Monday, 28 September 2020

Monday Long Song

Social distancing wasn't an issue when this photo was taken at the end of our Walthamstow back garden in 1961. That's me looking a bit unsteady on my feet in the middle, with my hands being held aloft by my aunt and uncle, who we lost in 1978.

'Whistles blowing, people get on trains...' is the opening line of today's tune. I'm not sure how much whistles are still involved in modern day rail travel (the line should probably now read '...buzzers buzzing...' or '...digital displays flickering...'), but all being well, I did get on a train on Saturday evening and will be getting on another one to come home later today. After much soul searching and consultation with my cousin in New York, I decided to take a trip to London to visit my aunt, who's been living alone in virtual seclusion since March. In contrast to last year's grand celebrations, her 91st birthday passed quietly at the tail-end of lockdown. With travel between the UK and USA a strict no-no, my cousin could do little more on the big day than phone her Mum, send a bunch of flowers via Intaflora and ensure that she'd received the latest of her twice monthly grocery deliveries.

I haven't visited my aunt since January, which in itself is probably the longest period I've spent away from London in my entire life. Clearly I was unable to travel there during lockdown and I feel a definite sense of unease about doing so now, but the way things are shaping up, this could be the last chance for me to check in with my aunt this side of 2021. I'll be doing my best to keep a strict social distance in spite of the slightly cramped surroundings of her East London terrace, though I will have to move a little closer when I whip out my phone to connect the surprise Skype call my cousin and I have secretly made plans for. My aunt is strictly non-tech savvy, so this'll be the one and only opportunity mother and daughter (and grandchildren) will have to clap eyes on each other this year. I dare say it'll be emotional.

Here are Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch, with a dark Dylanesque epic from 2015.

7 comments:

Walter said...

Enjoy your trip and I hope your aunt is still well at her age. Great song by the way, Swede

Softshoebanana said...

Hope all goes well for you and your aunt.

Brian said...

This situation is heartbreaking. I hope it all goes well, pal. I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

C said...

What a lovely photo (as ever) and what a lovely surprise too re. the Skype call for your aunt in the current circumstances. Hope it went well and you can tell us about it soon too. How was the masked train travel too?

Rol said...

Hope you have a safe and happy journey, Swede.

Alyson said...

As everyone else has said, hope it goes well and safe journey. Tough for people like your aunt but she'll be so chuffed to see you and get that phonemail.

Jez said...

Wow. Never heard this before, what a beauty. Hope the trip to That London went well.

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