26 Mar Explore Lockdown Diaries – Brendan and Jenny
In the last of our Lockdown Diaries blog series, we chatted with one of our volunteer couples, Brendan and Jenny, from their home in Orpington about how they are coping with the lockdowns and restrictions that have been in place for the past year.
A life is never a bed of roses, but keen gardeners Brendan and Jenny have found ways to tend to their family and their own needs during the pandemic.
They’ve certainly experienced challenging family times since March 2020: There has been a job loss for a family member, a daughter-in-law coping with pregnancy, visiting in-laws from Portugal unable to travel home, and worries over their grandson. “He will turn soon turn four and we are concerned how he will make the all-important transition to school in September”, says Brendan. And with two sons living some distance away, the family have only been able to meet once in the summer.
However this isn’t the hardest time they have faced in their marriage. “No, not at all,” they both say.
“When I was working away from home for two years before I retired, we were building an extension and Jenny’s dad sadly passed away, that was a very challenging time,” says Brendan.
Gardening has been one way that Brendan and Jenny have stayed upbeat. Married for nearly 45 years, they have been surprised that they are now walking together three times a week. “We rarely found time for this before the pandemic. We had such a busy schedule of activities such as volunteering with a local toddler group for me and being involved in various charities for Brendan,” says Jenny. They’ve also been socialising with their church groups over Zoom.
“We miss going out for dinner, but we are listening to the radio more. It means having some very interesting and in-depth discussions on topics we might not otherwise talk about,” says Jenny.
“We talk more,” says Brendan.
Looking forward to a return to normality, they both know that while their busy lives will resume, they will be keen to do more together. “It does depend on what gets in the way,” says Brendan.
But it is clear that the lockdown has given them more opportunities to spend time together and share, whether this has been gardening, listening to the radio, walking or helping to support their family.
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