Lockdown in London has been hot and close, like the weather. The hustle and bustle of the city has been one of its great attractions, until now.
Lockdown has been an interesting experience for me – on one hand there have been multiple challenges to the business and our clients and on the other hand it has allowed creativity, resourcefulness and resilience to break through and navigate a new path through. I’ve loved helping to develop the Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival and celebrate this special part of year in such an accessible way, I’ve built my first website (to be launched soon) and started a life coaching course.
Nature is not so obvious in a city although we’ve noticed the minutiae every day and I now know what most plants in our small backyard are called. I love walking Plum in the London parks and seeing so many small groups of happy people gathering, responsibly, just so relieved for human company.
The week before our first foray into the countryside was tough. I suffer from anxiety at times although normally manage it just fine through yoga and self-care. I underestimated the power of our weekend escapes to France where we are outside most of the time and had been working hard, every day. I found I was a little less able to cope and that there was so much flying around unresolved such as the reality we may have to move in London, how to get furniture to France, how we were going to pay for it, what we could realistically get done in France before we arrived, business stuff and then someone smashed into my car on Wednesday and drove off. Right then, anything extra-curricular that needed to be organised was a challenge!
Anyway, I knew I needed a bit of a full stop and some time in nature to recharge the batteries. We were so fortunate to be able to get a day on the beat and I let my clients know I was going off the radar for the Friday before the long weekend. I did my yoga in the morning and then we jumped in the car with picnic, puppy and kit and headed to Hampshire. The day was a revelation. I always enjoy a day on the bank although this was like no other as every single moment was savoured and enjoyed by us. It was Plum’s first day in the countryside and she took to it like a duck to water. Patrick and I were alone on the beat so we had time to work out what flies to use, get familiar with our equipment although by far the most enjoyable aspect of the day was being immersed in nature in what was our private paradise for the day. We stayed on the bank until 9.30pm and drove back to London rejuvenated and recharged.
I caught two wildies on a Wulff and the mayfly hatch exploded in front of us during the day. I will never underestimate the positive effect of fly fishing on my mental and emotional health and I firmly believe I will enjoy each day to its fullest remembering the time when it was an unobtainable luxury. We head to our house in France next week and will spend our times out of the home office exploring the rivers there, doing renovations in the house and walking Plum.
I’ve always understood the importance of nature to me although perhaps not quite how fundamental it is to my happiness when our access was restricted. We felt so grateful to have that opportunity so thank you Orvis!
Coming back refreshed also made our challenges seem a little easier to overcome and we have now found a reasonable removals service to France, the car is being fixed by the people who drove into it who we hunted down and they then accepted full liability and have negotiated with our landlady so the pressure of moving in London is off for now. Hats off to the power of fishing!