It was turning out to be what could only be described as a normal weekend. Old normal, before the pandemic had turned the world upside down, not new normal where everyone had become used to people in masks and not being too close to strangers and having to book everything weeks in advance and show evidence of testing. No, it was like old normal in a new world.

The woman had spent Saturday with her girlfriend doing ordinary things like having brunch with friends and then going to see a play. It was part new normal because the play was being live streamed from the National Theatre to a cinema in Finchley. Closer and more convenient than trying to get to the West End, it had been a delightful afternoon watching a one man rendition of Chekov's play, Vanya.

She smiled to herself. She hadn't known anything about Chekov or his work and yet, almost 24 hours later, the themes of the play written more than 100 years ago were still reverberating. Relationships, recognition and the sheer ridiculousness of the human condition. One man had managed to keep the audience mesmerised for two straight hours and as she always did when she saw live theatre, she was amazed at how anyone could do such a thing. Truly it was magical to watch one person perform so many parts and the woman had left with her girlfriend feeling revitalised and ready for more art.

She hadn't really been someone to go to galleries and exhibitions in her previous life. There had been an annual exhibition at a local gallery that she and her late wife would go to but in this new life, with new people who were no longer new but had become essential parts of her world, she would go often to see things she didn't know existed. This was one of the many reasons that she was so grateful for the woman who had come into her life at her lowest point and raised the game again.

They had met through yoga and the connection had been immediate. Looking back to those early months of meeting, still navigating her grief and yet needing to live fully again, the new woman had been an immediate blessing and within a year of meeting, they had become lovers.

Lovers. Such a powerful, gentle word. She'd always liked it as a way of describing the person she loved. Yes, one could say girlfriend, partner, wife and all had a powerful validity. But lover appealed to her romantic nature and so, in the main, lover was the word of choice. Yet, there was more to the connection than she could have ever anticipated and it was this that she was so very grateful for.

When one has made a commitment to another for life and that life is cruelly cut short through cancer, it might be expected that widowhood would remain the state for the rest of one's own life. Certainly, her late wife had expressed a preference that she remained single for eternity once she was gone and they had laughed sadly when the woman had said she was too young and too gorgeous and it would be a waste. In true tradition, her wife had said, 'fuck off swami, I'll haunt ya.” They had laughed as they so often had. It helped with the pain. It didn't help that she died and the woman's grief had been total. And widely shared. Another reason to be grateful.

It was almost a decade now since they had found out what the problem was and how little time was left and somehow, so many details were still etched in her memory. She was grateful for that because it had been too magnificent a life, even with all the pain and loss, to ever want to forget it. Even the dark bits felt important to recall because it was a way of honouring what her wife had gone through.

What she also didn't want to forget was the importance of living in the moment and this is what her new love had brought to her. Along with her patience and kindness and incredibly smart mind, the woman had brought a wider perspective. A shared belief in the magnificence of people when they feel held and safe and able to fully express who they are. She knew she hadn't been an easy find for someone.

Sprawled across a beach of her own emotions, furious at the loss she'd had and at times incoherent with the complexity of it all, she was hardly what one might call a good catch. Yet someone, this new woman, had seen through the hardened jawline that clenched to keep the tears in. She'd seen past the swagger that was intended to hide the stagger. And she had opened up a world of theatre and classical concerts and trips to Devon and exhibitions of movement and, an additional bonus, a world of anatomy. It was quite brilliant and she had fallen very much in love with this woman who was so unlike anyone she had met before.

It wasn't straightforward of course and she knew that some of her friends had struggled with the new order. It was hard for them to see their friend with someone else and the shift had sometimes been tricky. Then had come the pandemic and the whole world had shifted and now, nearly four years later, the new layout was becoming clearer again.

She was grateful because she had managed to ride the waves, keep hold of her friends and have another beautiful relationship. It was all about an attitude of gratitude she thought. Thank god I've managed to grow one. It was going to be a great day. It might even include more of the dreadful bone broth because actually, she could feel it working and that, was just fabulous. What a wonderful life.