Like we're easing ourselves into the shallow end of the swimming pool- back in the days when we had only just learned to swim- and it's Olympic size and the deep end looks an awfully long way off and we know that when we get about three quarters of the way we won't any longer have the option of putting our feet to the bottom for reassurance- but that we can do it really- and just think how good we'll feel when our fingertips touch concrete- and we can straighten up and rise and fall with the waves we've made and go "Well that wasn't so bad now, was it?"
It feels strange now- but perhaps it will feel strange all the way through- and even stranger when we've finished- because it'll be a different world we step out into.
Ailz and I don't get many visitors or do much visiting in the normal course of events, so not seeing people is fairly normal for us; the odd thing is realising that there is now a prohibition against visiting and being visited- and it's not just that we won't be seeing family but we can't be seeing family.
Take it steadily, moment by moment, day by day. It helps that we're having such marvellous weather right now- though obviously that will change. Ailz wants to be exercising more so this morning we walked to the bend in the drive. The daffodils and narcissi are still flowering but coming to the end of their season, the willow is in leaf and other trees are almost there. The cat came with us- a little gingerly because this is beyond the limits of his territory. He stopped to gaze through the iron gates of the great house- at their mown lawns and drifts of daffodils and seemed to be thinking, "I never knew the world was this big."