Taking a rest on the bench at beautiful West Fields, Louth, Lincolnshire on Boxing Day afternoon. Possibly Lilley’s bestest walk owing to the many other dogs out walking that she can bother. Cockerpoos are her favourite I do believe. They never not want to say hello with a doggy smile. So she romps and roughs it with her new mates. In the meantime mums, dads are bringing up the rear with the tots trying out their shiny Christmas tricycles. I like to allow them to toot the bike bell so we can then move to the side. They shout ‘thank you’ we shout ‘it’s ok’. Everybody’s happy. The mums and dads stop for a chat which is always welcome. All in all a good time was had. We’re easily pleased.
So we sat on the bench and I apologise for the same old shot. But my cameras’ are bust so, at this moment in time, I’ve only got iPhone. ‘Til I can get to the camera shop in Cleethorpes (you heard). We look a bit samey, pale and windswept. We were.
It’s been a tough time this Christmas/New Year. I know it has been for a few of you, also. I said on TwitterX it was a bit disappointing when comparing to times past. Then, no one sat alone at Christmas unless it was their choice. You were invited to join your friend /neighbour. You did not sit alone all day, everyday during Christmas. But Twitter almost unanimously (my followers on X. Yes, I do have some) agreed ‘we do now’. Being Family is an exclusive club, it seems.
There were some very sad tales from a few folk, sitting alone like myself. And d’you know? Society/community, call it what you will, does not want to face it. The loss of community spirit. To face it is to admit their neglect. At present it’s called ‘talking the talk’. Not good enough. A pop in for a glass of wine or cuppa for an hour could ease someone’s loneliness during this rather difficult time. No one is asking (nor wants) for a day job. A good friend of mine, with her hubby, pop round to their elderly neighbour's to check on him most days. Join him for a cuppa. They've now got others from their avenue to do the same. All it takes.
The gesture of someone nearby who cares enough to include you. Albeit in a small way. Even a phone call can be better than nothing. But a mere couple of hours enjoying others’ company during a mighty emotional time like Christmas can work wonders for aloners. I feel I'm talking to you - families. Because it’s mainly you as a gathering. Am I wrong?
Also, as we now enter 2024, it’s being strongly suggested we childless/free, ageing, aloners move this thing on. Can we have ideas, please, as to what you think the next stage should be? In terms of defining our status - officially. The ultimate aim being we are no longer ignored or discriminated against as a group of people who have their own needs. I could list everything here but you have your own suggestions I’m quite sure. We are a defined group. We need acknowledgment by powers that be. Whether it be local community groups or talking to your MP ( in the UK, that is). Think about social services, advocacy, medical appointments, monies that we pay out because we’re ageing, alone, childless. Do we get extra allowances because we're ageing and childless/free? Are we wealthier (so called) because of our status? I didn't say that - 'they' do.
I, for one, don't want to be another statistic who 'died alone without anyone knowing' because childless adults were never recognised as being part of the status quo.
.I can tell you there are some relevant people who, being childless themselves, would like more of a voice and want to help/move this along. Remember it's not just the UK we're talking about. Folk from many other countries, including the US, Australia, Canada and several others who are childless - feel the same. Recognition and acknowledgement. We are a defined group. We stand side by side with all other 'groups' including families. We have no need to inadvertently apologise for our status. We face it head on and so do others. It's certainly not sympathy we're looking for.
Please let me know here or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to pass ideas or irritations on.
Ideas, irritations, legalities and inclusivity. Otherwise we just talk to each other which is great, by the way. But it seems we have a genuine cause/case and so do one or two others with a recognised voice.
It'll all be baby steps, I expect, but doesn't matter does it? 'One step for mankind' and all that. Who said that? Was he on the moon at the time? Wrong saying, probably. Neh mind. Leave it to Elon. Our feet are firmly set 'foursquare and true' (not certain but said for a horse, I believe, but when desperate for a saying. Maybe it was just an English Midlands thing? Probably the hunting fraternity, back in the day). I digress - again.
What is marvellous is we childless, in particular, have found our voices in the many amazing groups. Doing amazing work, by the way. I can't help it, though. I get angry at discrimination and I'm finding it at every darned turn. I took our local Council to task on FB the other day. Really, it wasn't fair on my part. Clearly the person wasn't expecting the metaphorical slap round the chops he got for advertising 'For all the Families at Christmas'. I took issue. A minor thing but you get the point.
Me - I love families. I do. Love to see them round the park, in the countryside with the dog and tootling trikes. In fact, we need families coming with us on this journey. In my humble. And I believe many would do, if given the chance.
Really, everyone, I wish for a terrific New Year for all of you and anyone else out there who chances upon this scramble of a blog.
Welcome to the journey 2024.
I know we've used this pic (and others - I told you - the cameras' are bust) but dear Audrey is always worth an include. A marvellous person. We chatted over Christmas and when we're both definitely germ free we're off for lunch.
Lincolnshire coast, near Saltfleetby Reserve, is still one of my favourite places. It is very wild and beautiful. You should visit!
Bye for now....