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
When I was writing to you yesterday I was getting prepared to go to the chemist for the first time since Coronavirus Lockdown. I really wasn’t looking forward to the whole ordeal. But I was prepared. I had rang the day before to check that my prescription was ready. The lady on the other end of the phone has suggested I go at 4:30pm when they find the queue of people waiting was shorter.
I managed to persuade Caitlin to come with me in the car. It isn’t that far away, but the car hasn’t had a run anywhere in over a week. So we drove the long way round and Caitlin stayed with the car engine running whilst I went and joined the back of the line.
They were only letting one person at a time into the shop. It is pretty small so that makes sense. There were two men waiting outside at a sensible distance from each other when I got there. Soon there were a couple of people behind me. One of which wasn’t really keeping far enough away but a look soon sorted that out.
I think I waited about 10-15 minutes to get inside. The lady behind the counter had a huge plastic screen to protect her and a small hole for the pay machine and to pass medicines through. There was also tape on the floor so that you would remember to still keep your distance. All in all it was pretty well organised.
The same, unfortunately, can’t be said of the Spar. I went in after the pharmacy as I needed butter. They were not restricting the amount of people going in at any one time. There were gaps on the shelves and people were just passing each other willy-nilly in the aisles. When you came to queue there was tape on the floor. But the guy in front of me didn’t seem to want to take notice of that.
I felt bad for the woman behind the counter. She was standing back when someone approached and put their basket next to the till. She was then asking them to move away whilst she scanned the shopping and packed it. She would then move back so the shopper could use the card machine. Again, the man in front of me just wasn’t getting it. A couple of times she jumped backwards and had to ask him to keep his distance.
Not a parkrun
This morning I decided to go for my longer run rather than the usual Saturday morning 5k. I found it a bit tough to start off but once I was warmed up by running down a very nice bank I soon found my rhythm. In our Facebook running group one of the admins has set us a challenge of taking photos of ourselves on our weekend runs as a kind of I Spy and Alphabet game.
We have from Friday evening to Sunday evening to find three things. This week we had to take a photo of:
I found the bus stop without any problem at all. In fact I probably ran past about 50 of them in total by the time I got home. I think I ran past some cones pretty early on in my run but didn’t remember that I was trying to get the challenge items. After that I did see a couple so took photos of those. Apple was a little more difficult. It being a little early to see apples growing on the trees. We had been told we could be inventive, so I took a photo of what I thought was apple blossom on the spring trees and also my Apple Watch.
Come and Join Us
Later Loraine and I will be doing a live chat with April from Skeino. It will be interesting to hear how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected her, her family and her business. Join us in our Knitting Across the Pennines group from 5pm UK time.
If you can’t watch live then we will be posting the video on our You Tube.
If you liked this post please check out my others – Emma’s Blog
This morning started in much the same way as many others have since Coronavirus meant the UK is pretty much locked into its homes. With a dog walk. But this morning I decided to really enjoy the sky. The sun was just coming up as I left my home a little before 6:30. The colours and the clouds were truly stunning so I had to take a few photos. Arthur was much more interested in trying to carry what he would call a stick, but we would probably term a branch!
Having had my one trip out of the house already today to walk the dog, I had to stay inside for my exercise. So I jumped on the Dreadmill for a run. I really don’t enjoy running on them and much prefer to be out in the fresh air. But by following the government advice of only one trip out of 30-60 mins a day for exercise during the Coronavirus Lockdown I had no choice.
Hamish is my Highland Cow that I bought when visiting Glasgow for a parkrun. Now they are cancelled for the foreseeable and we cannot tour poor Hamish was feeling a bit down. I decided he could be my new Dreadmill mascot instead.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel I am going faster than I am when on the treadmill. And it doesn’t help when I knocked the emergency plug out half way through my workout. Luckily my watch had decided to start recording without me telling it to.
Arthur wasn’t too impressed by the treadmill at first. It moves and makes funny noises. But eventually he got used to it, got bored and decided to use his time to stare at the world going by outside.
I Have the Best Friends
Last night my friends and I got together on messenger for a video party for Troy’s birthday. We haven’t seen each other for weeks as we are staying at home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Arthur and Troy were pointedly ignoring each other!
This morning Michelle was at the shops getting essentials for her and her mum. And I got a care package too. She dropped it off outside my house. A book that I have been wanting to read for ages. and the all important chocolate. A girls can’t be expected to get through the Coronavirus Lockdown without plenty of gluten free and dairy free chocolate.
It is so important to keep connected in any way possible at the moment. I think my friends and I have been doing really well with this so far. It is probably going to get harder as the weeks go on. But I am determined to keep prioritising it.
Any More Work?
This morning might have been my last shift for the college. When we closed the campus I was told they would pay me for two weeks but they didn’t know if that would carry on. Today was the end of the two weeks. The college has shortened the Easter holidays from two weeks to just one. The students will finish tomorrow and be back to work on Tuesday 14th April. Again, on line, and not at the campus. I think there will be one or two teenagers who aren’t too impressed but I think it makes sense. We are all stuck inside now, so lets get the work done and hopefully be able to enjoy a longer summer when all this is over.
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown I have had a few nights where I haven’t slept too well. But last night was the worst. I don’t think I slept a wink. And it was all down to whether an email had been sent or not.
Re-cap from Yesterday
As you will remember from my post about Day 7, I was just finding out about a possible repatriation effort by the UK Government in regards to all the British Citizens currently stuck all over the world. Including my husband and his best friend who are stuck in Saudi Arabia.
