The Hawthorns Clevedon

Lockdown Life At The Hawthorns Clevedon

By Gordon Yates, resident, The Hawthorns Clevedon.

As I sit out in the sunshine on this glorious Good Friday, I think of individuals stuck in high rise flats with small children and nowhere to go and play. I think of my own granddaughter, at risk as a diabetic, stuck completely alone in a very small flat in south Devon; she borrowed a dog so she could go for a walk with it after dark when the streets were empty. I am grateful to receive the occasional text reminding me that I am 88 years old and dependent upon dialysis, so am designated as ‘vulnerable’.

Yet, as I sit outside my apartment, I have a French window opening on to lawns and gardens with a private pathway around the building. If I walk around it three times, I have completed a mile, and I do this every day.

When I wake up each morning, I put my oats into my little microwave and start my day with porridge. My newspaper is left at my door, and a little later a knock at the door reveals a table left outside with my cooked breakfast. Showering and attending to my dialysis equipment keeps me busy for an hour or so, when mid-morning another knock on the door sees our head chef Tony arrive with a trolley full of various foods. I help myself and am well stocked with milk, sugar, butter, bread, tea, coffee, fruit juice, yoghurt and fruits. I rent my apartment and all of my meals are included, and so in these times of isolation, they are delivered to me. Every week all of my bedding is changed and washed, my bathroom is cleaned and I get fresh towels. Clothing is taken away, washed and brought back neatly folded. Any post arriving in the day is now left at my door too.

I find that when I do my garden walk I am able to look across the Bristol Channel to the South Wales coastline in the distance; the promenade is usually full of walkers, joggers, children on bicycles and scooters, and the usual happy holiday crowds. But it is now just empty, and the Grade One listed Victorian pier thrusts out into the sea alone.

It was some five years ago that my wife and I decided to sell up and move from our family house in the Midlands and come to live in an apartment in the Hawthorns Clevedon. We were nearer to our sons, but now, having lost my wife two years ago, they cannot come to me, nor me go to them, but I do feel that in this crazy time of Covid-19 I must be among the most fortunate older men in the country. No cooking, no cleaning, no shopping, and the 2 metre distancing maintained.

So the sun shines for this Easter and I have my television for the news and some company. I have my iPad and computer and speak with my family and friends on FaceTime. Last week I joined seventeen others from across the world in an on-line art class. With the amazing support from the team at The Hawthorns, life is really very good, and those of us living here are most grateful.

Be the lockdown three weeks or three months, this vulnerable old guy will continue to give thanks and enjoy his life!

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