The bee sanctuary

Heart of grass

  • Driving to the hospital takes about three-quarters of The Very Best of the Eagles. We didn’t bother changing the CD the first week because the Eagles made such comforting slippers for the ears. I kept thinking how cool it would be to start an all-woman Eagles a capella group called The Sheagles. It wouldn’t matter that I cannae sing for shit; it would just be a joyous thing to be a part of. We would gather, guzzle some wine then belt out the hits. But of course in this internet age everything has already been done – there’s a tribute band called The Sheagles in Nashville. I need to think of a new name. Witchy Women? Gah. So, anyone want to be in my group?
  • The ICU is on the first floor of the hospital and we couldn’t find the stairs. Despite the gravity of that first week, every time we got in I’d think, “I must look so lazy; taking the lift to the first floor”. I’d feel deranged vindication every time the doors opened and the big INTENSIVE CARE UNIT sign came into view. I wanted to turn back to the folks going to higher floors and say, “YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, ICU. This is serious shit! No time for stairs!”.
  • Weeks later I found the stairs and they’re for access to staff areas only, so… PHEW.
  • Why does the brain latch on to such trivial thoughts like those above? I thought it would put them aside in a time of need, but they are still there. Maybe even more so.
  • Another runaway train of thought. Those stupid disposable plastic aprons you have to put on every time you go into the ICU or High Dependency ward. Six weeks of aprons have wiped out all my dedicated years of refusing plastic shopping bags! What is the POINT, the effort of one person is FUTILE, our planet is DOOMED, etcetera etcetera!
  • We’re also preparing to move. And job changes for both. Much bonkersness lies ahead! So there have been tired worried freak out zombie days when a Chunky KitKat sounded like a great dinner. But more and more days I laugh and crack on, trying to appreciate the details and possibilities. I feel a little bit Big Kev excited! Everything seems more vivid and urgent. You never know when a car is going to sail over from the wrong side of the motorway, right into you.
  • Two big patches of clover and buttercups sprouted up amongst the grass in our yard. Gareth carefully mowed around them, so the bees could feast on the flowers. We have these two wild and skanky jungles, but there are squadrons of bees frolicking in them, which makes Gareth happy as he’s always worrying about bees. He calls it his Bee Serengeti. The patches remind me of the heart Mum’s friend Michael mowed in his back yard for our Aussie wedding (see above), except in reverse. It reminds me I ended up with a good bloke and we’re all doing just fine.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

50 thoughts on “The bee sanctuary

  1. I love the bee sanctuary — and your yard sounds beautiful, for being a little wild.

    I continue to think of Mary when I open Audible.

    Maybe the mind grabs onto trivia to save us from thinking big thoughts in times like these. Hoping that happier times arrive soon and you can tell us about the jobs and moves.

  2. P.S. I love your vision of the Sheagles. Maybe your band could be The Sheagles Live or The Sheagles Greatest Hits. I would love to join.

    1. Hi there M, thank you very much for your lovely comment! Would you believe, the reason the Eagles were in the car was because they’d screened that documentary on BBC Four a few weeks earlier and afterwards I was hooked on them again. It was such a great documentary, warts and all! I didn’t realised they’d had so many personnel changes over the years, they were crazy! 🙂

  3. You know, Shaundogg, I would love to be in a choir. A post pub choir. Because Alcohol makes you sing better.
    Maybe we could do a skype singalong?

    F yeah re job changes.

    I do hope Mary gets better soon.

  4. Poignant post is poignant, as I believe sentences are formed on the internets. And as someone already said, trivia is useful. There is such a thing as too much room for big thoughts. Best of luck with everything. I’m getting a little lost in big thoughts now so I’ll just send you *hugs* and go look at pictures of cats or something…

    1. “Poignant post is poignant, as I believe sentences are formed on the internets.” Hehhehe love your work Tuuli. Thanks matey!

  5. Oh, I’ve totally been there with my Dad. He wasn’t in ICU, just in hospital for MONTHS and we had to wear the gowns and shoe covers and face covers and gloves and everything EVERY time we went into the room. And if we went to the bathroom or something, we had to take everything off and don totally new ones when we returned to the room. Crazy, but I guess makes sense. We speculated a lot about getting into the paper gown business — must be lots of demand!

    Anyway, thinking of you, G. and Mary. Hope the ICU part of things is over soon as she heals quickly. We’ll keep in touch regarding seeing you in the coming weeks.

    1. Oh Pamela, I thought of you and your Dad.
      So gowns and stuff are paper there? At least that can be recycled. Hehe 🙂

  6. you are living proof that in the worst of times a sense of humour will see you right. those trivialities matter – the little things we can control in the face of overwhelming uncertainty. much like mowing the lawn and buying uber awesome laundry powder.
    sending lots of love xxx

    ps: totes in for the sheagles. desperadames?
    (see what i did there).

    love to MIL xx

  7. Oh Shauna, I totally missed that about your mother in law. Wishing her all the best and hoping the whole clan all doing ok. Thinking of you. Aren’t nurses, doctors and the NHS just very good things? Gawn yersel’, Mary doll!