The guidance on the Foreign Office page said that British Nationals who are interested in being repatriated as a result of being stuck in Saudi because of Coronavirus lockdowns and quarantines should email their details. I sent the link to my husband and to his best friend. I asked them both to just send in a quick note to find out what the Bobby Moore is. It wasn’t a commitment, just an enquiry. I heard nothing from either of them last night which is what led me to not sleeping and waking with a bad head.
The lack of sleep and resulting exhaustion meant that I really didn’t feel like I wanted to go for a run this morning as I had planned. Instead I took my one allowed exercise session in the fields by giving the dog a nice long walk. As always Arthur made the most of the time outdoors and I enjoyed the few signs that spring is on the way. I did feel much better after our walk. But I still needed more coffee.
The Daily Grind
Work was busy again this morning. It is nice to have a routine, even if that routine is different than the one before the Coronavirus meant we all had to stay home. It would seem some students are finding it much harder than others to get into the groove of working from home.
I was also very saddened to hear that a couple of colleagues in the college have lost family members. It makes it more real and I am dreading that soon it will affect people who are dear to me.
Food Glorious Food
Before the Coronavirus Lockdown I used to have my food delivered every Thursday afternoon by Morrisons. Since Covid-19 hit us it has been near enough impossible to get a delivery slot. A few weeks ago I did manage to snag a slot and today was the day that it arrived. I did put a little more in my basket than I would have usually bought in one week. But I was hoping to be able to avoid going to the shops next week. Unfortunately a good £30 worth of stuff didn’t come. I still had a lot come though. And I just absolutely love the brown paper bags it all came in. Hopefully next week I will just need bread, milk and fresh fruit.
So What’s the Bobby Moore?
The simple answer is that we don’t know at the moment. After I nagged at my husband he did actually send an email to the Embassy in Riyadh. He has had an automated response but is waiting for an email which will actually give him some details.
I don’t think he is coming home anytime soon though. We had a good chat about it. And I know he is really worried about money. He is due to retire in just two years and was hoping to get to that date before leaving his job. Or being sacked!
I know he is also really worried about travelling for hours in a packed plane, sitting with people who could potentially make him ill. The reported figures we are getting at the moment would suggest that where he currently is has fewer cases then we have here. We talked it through and he is going to wait to get an email back from the Embassy but I think in the end he will decide to stay put and ride it out where he is.
If you want to watch the daily Knitting Across the Pennines podcast with Loraine from Woolly Madly Deeply it can be found on You Tube.
If you enjoyed this post please check out my others – Emma’s Blog
Today is Saturday and Day 5 of Coronavirus Lockdown. But I realised I forgot to talk yesterday about something from Thursday evening.
At 8pm Loraine and I were livestreaming on Facebook but that didn’t stop us taking part in something really important. We had all been asked to go outside on our doorsteps or lean out of a window and clap for the carers who are putting themselves in harms way for our health.
You actually have to be really careful about how you phrase this, as I found out. When I was getting ready to go I announced I wanted to give carers the clap. Not the best way of putting it. I thought Loraine was going laugh for the rest of the night about that one. If you want a good laugh the whole thing is in our livestream from Thursday night available on You Tube.
Changes to the Town
Saturday morning would usually be parkrun day. But this was the second Saturday since Coronovirus meant they had all been cancelled. We should have been in Stafford on Friday night in order to run at Isabel Trail parkrun this morning. It would have been an I for my alphabet.
Last Saturday I was still able to run with my friend Ann. At that time the government was saying that people could run in pairs only. We did a 5k route near her house and after I had gone home she further brightened my day by sending me a fake parkrun result text. I came first! The first and last time that was ever going to happen!
So this Saturday, after the changes from government regarding Coronavirus and social distancing, I headed out for a solo run. As I had been for a 5k on Thursday I decided to go slightly further today. I ran the 8k route I had ran with Ann just one week ago. There were many changes. The park was locked up with a notice saying it would remain closed until further notice. It was a little scary.
But there was also lovely things to look at too. Following on from Clap for our Carers there was a lovely message for the NHS. And outside a local primary school gorgeous rainbow art telling people to keep safe. Both of these were on the main road on the route to the James Cook University Hospital and so would be seen by all the hardworking key workers.
Loraine and I did a livestream in Facebook this afternoon for our Crafternoon. It is a place where we have been trying not to talk about Coronavirus.
I have finished my version of her Rose stitch cowl and have cast on Behind the Green Door. I had only done 4 rows though, so the pattern wasn’t in my head. I worked on a simple rib cowl whilst we chatted instead.
It was nice to have a few regulars join us. I love it when we hear their stories, they share what they are making and how they are coping with the Coronavirus Lockdown.
Loraine has been feeling unwell recently with The Virus That Shall Not Be Named. It was good to hear that she is starting to be able to taste and smell a little in the last day or so.
Don’t Dwell on the Bad News
I have been listening to the news in the morning and I usually catch up again briefly in the evening. I was so saddened to hear today that the death toll in the UK is now over 1000. But I have been trying not to dwell on the bad news. I am loving seeing the inventive ways people are keeping connected and staying busy.
Tomorrow Is Looking Good
Tomorrow Loraine and I are hoping to be able to connect with Wil to do a games night in our livestream. We are looking forward to a bit of 1980s Trivial Pursuit. Watch this space!