The Voice in your Community


Let’s upcycle

by Allison Maryon


February 3rd 2021, Issue 103

As I write, we experienced five days of being in Tier 2 and we are now in a second lockdown. As these are my final musings for this year, I hope that you have the happiest Christmas that you are able to and the healthiest 2021. I have passed the baton to someone else to sum up this year.

“My 2020 started much like everyone else’s. Cee and Dee went out on New Year’s Eve. I didn’t go. Come to think of it, I wasn’t invited but I didn’t mind staying in on my own. Early in February Cee and Dee went away on holiday. I didn’t go with them but stayed with Andrea and her family instead. I have often stayed there and I love it.

They all make such a fuss of me! Then things started to change. Slowly but very surely the conversations between Cee and Dee, the two people who I love most in the world, became very strange. Cee would be telling Dee ‘I am so concerned…’ or ‘I’m really worried’ and she would frown in that way she does. I never listened to the rest of what she was saying as I was somewhat concerned and worried myself. Dee used to tell her ‘Not to worry…’ or ‘Stop panicking’. I used to take myself off to the lounge or to my bedroom. Cee would be talking into her phone or tapping it and was becoming more and more upset, listing all the people who she wasn’t able to see. Then Dee stopped going to work. Just like that.

One morning he went to work. The next morning, he didn’t go to work. Dee used to spend day after day in the garden. I would join him sometimes. Occasionally I would dig but usually I would sit in the sun. I love the sun and those days were always sunny. Cee and I did lots of long walks together, sometimes with Dee but usually on our own. Cee did some very odd things. One day she took all the covers off the cushions and washed them, put them out to dry on the washing line and then ironed them. This didn’t seem particularly odd to me but it must have been as Cee used to talk on her phone telling this to lots of different people as if it was something truly wonderful. Every evening Cee and Dee would sit down and watch a strange looking man with a dog’s name telling them to ‘Stay at home!’ and other instructions. Cee said ‘That’s not his real name, you know Dee. His real name is Alexander’ and Dee would say ‘I know. You tell me that every time.’

They watched some very strange people during those weeks. There was a young woman with a bad memory and two really boring people, a boy and a girl, who hardly spoke to one another, only uttering a few words now and again. Cee did two things every week that she seemed to love. She used to speak to Doll every week but on a screen, a bit like the one on which they watched the man with the dog’s name that wasn’t really his name, the young woman with the bad memory and the boring girl and boy. Cee and Doll would chat and laugh and Cee always brought me in front of the screen to say hello. Then they would laugh again. Cee also spoke to two very small people on the screen and they would use words that I didn’t understand. We never saw much of our little person. He had started to visit a lot and, when he stayed the night, he used to have my bedroom. I didn’t see him for a long time, Cee would teach songs to the two other little people that they would all sing together. Cee sang a lot at that time.

There was a really big fuss about somebody called ‘Goings’ (or was it ‘Comings’?) and Cee made up words to a song that some group had sung years ago, about ‘…seeking him here, seeking him there…’ This made her laugh too. I don’t know why. I never thought that it was that funny but I liked the tune and I loved hearing Cee laugh. After one conversation on the phone Cee cried. I felt very sad too. So did Dee and he made a fuss of her and said ‘Here! Drink this!’

As well as watching the odd man every day, Cee and Dee used to shout at one another about a bar being open. Then they would spend ages talking on and tapping their phones. They used to talk to Ianandwendy every week. I love Ianandwendy. I’ve stayed with them when Cee and Dee have gone on holiday. Cee used to talk to Donna every week too. I love Donna too. I love Donnaandnigel. I have also stayed with them when Cee and Dee have gone away. Donna is a nurse and worked very hard during this time that people were calling ‘lockdown’.

On Thursdays we used to go in the front garden and make a lot of noise. I have no idea why but it was fun. All the neighbours would be out. Neither Cee, Dee or myself knew some of these people but they all waved at us. Cee and Dee would wave back. In May another small person arrived. I only saw her once. I know that Cee and Dee saw her but weren’t allowed to go near her. They looked at her through a window.

That reminds me of a song that Cee sings to me sometimes. When this very small person was born we all sat in the garden and had cake and fizzy wine. I sat in the garden but I didn’t have cake or fizzy wine. Everything was pink in honour of the new small person. I didn’t understand why. ‘Lockdown’ ended in July for us. Dee went back to work. Life is back to normal.

For me at least. Cee still puts her arms around my neck and hugs me tightly, saying: ‘In my next life, I’m going to come back as a well-loved dog. Like you.’ And, as always, I wag my tail an dtry to lick her face.”