I don’t know about you, but I am finding the days in this Coronavirus Lockdown are just flying by! I am now officially unemployed again and so maybe you would think that the days would drag a bit without the structure of a job. But it is just the opposite at the moment.
Filling My Days
Even when life is very different such as in this Coronavirus outbreak, you will find yourself soon getting in to a new routine. I think its human nature. And I am no different. Monday – Thursday are my mornings to walk the dog. Tuesday evenings are when I brave the shops. The rubbish still gets collected on Thursday mornings so I still have to remember to put the bin out on Wednesday evenings. Thursday evenings are Loraine and my knit nights via Facebook Live and of course we go out and clap for our carers.
Friday and Saturday Callum walks Arthur and so these are the days I try and cut the grass and get out for a run rather than using the treadmill. The same on Sunday when Cailtin takes a turn at the dog exercise.
Last night the street was out again shouting, clapping and banging saucepans in support of all our carers and key workers who are continuing to battle on during the Coronavirus lockdown. And before we know it, another week will have passed and we will be back out there again. Some days I am even lucky enough to get some knitting done!
Days are Flying Past!
Each day goes by in its own routine too. In the mornings I usually walk the dog and come home to a huge pot of freshly brewed coffee. I then drink this whilst doing bits and bobs on the computer. Checking emails, social media and Ravelry. I try and post a little snippet on Instagram from the previous days live with Loraine. And I am trying to get into the habit of doing my blog once a week on a Friday or Saturday.
Around 11 I tend to go into the kitchen where I have been trying to practise my flute. This week I also sent Callum into the loft to find my long abandoned clarinet. It went up there when we moved in 14 years ago and I hadn’t seen it since. And I don’t think I have played it in about 20 years.
I played for many of my teenage years. I was very lucky to get free music lessons from the school. Once a week myself and two other girls got 30 mins with a teacher after school. I got quite good. And even though my parents couldn’t afford me to do the official exams my teacher said I was working at a Grade 5 and moving on towards a Grade 6.
When Callum brought down my clarinet he also found some sheet music. I remember that I used to play some of the tunes as they were well known, but I couldn’t read it now. And I couldn’t remember any of the fingering for the notes. And the reeds! I worked my way up from a 1 1/2 to a 2 1/2 but my goodness did I have to blow really hard to get any noise out of it now!!
My husband will be shaking his head in disbelief because I have now bought new, softer reeds, as well as a music stand and three books of music for the flute and clarinet. I think I have got as far as I can with the tutorials available on You Tube. I may have to start thinking about some Skype lessons.
I am pleased with my progress though. In two weeks I have gone from not even being able to make a noise on the flute to knowing 7 notes and being able to play some simple songs. And in two days on the clarinet I have remembered 5 notes and can play some simple scales. Here is a little video of me showing off my flute playing.
Afternoons seem to be filled during this Coronavirus Lockdown with Facebook Livestreams with Loraine, talking to my husband or our parents and watching things on TV with the kids. There never seems to be enough time to share between them all! But I am loving spending more time with the kids.
This morning I was trying to cut the grass before the lawn mower decided to go on strike. So I thought I would leave it for a bit and come and write this weeks blog. It has had an hour to sort itself out so I am going to try it again. Wish me luck!
Don’t forget that Loraine and I go Live in our Facebook group Knitting Across the Pennines every afternoon. We would love it if you could join us!
If you can’t then check out our videos of our podcast on You Tube
If you liked this post please check out my others – Emma’s Blog
You might well be wondering what happened to the Coronavirus Files Days 20-25. I had a blip. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I just needed to be kind to myself for a while. I took a few days to not worry about much at all. I listened to music. I watched Jesus Christ Superstar. A lot. I tried to exercise but only if I felt like it. I talked to friends. But only when I was in the mood. And the rest of the time I pretty much just tried to keep going.
I wasn’t really unwell. I wasn’t sleeping so I was definitely tired. I think I can only describe my mood as a real deep, dark, ennui. I had lost my mojo. And I could no longer find joy or excitement in the things I had previously.
We are always being told to be kind where possible. And it is always possible. But quite often we forget to be kind to ourselves. I don’t know why that I thought being locked in my house due to the Coronavirus outbreak was going to result in me having a complete personality transplant.
