I thought having a look back over the last few Mondays would be good for my record keeping of this time – this is probably not going to be of any interest to anyone else aside from me. I wrote this post last Monday but it has taken me a week to get photos in it – so this Monday has been quite a bit of up and down but more up than down in the end!
This week is bank holiday Monday – It hasn’t been that strange a bank holiday for us to be honest. As we work for ourselves bank holidays aren’t that different to any normal day. We have both done some work/study, had a blustery walk and now we are on-and-off watching the Folk On Foot Front Room Festival. Folk On Foot is a fabulous gentle podcast where Matthew Bannister visits folk musicians and goes for a walk and chat with them and their guitars.
Last Monday 6th April -start of week 3 of lock down. Thinking back to this week I already can’t remember what was going on and looking in my diary for last week it pretty much just says I spent the whole week working and working out the least worst option of how to do the shopping. In the end we opted for local deliveries from Farmhouse Fayre for veg, Island Foods for meat, and popped to Rosalie’s in Cowes for milk and cheese. I am finding it incredible just how much working out the logistics of getting food with minimal social contact is occupying my time and emotional energy.
Monday 30th May start of week 2 of lockdown – I have written down more for this week – mostly in big letters CAN’T FOCUS. My entry for this date is pretty much talking about the fact that I felt very adrift, this was the first week that I felt we were starting to get a handle on the new way of living rather than falling through each week in free fall trying to manage students and new technology. My other main concern was that I had done nothing on my university assignment for two weeks and my ability to concerntrate on doing research is next to non-existent – again this is the first day I have had time to consider anything beyond just getting through each day. I was exceptionally stressed by this and ended up emailing my tutors saying I wasn’t coping – this is very unlike me. By Wednesday our whole cohort had recieved a 3-4 week extension which was a huge relief for me, but on Monday night I didn’t know that was coming and was feeling overwhelmed.
Monday 23rd our 29th wedding anniversary as well as what was to be the first day of lockdown and the first day that Jonathan is off school. Over the weekend things had changed , poor Jonathan had had to cancel his 18th birthday celebrations with his friends and we had our first virtual church – Martin and 3 other people went to church to present it for everyone else. We celebrated the day by going to Gurnard in the van for a swim in the sea – if was freezing but I managed about 125 strokes and it was exhilerating and we wondered if this might be our last swim for a while. We nipped to Aldi to top up our shopping a bit as we suspected that lockdown was coming.
As this was only week 2 of teaching from home over zoom and writing blog posts and producing videos for my groups I spent a big chunk of the day working on this – particularly putting together teaching packages for my primary students. We did some gardening, planting vegetables suddenly seemed imperative for some reason!
We did manage a bit more fun with a game of Ticket To Ride and we decided to join Gareth Malone’s Great Brittish Chorus which was a good thing as I have enjoyed singing 5 days a week, really good for my mental state as well as making me do vocal exercises regularly which I am really bad at remembering to do!
Then there was the unsuprising and yet still shocking anouncement from Boris Johnson that we were entering a lockdown – we could only go out for limited reasons such as essential shopping and 1 form of exercise daily. I know this word is overused at the moment but this is truly unprecedented and it is unsettling whilst fully expected.
Monday 16th March – Jonathan’s 18th birthday. I started the day thinking that I might get one more week of term being able to teach face to face. Jonathan took the day off school not because it was his birthday but because he hadn’t been feeling well all weekend. That was a shame because at the weekend the rest of our family had returned home and we had gone out for a meal together at the lovely Ada for unlimited mezze and he really couldn’t enjoy it fully. We were having vague conversations about Covid19 – might we need to postpone the gardening day planned at the grandparents’ house at the beginning of Easter and postpone the large family meal out to celebrate Jonathan’s birthday? At this point I was saying,”let’s leave it for now maybe?” I think that Rebekah and Nathan might have had their fingers more on the pulse than us, they definitely seemed to believe a lock down was coming more quickly.
So we spent the Monday doing some shopping at Aldi, which was packed liked a busy Saturday lunch time. There were no eggs and no suger but most things that we wanted were in stock. This is where I was feeling pleased that we still had a fairly big brexit stash of staples under the bed so I wasn’t rushing around buying pasta, rice and flour, and we always buy our loo rolls in bulk from Costco when we visit the mainland so we didn’t need get any of those in either. SInce the issues with lack of stock in supermarkets I have listened to More or Less sugesting that very few people are buying these items in bulk the impact is just from everyone all at once deciding to buy a packet if pasta this week rather than leaving it to next week.
We thought that the first thing the government would do would be to close schools and that would be the following week. But this is the night that Boris starts daily briefings and he sugests some social distancing should be starting now and I decide I need cancel all my classes – this is is the start of two weeks of exhausting work for me and Martin as I try and smoothly move as many of my students online as possible and produce something that will work for my group lessons. I also had to tell Jonathan that his D & D party and sleepover the next weekend is almost certainly off. But over this week we still have a friend over for dinner (although I disinfect doorhandles etc. and we don’t hug, I go to the hairdressers, and we also buy decorating and gardening stuff as we start to prepare for things escalating. But by Wednesday of this week we are all shocked when we hear that not only are the schools being closed from Monday but the exams are cancelled. We are so pleased that that Jonathan has an unconditional offer but this is still very unsettling news.
I am glad all the children came back last weekend as now we don’t know when we will be able to see them again.