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Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

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The Return Of The Mojo

Posted on
August 6, 2020
Wivenhoe, Essex

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another post. I hope you are all healthy, adapting well, and enjoying life as we have it. Recently Harriet and I have been able to catch up with friends and share our experiences from the last few months. It has been utterly fascinating to hear friends' (and families') thoughts and coping mechanisms. It also confirms how different we all are, and how versatile and adaptable we have become. 'Chapeau' to those of you who have dug deep and coped in a positive fashion, I applaud you all. I'd be telling a fib if I said that I was in this camp.

However, over the last month I've perked up and am starting to feel more positive again. Why has this happened? I believe a lot of it is due to the fact that we can meet up with friends and family. Over the last few weeks we have visited friends in Derbyshire and Lancashire; family in Croydon; my Dad in Cheshire and Harriet's family (a couple of times) in a beautiful town called Wivenhoe in Essex. All photos on this post are of Wivenhoe.

Even though I have visited Wivenhoe regularly over the last twenty plus years, for some reason the beauty of it has stood out even more for me this summer. Historically a fishing and ship-building town on the River Colne near Colchester, it is now predominantly a residential area with some incredibly interesting features wherever you look. Harriet's father and step-mum live in a stunning cottage opposite the church where Harriet and I became husband and wife.

Our favourite (community run) pub in Wivenhoe

Speaking of Harriet's father, Sir John Ashworth, he is a very interesting man indeed. Initially an academic gaining science degrees and becoming Professor of Biology at Essex University in the 1970s, he quickly built up recognition as a scientist and was appointed to the position of Chief Scientific Officer to the government. John advised former prime ministers James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher, and travelled the world meeting all sorts of politicians! You know how Boris (and whichever cabinet minister on the day) has had his science specialists stood either side of him during what was the daily briefing? Sir Patrick Vallance is the current version of the position that John held. Funny to think that if the pandemic had happened during his watch, he would've been on telly informing the nation, and no doubt biting his lip at times. As you can imagine, having conversations with him over lunch and dinner is utterly fascinating, and he has certainly given us food for thought on the current situation.

We had our second visit to Wivenhoe this summer, arriving last weekend for a few days. It was another fun visit, this time celebrating Harriet's sister's fiftieth birthday. I took my bike and had a couple of rides around the countryside. And for the first time I took and used my hefty pro camera kit. I hadn't shot properly for myself for several months for some reason, finding it challenging to be motivated. But the mojo is back, and I loved it. At times the light was beautiful.

During the previous blog post I stated that my Mum, who is being cared for in an excellent dementia specific care home, had tested negative with coronavirus. A couple of weeks later five members of staff (and eight residents) had returned positive tests; my Mum being one of them. Barrier nursing was implemented, and the long wait started. I phoned the home for updates every other day, and they consistently reported that Mum wasn't showing symptoms, but was sleeping a huge amount and wasn't really eating that much. Three weeks after the initial positive test, she was negative. Talk about a relief. Dad and I went together to 'visit' her a couple of weeks ago. It was one those controlled visits where we had to stay outside, and the resident is put inside a room with a window. Even though two small windows were slightly ajar due to protocol, we couldn't hear each other very well. On a positive side, it was so nice to see her - and my Dad! - smile during our visit.

Mother Nature doing her thing in the sky, beautiful light.

That's it for now from me. I hope you are all able to have enjoyable visits to see friends and family, these are even more precious it feels now. Who knows, I might even write about skiing and the mountains soon, this is meant to be a skiing website after all !?! Stay safe, stay healthy, and more importantly stay fabulous. Martin.

UPDATE 09/08/20 - This article was published three days ago, and since then my Mum has tested positive again with coronavirus. It was six weeks ago when she was given the all clear. It appears that she didn't develop any immunity, the wait starts again.

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