I am an introvert. I like being at home. I like my own company. I can entertain myself pretty well for the most part. And I found I had set myself some pretty unrealistic goals. I enjoy the company of my friends who I see once or twice a week. And I generally talk to my parents and my mother-in-law once a week. Why would I suddenly be able to talk to everyone all the time? I found it so stressful. Video calls were suddenly taking up around 5 hours of my day! I had to take some time back for myself.
One of the reasons why I knit is that it soothes my soul. I find it a kind of meditation. And that is probably why I am a process knitter. I don’t really have much interest in the finished item. I rarely wear what I make and am happy to give my samples away. And it is also a reason why I enjoy simple garter stitch or stocking stitch in the round. I think I need it all the more during the Coronavirus lockdown.
I have been working on some projects this week though. I finished the knitting part of the cardigan that I am going to steek. I have to sew up the stitches and then cut them and add a button band and then it is finished. But the way I have been feeling I decided it was probably best to leave this for now. Its not as if I really need to wear it just now as the weather has taken a lovely warm turn.
I have also been working on some baby things. I have finished a baby jacket for my step-daughter who is expecting a girl at the beginning of September. I was a little distracted whilst sewing it up and ended up grafting the wrong side of the front to the wrong side of the back and had to do it again! I am actually not too happy with the rib on the hood and want to take it out and do it on smaller needles. So I will post a finished picture when I have done that.
I have also been making some burp cloths. They are in 100% cotton with lovely simple patterns on them. I know they will come in handy for the baby. And I have really enjoyed having something that didn’t require much concentration to make. Again, I will post photos of those when I have done all three of them. I am doing the last one at the moment.
I have also struggled to keep the enthusiasm for my running without my running friends. I have done a few dreadmill runs which I always find hard going. I have tried to keep them short and fast. But they are necessary at the moment as due to government rules during the Coronavirus outbreak I can’t go out on the days that it is my turn to walk Arthur.
Today I went out for my weekend treasure hunt. Our brief this week was Gate, Horse, Ice cream. I went through the fields that I usually walk with Arthur. It was a tough run but I really enjoyed it, for the first time in ages! I found lots of horses and gates. I even got in a bonus snap or two of the lambs and Ormesby Hall in recognition of my friends, The Halls, that I am missing catching up with.
I still have to get ice cream but I am quite looking forward to going out tomorrow to find that on a more urban route. I am hoping one of the local Spar shops might have an ad for one in the window!
I am going to continue to write my Coronavirus File posts, but I have decided not to put pressure on myself to do one everyday. I will try and remember to post on my Instagram and Twitter pages when I have written one.
In the meantime don’t forget Loraine and I go live every day in our Knitting Across the Pennines Facebook page every afternoon. And Thursday evening we do our virtual knit night. We would love it if you could join us.
If you can’t then why not watch our videos on You Tube where you can catch up with us at your convenience.
And if you liked this post please check out my others – Emma’s Blog
I headed out a little later than planned for my Coronavirus Allowed Exercise. Usually I would have been out around 7 but I had a little lie-in. I am definitely getting used to a more relaxed timetable over the last few days of Coronavirus Lockdown!
It was cloudy and cooler than yesterday. But I soon warmed up on my run. As my friends and I can no longer run together, or join up for a post-run coffee we have been looking for things as a kind of alphabet and treasure hunt all rolled into one. This week the objects I had to find and take photos of were daffodils, Easter eggs and a For Sale sign. Luckily I was able to find all three in just over the first km and was then able to settle into a nice pace for the rest of the run. The funniest one was the Easter eggs which I saw a sign for in the window of the Spar. The guy stood at the cash point must have thought I was bonkers!
I had planned to go for 8km but wasn’t feeling it so only got to 5.5. But I can always head out again tomorrow if I want. As my mother in law would say “There’s nowt spoiling!” It rained a bit when I first got home, but now its is lovely and sunny and warm.
I also took some photos on my cool down of rainbows that have been drawn and made during the Coronavirus Lockdown. It has been so lovely to see them popping up all over the place to cheer us all up. And of course to remind us that brighter days will be coming. We just have to hang on in there. My favourite was the one drawn in chalk on the wall.
The Shows Must Go On!
Last night I watched the live stream of Jesus Christ Superstar on You Tube. It was on a channel called The Shows Must Go On and every week they are putting a different show on. It premiers at 7pm on Friday night and is available for 48 hours.
