft) made very negative remarks, saying it was inappropriate to market the Loft at a time like this and I should be ashamed to be doing so. How very odd, I thought. Is this a mild version of “trolling”? Baby trolls, perhaps?!
Well, I wrote back to them both politely pointing out that I’m not suggesting that people break the rules and stay here. In fact, they couldn’t if they wanted to because I have closed the Butterfly Loft until we’re all back on our feet again, a point that is perfectly clear on the Loft’s Facebook page. They didn’t reply …
Should we stop posting? The various members of The Butterfly Loft team considered the question and concluded that as we try to put up stuff that is interesting, useful and (we hope) entertaining and the great majority of our visitors seem to enjoy it, we will continue to do so.
We all know that during this time some families will suffer the loss of a loved one, be placed in financial difficulties and that we are all having to make huge adjustments. But despite all that, we must remain hopeful, keep our spirits up, focus on the future and realise that there is still much to appreciate and look forward to.
So from this Butterfly Lofter to you, here are my personal top ten “pluses” for being in lockdown.
- As it happens, I’m just getting over the virus. My symptoms were relatively mild, but they keep coming back in waves and it’s taking a long time to get fit again. The worst of it now is extreme tiredness. Working from home means I can work, then take a break and rest between emails. Sleeping is a wonderful lockdown luxury!
- We can’t get out to buy things and the stuff we want to buy is out of stock anyway. So, we are having to be creative with what we’ve got. It’s fun to do and saving us money.
- We can include garlic in our meals every day without worrying about breathing our ‘orrible dragon breath on others!
- We can do all those tasks that there is never enough time to do normally. The house is being slowly cleaned from top to bottom – even the light fittings and tops of the wardrobes!
- We can sit in the garden in a coffee break, during the day, during the week. With a HobNob or hot cross bun. Life has suddenly got much calmer and quieter. Lovely.
- I now do some exercise every day. I am hoping that we’ll be able to continue doing our once a day exercise outside. We are sufficiently near the country to be able to walk across the fields and it’s wonderful to take that short breather outside. In addition, I’m just loving all the brilliant free online stuff. I do Thursday clapping for NHS workers and Joe Wicks.
- Our local libraries have closed for the duration leaving me bereft. I’m an absolute bookaholic. But as one library door shuts, another opens. Since I have discovered virtual online libraries I have been wolfing down virtual books.
- In common with many others, I am discovering better ways to communicate virtually. My husband have been delighted to discover WhatsApp video calling, Zoom etc. That’s been an interesting exercise for two deeply untechnical people 😊.
- There’s a great line from Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant describing his preparations for the second world war: “When the war was declared, I bought two pounds of henna.” For some reason I was reminded of this remark the day before lockdown. Not henna in my case. My essential preparation was the purchase of a soup kettle. It’s fabulous. Soup is healthy, slimming and an excellent way of giving slightly mature vegetables an exciting finale! And now in just 19 minutes I can have delicious, colourful food for pennies, blended or chunky – just press the relevant button. Soup heaven!
- Finally, although there are undoubtedly going to be more problems ahead, this period is a good exercise in mindfulness and living in the moment. My life has been so busy for so long, the enforced quietness is a real opportunity to enjoy that odd sense of suspension from life.
You might think that being the recipient of gratuitous negativity would be hurtful and upsetting. In fact, I’m grateful to the two women in question to enable me to acquire a new skill (replying gracefully to such remarks) and also reaffirming the importance of being positive. We will get through this. It will end. There will be a new crop of problems and the world will change. But life will go on. The Butterfly Loft will be there. And I hope that we can welcome guests again that you will be too.