Nothing is normal of course, but husband and I had a relatively normal garden meet-up with an ex-neighbour and her twenty-something daughter, M, taking a break from her pure physics PhD up in Glasgow. M had just had a paper published, to a flurry of press interest, following her practical demonstration of a theory which said you can get energy from black holes….…something to do with the Doppler effect. It isn’t long before we are somewhat lost in the scientific language…it’s one of those things where you understand it the moment it’s explained…but you can’t explain it to anyone else 5 minutes later. But, I ask her, how do we run a cable from the black hole to my house? She laughs…pure science is not about being practical. M is a cool, quietly knowing and somewhat shy young lady. I am very impressed with her academic achievements, but, if I’m honest, equally impressed by the repaired holes in the knees of her jeans. That girl can darn. She’s very artistic and practical and her mum tells us that M refuses to buy anything new. During lockdown, I too, have been repairing things. Recycling, repairing and making things are definitely some of my favourite things to do…but even though I know mistakes are vital, I am hampered by the fact that I’m not an expert and my repairs/creations are hit and miss. I had never, until now, properly found out how to thread my sewing machine. But I can touch base with at least one youngster…for me, repairing, re-using and re-purposing has come into its own. This has been the case for a while for me, but the pandemic seems to have given it more impetus. The pandemic is telling me it is time to not go on the way we did before. I’m too young to have been one of the original hippies, but old enough to have known some of them and their throwing out of accepted societal norms. Is this a movement that will gain strength? Of course the new ‘hippies’ do not necessarily have the same values as the 1960/70s ones…but maybe we will have little choice but to ‘drop out’ of the consumer society and make do and mend, use less resources, dump less rubbish…and this will be painful for some. But humans are so adaptable and I am very optimistic. Especially with young people like M around.
Wearing a face-covering in shops became compulsory last Friday, 24th July. My home-made, 3-layered face coverings go on sale to raise money for a local charity tomorrow…the first ones I made were 2-layered and had crappy stitching. The third layer has come from one of 3 old cotton sheets which had shrunk in the wash and had already been stuffed into our ‘give-away’ bag ready to go to the charity shop a couple of weeks before lockdown, but of course, never made it. These sheets clearly had an alternative in mind. Sheet 1 was cut up and used to create cloths for disinfecting things, sheet 2 to create an NHS flag and an essential workers support banner (made by our neighbours). And sheet 3 will help people reduce the spread of the virus by being a layer of one of my face coverings. These heroic sheets have fulfilled their true destiny, which, it seems…was not to be sheets. The new face coverings have almost all mod cons – including the accidental ability to loop over the ears OR fasten at the back of the head, which is great for wearing with hearing aids (accidental because the ebay seller’s description of the elastic was not (IMO) totally clear and I bought the wrong stuff…which turned out to be exactly the right stuff in the end….I’m that kind of lucky).
Stay positive yall. Wear a mask and protect yourself by protecting your community. I’m cracking on with the sewing…as my first 10 masks were (happily) snapped up (in one day!) by our neighbours. Yay!