My brother is the one that told me about it last week. He, my sister and I sat in our own homes in Coronavirus Separation and watched Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat “together.” Last night we did the same thing again. The only thing that was missing was the drink in the interval.
It was very well timed putting this one on Good Friday but it was the new updated rock stadium version and it was amazing. Mel C as Mary Magdalene gave me chills when she sang one of my favourite ever songs “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”. And Chris Moyles made a great appearance as King Herod. But I couldn’t take my eyes off Ben Forster as Jesus. Right about now I need the heart_eyes emoji!
In 2012 he won a contest in the ITV series Superstar and thereby got the role which went on a tour of the UK and Australia. I wish I had been able to go and see it live. I must admit to have it playing in the background as I write this! I am excited to see which show they stream next week. Check out the channel The Shows Must Go On!
Don’t forget to join Loraine and I in our Knitting Across the Pennines Facebook group where we go live for a chat and a cuppa everyday. Bring a WIP and a beverage and let us know how you are doing.
If you can’t join us live then watch our videos on You Tube.
And if you liked this post then please check out my others – Emma’s Blog
Today is the first Bank Holiday that we have had since the Coronavirus Lockdown came into force. It is Good Friday. And the weather is lovely. The sun is out and its warm. I have seen loads of people walking past my house. Partaking of their one hour of Government approved exercise I should imagine.
I have spent most of the morning relaxing and making the most of my holiday. I took the dog for a walk first thing. but a little later than usual. It did mean that I came across more walkers than I would have preferred. As always happens when I go out for a walk I am reminded how lucky I am to live where I do. Especially at the moment. Even with the Coronavirus lockdown and the restrictions on our daily lives I have this bit of nature that I can enjoy. I can walk out of my house and across the road and I am in fields where I can walk for miles and pass a couple of very happy hours (or as per the guidlelines – one hour max) on a lovely morning like it was today.
A Bit Tired From Last Night
Last night was Thursday night which always means our virtual knit night with Loraine from Woolly Madly Deeply. And just to try and forget the fact that I had really bad stomach cramps from eating a “may contain gluten” chicken rub at lunch time I decided to have a couple of glasses of wine. We also had our regular Clap for our Carers intermission which has happened at 8pm on a Thursday for the last three weeks in recognition of all those working hard to get us all through Coronavirus.
This morning I was feeling a little dehydrated from the wine. I wasn’t hungover, but I could definitely feel that I hadn’t had enough liquids the night before. So I had a leisurely breakfast and watched the movie Diana whilst working on my cardigan. Everything else could wait. I wasn’t going anywhere and no one was visiting!
I have done some housework, but its a holiday so I’m not really feeling in the mood for doing what I should have been doing every day so far. And the weather is so nice that pretty much the only cleaning I have done was in the back garden.
I am lucky to have a really nice outside space to use during the Coronavirus Lockdown. So I thought I should get it tidied up and use it. I washed down the table and the sun loungers that have been out all winter. I then hosed them down just to make sure.
Arthur loves the hose and thought that I had got it out for him. That meant that both of us got a little bit wetter than had been intended. Well, Arthur got a lot wetter than I had intended! I have now got my laptop all set up on the nice clean table and I am working there whilst the weather stays nice. There is a little nip in the air, but not enough that I need to go in. I am going to stay out and enjoy the fresh air for as long as I can.
As I said I have been working on the neckline of my cardigan. I feel like I have been going round and round and decreasing for about a year! I am making progress though, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I am really close to finishing the decreases and then I will be able to get ready for the steeking. I am a little eager to get to that point. Hopefully I will be able to share some photos with you tomorrow.
A lot of things have changed since the Coronavirus Lockdown was put into force. One of those things is shopping. It has been nearly two weeks since I last went to the supermarket. I have been trying to go as infrequently as possible. It was not an experience I enjoyed last time. And so I haven’t been in any hurry to repeat it. We have been eating strange combinations of food, and reaching into the deepest and darkest recesses of the freezer. But I could put it off no longer. And with the Bank Holiday Weekend coming up it HAD to be today really.
As was the case the last time I knew I had to go shopping, I was feeling anxious about and that anxiety definitely disturbed my sleep. I was up from 4 with no prospect at all of getting back off. And so I was up, drinking coffee and knitting a few rounds on my sweater that will be a cardigan when Callum got up. Usually I walk the dog Monday – Thursday, he does Friday and Saturday whilst Caitlin picks up the Sunday shift. But as I wanted to get to the supermarket for opening I had swapped with Callum this morning.
