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Expectation - Uncertain Times

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Expectation  -  Uncertain Times
 

It is not quite Epiphany but the Christmas tree, cards and all the trimmings have been taken down and packed away. There was an element of sadness. I didn’t feel ready to remove everything. I was being practical and fitting in other plans. Also, I was missing my little helpers who had made the task a joyful one last year and the year before. Just the other day my eldest grandson asked if he could help to put the tree away. I told him he could if he was here when the time came, but he was at school yesterday when I was unwinding the strings of beads, trying to prevent them getting tangled. I felt a bit guilty. I’d given him the expectation of being involved. Now, if the subject arises, I’ll be using ‘lockdown’ as an excuse. He’ll already be gutted at his beloved school taken from him again.

I began last year, 2020, with lots of expectations and, same as everyone, not a clue of what was coming to take it all away from me. There would be our regular visits to Dumfries and Galloway with trips to family in Troon. We looked forward to going to the Channel Islands for our 30th wedding anniversary. I was retiring from work. There would be more travelling and lots of time to spend with our four grandchildren. Covid 19 changed all our lives and continues to do so.

I feel safe at home and it’s where I like to be. One thing I enjoy is watching all Blackpool F.C. matches on the big TV on the back room wall, from the comfort of the squashy sofa. It’s great to settle down with a hot coffee and the anticipation and expectation of a thrilling match ending in a great result. When that happens I hope our neighbours don’t mind the cheering and applause. I miss the atmosphere of the football ground, I miss the company of the fans who sit around us, the chats and catch-ups. They will be like us, watching from home. And, sitting in comfort in the warmth, I wonder how on earth I’d cope in the stadium on a freezing match day. I’ve gone soft. I have no expectation of getting back into the ground this season, but if we can, I’ll be there.

This year I have no New Year resolutions, except to write more of my own poetry but I haven't set off on that yet. Expectation is to receive the Covid vaccine when my turn comes up and retire from work at some point. If I keep my expectations realistic, there will be less disappointment.

Here's a Thomas Hardy poem,

Expectation and Experience
“I had a holiday once,” said the woman –
Her name I did not know –
“And I thought that where I’d like to go,
Of all the places for being jolly,
And getting rid of melancholy,
Would be a good, big fair:
And I went. And it rained in torrents, drenching
Every horse, and sheep, and yeoman,
And my shoulders, face and hair;
And I found that I was the single woman
In the field – and looked quite odd there!
Everything was spirit-quenching:
I crept and stood in the lew of a wall
To think, and could not tell at all
What on earth made me plod there!”

Thomas Hardy(1840 – 1928)

 Pam

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