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Staying in is the new going out

Someone tweeted recently was it strange to like being in ‘lockdown’ & I must admit in a strange kind of way it is growing on me. Corona virus aside it has afforded many to re engage with hobbies & tackle jobs around the homestead that have hung about waiting to be done.

Also it has slowed peoples lives down to the point where it is possible for once to just be able to take a guilt free moment to sit in the garden noticing the plants & animals for a change or picking up a pencil & drawing etc.

For me I have relinquished almost all kitchen duties to my daughter who is entertaining herself by delving into the many cookery books on the shelves. This new won freedom means not only do we now get a new variety of healthy dishes daily but I can get on uninterrupted with the projects that I had been loathe to start.

silent stones!

Headphones in place with either an audio book or music on the go I have been tackling a rebuild of a small dry stone wall surrounding a flower bed. No stranger to this form of walling as I reconstructed over fifty metres of boundary wall in the past this proved rather annoying. The stones as I told to the great amusement of the husband & daughter really weren’t ‘speaking to me!’ Mad as it sounds to wall effectively you need to be able to work the stones together to sort of interlock them & these really weren’t playing the game. Still with time on my hands & the opportunity to work in the sunshine I persevered & its now almost finished.

Inside the first layer of lime mortar applied to a wall is drying awaiting the finishing coat once the wall has dried. The corner of the room has always been damp so hopefully this will help to remedy it. The joys of living in an old property in the UK where the unseasonal rainfall has not helped.

Today I actually gave myself a day off from chores & treated myself to playing ‘Dan’ my electric guitar & attempting to refine the tune I have been writing for a while. Although never likely to derive an income from my endeavours I do find the whole process completely absorbing & as a result makes me feel very relaxed.

Below should be a link to a Tik Tok that we made & shared to Instagram hopefully you can see it & it makes you smile.

for a giggle

Hope if you are reading this you are having a good day & staying safe.

Lockdown Life

2020 was so full of promise at the start its hard to get your head around where we have all seemingly ended up. Its hard to comprehend that a world so used to running on overdrive has now been forced to stand & stare as it were while a virus sneaks about casing devastation in its wake.

Whilst volunteering at some music festivals last year I spent several hours on shift in the company of younger people & it gave me a fascinating insight to some of the complex issues that now seemed stem from an overwhelming sense of anxiety about almost everything. Indeed Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes sum it up for me in the lyrics of Crowbar ‘the next thing to arrive is a terrifying fear of how you’re supposed to live your life’.

Since then its started to make me ponder whether this is a new phenomenon or whether they are just more forthright & willing to express these feelings. I can certainly remember feelings of anxiety when having to tackle a problem I had no experience of or found myself dealing with all manner of unfamiliar situations but I don’t recall being paralysed from it.

Which brings me to the ‘hows everyone coping’ with this lockdown situation? Seems in many & varied ways but this is where perhaps our ability to adapt & how we cope mentally will be sorely tested.

Everywhere you turn there seems to be virus updates the quality of which in some cases is decidedly dubious. I for one have limited my daily intake to once a day from a reputable source. It doesn’t mean I take the issue any less seriously but I don’t need to be overdosing on it. I believe much harm to an individuals mental health can come from a rising sense of panic generated by information overload.

For me as its has always been the secret is grounding oneself in a routine or rhythm for the day or week. As my daughter wisely said just the simple act of getting up & making the bed is a simple way of defining the start of the day. Sounds crazy until you hear people trying to determine what day it is as they all start to merge. On retirement the days of my week were differentiated by the various activities I am normally involved with. With this all gone its been vital for me to start building a new reality.

So clinging to the threads of my previous ‘routine’ the day starts with a walk by myself across the fields. Breakfast & then to join my daughter for an intense 20 mins exercise programme followed by a further 20 minutes of stretching. Once done we then set about tasks we have set ourselves for the day. As she is good at cooking she has taken over in the kitchen which has freed me up to tackle some jobs around the garden which have been waiting to be done. We still interact with our social media so can communicate with friends & family whilst exploring perhaps some of the aspects that have perviously been a luxury to invest time in investigating.

We also have been spending time trying to capture some video of me attempting some of the wtfimu2 challenges that are still possible to attempt during the confinement. This enables my daughter to try out new filming techniques while I advance my skills needed to try & complete the tasks.

Today I had a visual guitar lesson via FaceTime with my guitar teacher so its quite interesting to see what can be achieved despite the restrictions. Indeed I do wonder when things ‘go back to normal’ whether some of the the things we have learnt will actually morph into some ‘new normal’.

May be firms will see the companies don’t crumble completely by its staff working from home & some of the comradeship will continue long after this. Indeed the level of international co-operation seems incredible so why can’t this be the new norm too?? Who knows perhaps some better work life balances could evolve as a result?

Hubby is busy in the garden too with sorting out the chickens & trying to develop a means of creating a supply of pellets for our biomass from sawdust. This a very eco friendly project which again is something that will enable us to use sawdust that otherwise would be a waste product.

I hope where ever you are when you are reading this you & your loved ones stay safe. Back later to update on how the lockdown is going later. Please feel free to comment on what is really helping you so far.

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