  8. S– have been wondering how your MIL is doing. I have done the long vigils in the ICU too and am sendin you all strength and stamina and good news.

    As for the Sheagles, I live in Nashville and I have NEVER HEARD of them! Must check out 🙂

      1. Ooh, brilliant, Jennette! I want to be in the group, Shauna!

        In other news: Sending big, squeezy hugs to you and G. Continued best wishes to Mary, and lots of luck to you two on your move and new employment opportunities. <3

  9. So good to see another post from your corner of the world. You and yours have never been far from my thoughts since all this madness started. I hope Mary is coming along. Grasp hold of all the personal changes coming your way. It’s an adventure! (((Hugs)))

  10. sorry to hear about Mary, Shauna. sending her thoughts and well wishes, and hope you and G stay strong too x

    i like this about the bees. i started making little changes in our garden to encourage them too. we had bumble bees to begin with but i’m spotting honey bees too now! who knew there was a difference?!

  11. where are you moving to? wow! what a lot you are having to manage. Staying present – thinking about the bees! – sounds as though it’s working for you
    I wannna be in the Skype E-gals. take it to the limit!
    ps NO-ONE IS JUDGING YOU!! in the hospital or anywhere ((((huge hugs))))

  12. The lifestyle anchored around hospital visits is so strange, everything seems extra poignant. Don’t second guess yourself, whatever stuff flits through you mind is there for a reason but don’t let that sneaky back brain shame you about using lifts either!

    Best of luck on the move and job changes, I’ll be sending calming vibes across the pond!

    Tell Dr G that there’s still bees in California! They like to hang out all over my lavender, and we’re going to put in as many bee-friendly plants as poss because anything that attracts bees also tends to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

    1. You are so right xx

      And great that you are so bee friendly! They love our lavender too, it actually flowered this year thanks to that strange SUN stuff!

  13. When I was little my dad used to mow mazes in the backyard lawn for us. Great fun. Then when we’d finished playing he would mow the in-between bits.

  14. On the way to visit my father in hospital I used to eat bags of raspberry ruffles. It didn’t do me much good because I still felt empty after I’d eaten them all, empty and a bit sick.

    You really are going through tough times. Big hugs from London.

    1. Ohh… “empty and a bit sick”… you always manage to write things that bring a smile and big lump in the throat at the same time.

      I had to look up Raspberry Ruffles and now I must hunt some down! They look a bit Cherry Ripe-ish, but raspberry, obviously!

  15. little thoughts are fine and normal but it is nice to hear you sounding as excited as big kev and still in love with your man and his bee sanctuary – hope mary is getting better and wish you well with planning and moving

  16. I worry about that bees, too, so please thank Gareth for his conservation efforts on my behalf. Wish I could give you a huge hug and go for a coffee but I’ll just send happy thoughts and much love!


  17. Ah shauna, this is one of those posts where you make me want to reach out and wrap you and gareth and your mother in law and family in a big ol hug and have nothing but good things happen for all of you . You have a way of sharing your inner monologue that feels so much like my own.

  18. I don’t wanna make you jealous or anything but I’ve seen the Eagles in concert…ten times! The best was a 1976 triple bill: Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne + The Eagles in Oakland…sigh, yes, I’m that old!

  19. Thinking of you – and now of The Eagles!
    I took my parents to see them in Glasgow – with 30,000 others. We were like cliched embarrassing antipodeans. My Dad *bless* started telling the only other person who turned up two hours before the show too, about how supermarkets in New Zealand were much better (based on one inner city Edinburgh mini Sainsbury’s he’d been to). ‘Say something nice about Scotland’ I hiss at him. He looks flustered and comes out with ‘You don’t see many flies in Scotland.’

    Thanks Dad – others mention the history, the great people, the architecture, ‘Chewing the Fat’, the scenery , etc etc….

  20. I like your man. He’s a good egg.

    Don’t know many eagle songs but my hubby doubles over with laughter every time I sing in the shower so I must be a good addition to the group. I like making people smile 😉 Best of luck with all the changes and warm wishes for you mum in law.

    ps: Have you guys managed to mount an ipad? A photo screensaver with some nice pics might improve her view a bit.

  21. Sorry to read about your MIL. ICU routines are scary, but what’s scarier is how fast it becomes the norm. Humour is great for deflecting but hugs and tears are important. Take care. xxx

  22. Well, I’m glad I read the comments, ’cause 1st I thought there was something terribly wrong with YOU (pictured Dr. G helping you walk down the ICU hallway). So sorry to hear about your mom-in-law.

    One thing I remember most clearly fm. when my dad was in the hospital (for weeks) was that pre-surgery they limit your liquids intake. He told me they gave him a wet washcloth to suck on. “Just give me whatever I can drink in a CUP, $&#@$#. Why make me suck on a washcloth?” Honestly, I remember his indignation about this (and I agreed) more than almost anything else from that time. Maybe we focus on the little things during BIG things ’cause we might be able to DO something about the little things, at least. As opposed to the big thing. Plus, thinking about the big thing all the time is exhausting. We have to save the strength to make a sandwich, at least, so we can keep moving.

    Many hugs to you all. xoxoo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *