A little post from Dylan!

29 January 2021

Dylan is a learner on our Skills Bridge Prorgramme as well as a resident at our Brackenley Care Home. We asked Dylan to write a little blog post during his writing classes.

The glint of the sun reflecting off the top of fluffy white clouds, the weight of life’s pressures ebbing away as hours stretch ahead free of any obligations or deadlines whatsoever, not even the excuse to crack open a scotch at 8.30 in the morning can beat my favourite part of a flight. That lurch as the wheels leave tarmac perfectly symbolises for me the anticipation for an as yet undiscovered world with its own culture, customs and people, full of wondrous possibilities to explore.

In March 2020, I was utterly ready for a new life in a new land. Just three weeks after leaving Britain for good, I was back. And not willingly I can tell you. Nonetheless even I am not stubborn enough to circumvent the very strong recommendations of two separate governments - advice which would indeed shortly become law. To say lockdown was devastating from my point of view would be an understatement.

Such is life and like millions more around me, I picked myself up. Next thing you know, I’d been offered one of just 13 places in the country at Brackenley Care Home in an extraordinary turnaround of fortunes. How’s that for living at both extremes?

We’ve all had to get used to new ways of working. However, as someone with a neurological processing disorder who finds it close to impossible to sustain a mutual gaze at the best of times, virtual learning has made it spectacularly easier for me to get on with the task at hand. Nobody minds after all, if I don’t make direct eye contact with the camera - my phone is hardly going to take offence.

Lots of people miss being able to go outside but although I do enjoy long walks a great deal, more often than not, leaving the house has been a tedious inconvenience in the past so this globally mandated break has been very welcome. That said, you’ll notice to the right a picture of my favourite dog in the world, Haimish. I’d gladly have included this picture in an article about paperclips but in this instance he also happens to be extremely relevant because I miss him tremendously every single day. Trust me, even by dog standards, he is one of a kind.

On top of that reunion to look forward to, I also can’t wait to start travelling. I am after all, still a European citizen thank god, so I am itching to prove it to the Italian courts and regain the freedoms and privilege of membership which has, albeit temporarily, been kept from me. Meanwhile during lockdown I have thoroughly exhausted this keyboard, planning out the projects I’d like to work on once sanity is restored. But enough about the last election. As the adage goes, underpromise and overdeliver so that is all I shall say on the subject for now.

One of the most useful pieces of advice I heard last year is to make sure in our minds when we use phrases like “lockdown”, “stay at home” or “shut ourselves inside” that we follow them up with a positive that results from such circumstances. This might include the free time we’ve spent years wishing for but never had, the break we’re getting from rushing around or the opportunity to organise our day on our terms and build a routine that works for ourselves and no one else. We’ve got forever to reenter society, refreshed and fighting fit.

For now, tranquility is in order. This is an excellent chance to find peace.

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