I was sat having a late lunch in our Grand Marche café yesterday surrounded by the hubbub of life. It’s a stark contrast to 6 weeks ago when the silence was deafening. There is nothing worse than an empty café both for financial reasons and for the soul.
Our Grand Marche café attracts an older demographic than our other sites and has as a result taken longer to recover post lock-down. The great terror of COVID and strong Government messages of “stay home and stay safe” has had an enormous impact on the psyche of the older generation. For those who have been isolated for so long it must have felt like age apartheid.
Every day we are given the latest numbers of deaths, yet we never read about the number of people who have lived through COVID. We’re asked to remember the impact of each death on a family, yet never to consider the impact of isolation and loneliness of those left home alone. Existing not living. They remain simply as “they”.
This leads me on to the raison d’être of this blog and the danger of categorising people in our society. The word “old” is bandied about as if we all understand what this means. Old for a 10 year old is a 20 year old, yet society wouldn’t categorise someone in their 20’s as “old”. You can be 80 years old but feel 50, yet in the current pandemic you become a number because of your age.
Sitting in our café yesterday reminded me of the importance of living your life. For so many COVID has been like a thief, stealing the time we have left on this planet. As Edmundo Ross in his song “the square dance samba” reminds us just because you’ve lived a long life doesn’t mean you can’t live a little more. As someone famously said “youth is wasted on the young”
“My dancing days are over said dear old Grandma’ma but then she heard the Samba and grabbed at Grandpa’pa. They used to do the square dance and so they took a chance, that’s how the Square dance samba first started as a dance. Though Grandma’ma is 80 and Grandpa 85 the square dance samba makes them glad to be alive.
Grandma’ma, grandpa’pa love to do the square dance samba, round they go to and fro’ dancing to the square dance samba. As they glide side by side like a pendulum they’re swinging, they took an old dance added a new, stirred them up and what have you? You have a new dance you love to do, it’s the square dance samba.
If you pass Grandma’s window you’ll hear the music play, for Grandma’s giving lessons the square dance samba way. She teaches them the square dance but with a samba knack. They swing their partners forward, they swing their partners back. Grandma looks 10 years younger, grandpa feels twice as strong since they first started dancing square dance samba song.
Grandma’ma, grandpa’pa love to do the square dance samba, round they go to and fro’ dancing to the square dance samba. As they glide side by side like a pendulum they’re swinging, they took an old dance added a new, stirred them up and what have you? You have a new dance you love to do, it’s the square dance samba
They took an old dance, added a new, stirred them up and what have you, you have a new dance you love to do, it’s the square dance samba”
(From Ros Album of Sambas)
As the team in our Grand Marche café say to our regulars – “bye girls!”