He headed out with the dog at 6; I got up and dressed and headed out the door around 6:15. It was a good job it was quiet on the roads due to the Coronavirus Lockdown so I could get used to the loan car.
Arriving a little before 6:30 I was totally unsurprised to find myself joining a queue to be let in. This time, however, I knew the drill and so collected my shopping trolley before joining the back of the line. I counted 20 people in front of me. And despite the government directives being only one person from each house to go shopping, there were one or two couples.
Once the doors were opened we made our way through the one way system to the door and actually got in quite quickly. A wipe down of the trolley with cleaner and a reminder to stay away from other people and it was down to the serious business.
Normally I can zip around a supermarket in about 20 mins. From door to door I can usually be done within the hour. But that was in the days before Coronavirus Lockdown. That was before we all had to wait for the person in front of us to stop deciding which was the best bunch of bananas so we could move on. That was before only being allowed three of any item. And it was certainly before the days of a supermarket being busy when it opened at 6:30am!
Most people were trying to stick to the guidelines. I followed a woman round the entire place as I am pretty sure you aren’t supposed to overtake on the inside. One guy did come up from behind to stand alongside me in the freezer section, and then another decided to come through the middle of us. He got a shouting at from me for his efforts but he would seem uninterested in Coronavirus distancing measures! And another woman was stood in the middle of the aisle shouting to her husband at the end so I couldn’t get to the till. When I reminded her I couldn’t pass I got a filthy look. But that was about as bad as it got.
Hopefully I now won’t need to brave the shops for about 10 days. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Remember to join Loraine and I in our Knitting Across the Pennines Facebook group for our live chats. Its Thursday today so that means virtual knit night. Don’t forget to bring a project and a beverage. And you could even bring an adult one if you would like!
If you can’t join us tonight you could always check out our videos on You Tube.
And if you liked this post please check out my others – Emma’s Blog
The Coronavirus has brought up many challenges in everyday life. Some people have it harder than others. In comparision I am not having it bad at all. But today has proved to be more than a little frustrating!
This Was Not How I Wanted to Spend My Day!
It all started so well! I was awake a little early, but that was no hardship. It was a lovely morning so I was able to get up and out with the dog for our walk whilst it was still nice and quiet. I even found time to have a soak in a nice hot bath before getting dressed and ready for the day ahead.
I made a cup of tea, took out my knitting and prepared to ring my parents whilst running the car and getting a few sneaky rounds in on my cardigan. But the car wasn’t playing nicely. When I tried to start it all the lights on the dashboard started flashing. The headlights were also flashing on and off. And there was a clicking noise.
I found the number for Lexus. They were closed due to Coronavirus but I was given a number to text to ask for help. They rang me quite quickly and put me in touch with the breakdown people. It was all going ok until the woman kept saying I had no road tax and that it had run out on 1st April. But I know I had paid it. They wouldn’t send someone out until I could say I had proof to show the breakdown agent.
I found proof and rang back and everything was sorted out but it was just an added frustration that I really didn’t need. I do have to say I was very impressed at how quickly the AA arrived. And they guy who helped me out couldn’t have been nicer.
Battery Says No
So now the Lexus is started but upon testing the battery it was a big fail. There was no way this was going to make it through the Coronavirus Lockdown. But also due to the Coronavirus Lockdown the garage is shut. I thought they might only be fixing the cars of key workers, but because I am the registered carer for my disabled son they would do ours for us too.
I was able to get back in touch with the man from the office who had contacted me in the first place. Lexus do a 5 year guarantee on batteries and so they will replace it. But I think I may have to wait. I am currently awaiting the delivery of a Toyota Yaris until it is all sorted out.
An Added Bonus
Do you remember I said the guy from the AA couldn’t be nicer? We had talked about my run of bad luck with my husband being stuck in Saudi for the forseeable and how both of my cars are now suffering with battery problems. Don’t tell anyone but he gave my Land Rover a jump start too even though its not really covered.
A New Place to Work
I am now currently writing this on my laptop whilst sat in the Land Rover. Both cars have been running for nearly an hour but I am not sure I want to turn either of them off. It will be a couple of hours until the Yaris is delivered and I guess the Land Rover will either have taken a charge or not. There really isn’t anything else I can do. Apart from have a cup of tea and a gluten free flapjack! Strange times indeed!