The October Coffee Morning was a joy as always, with two clear areas of chat on this occasion – the first being achievements and the second regarding easing of Coronavirus restrictions.
We started off with the lovely news that a member’s brother recently completed the London Marathon. Despite the injury, he finished the run in under four hours. A marvelous achievement. His sister couldn’t have been prouder. I think we can all agree that when something is really hard to accomplish, for us or anyone, and success is achieved, the reward is all the sweeter.
Hearing this member talking about her brother reminded me of the beauty of a moment in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during the high jump when Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy were competing. Both athletes performed incredibly well and were joint first when asked to jump a 2.39m bar in order to decide the winner. Instead, they chose to share the gold medal, something that hasn’t been done in our lifetime.
What made it all the sweeter for me watching was that both of these men were nearing retirement and had overcome serious injury to get there. Tamberi even used a visual reminder of his struggles, laying down his old cast that helped heal his broken leg beside the jump he was about to take every time. The kindness between these two men was discussed for days afterward. Undoubtedly, sharing in another’s victory gives us all a boost, and seeing that level of kindness between two serious athletes boosts us tenfold.
We have all achieved a great deal during the last eighteen months, staying indoors when we’ve had to, wearing our masks, and sanitising our hands until our skin peeled. And we continue to do a lot of these things. We take tests when we have symptoms, and self-isolate, missing out on things we’d rather have in our lives.
Many of us are weary but our sacrifices and our commitment to keeping ourselves and others well has been immense. We almost forget how far we’ve come, and how much it has taken out of us. Now, though, we’re beginning to see the fruits of our labour. We’re getting out again – seeing people and getting back to some level of normality. While this is difficult for a lot of people, with the fear still being there, we are doing it and will continue to.
It was a joy to hear one of our members talking about his brother’s wedding. He hadn’t seen a lot of his family in a long time. It was a chance to catch up. A chance to celebrate and come together for a happy occasion. My brother got married recently, too, and the feeling of freedom to go to a happy event is unmatched when we’ve been away from it for so long. There is, however, a feeling close to relief when it’s over when we return to being in our own houses and bringing those memories back with us.
Another member spoke about a holiday she went on recently to the Burren. She really enjoyed herself. It was nice to get away, breathe different air, relax and go somewhere quiet. Going away and going out is almost a novelty now. We’ve craved these things for so long, and while we still agree that interaction and getting away is great, getting back home is great, too.
We also talked about lots of different restaurants and cafés and got loads of recommendations for a good meal and a nice outdoor area. It’s fantastic to get recommendations so we know where to go. Most of us have forgotten where we like to eat until someone reminds us.
The easing of restrictions brings good news regarding future Coffee Mornings. It has been decided that the in-person Coffee Morning will resume on the 1st of November in the Blind Tiger. It will be held from 11-12 pm and will coincide with the Virtual Coffee Morning. The plan is that both platforms will collide when Blaithin does a walk-through of the in-person Coffee Morning with Zoom open on her laptop.
Anyone is welcome to pop in to say hello and listen or contribute to the conversation at either Coffee Morning. The event is always easy-going and cordial. Registration in advance for the Virtual Coffee Morning is necessary to receive an email zoom link on the morning.