Monday, 2 November 2020

Blue Peter in the 80s and Marcus Rashford in the 20s

Never underestimate the power of Kids TV, as I attribute an awful lot of how I see the world today from being very bought into watching Blue Peter as often as I was able to.

I remember watching in utter disbelief as a child about the crisis in Kampuchea in 1988, I've had to rewatch a bit of it on YouTube to remember the details of the appeal as all that had stuck with me was that many people had died at the hands of Pol Pot's  cruel dictatorship and that the images of starving children had really upset me.  The amazing thing about Blue Peter back then (and from what I've seen from clips is still the case today) is that it communicated with children on a "grown up" level, explained the issues and importantly gave some empowerment that things could be changed for the better and showed them how they could help.  It was the 1988 Bring and Buy Sale Blue Peter Appeal.

In 1988 I was 8 and went to a small C of E Primary School in Kingston Upon Thames in cold Victorian buildings with separate outdoor toilet blocks that on at least one occasion froze in the winter.  The intake of children was quite mixed in pretty much every sense and reflecting back on the small school with only 6 classes to cover 7 years; I'm impressed at how the teachers managed to educate a wide range of abilities from the very precocious and bookish kids bumped up one or even two year groups to those struggling to keep on track with multiple challenges in their home lives. 

For a large portion of my life (probably until my early 30s) I struggled to make friends easily, but for at least 4 - 5 years at that school I had a firm group of friends (Sarah, Karen, James and Matthew).  We all watched Blue Peter and would talk about it the next day at school.  We were all affected by the news of the appeal and decided that we could do something about it and asked our teachers if we could do a cake sale to raise some money.  

I remember bits of the organising and the sale itself (the school secretary Mrs Browning in complete delight eating a rock cake) and from memory I think we raised around £40 which back then was more money than I think any of us could imagine having need to spend.  Later at secondary school we'd nominate a charity every term as a form and would raise money each term and again would always passionately have a sense of wanting to help others.  As lacking in self awareness I was as a child, I'm sure it wasn't just me who felt that way.

Blue Peter, along with other programmes such as Really Wild Show also started off my interest in nature, ecology and looking after the planet.  I even won a prize for a poem that I'd written about global warming when I was 11.  I had wonderful Grandparents on both sides who were also interested in nature and would take me on walks, tell me about birds and help me gain an interest in gardening.  My parents would also accommodate my geekiness when it came to birds and took me to various nature reserves and YOC events.  I won a pencil for knowing some bizarre fact about how much the average mute swan weighs.

I guess all these things helped me form my opinions as I grew up in the world.  As a child I was extremely fortunate, my parents always made sure that I was never hungry (well other than for my Nana's pickled onions or penny sweets and pic n mix!), I always had clothes that fitted me, I wasn't cold.  We lived for my first 14 years in an slightly extended Victorian two up two down end terrace house with a garden in Kingston.  To give an indiciation of how things have changed, I recently looked up on Zoopla and it's now estimated to be worth an eye watering c£750K whe it was sold by my parents for less than £100K in the mid 90s.  I was able to get a good education all the way up to studying English at the University of Leeds as well as attending a very good non fee paying state grammar school.  I check my privilege very regularly and recognise that the very comfortable and fulfilling life I have now is very much down to the good start that I was given in my childhood by my family and teachers.   

I am old enough to remember drinking a tiny bottle of full fat milk with a straw poked through the silver foil lid, although I also remember the disappointment when they were taken away.  I'm almost 100% sure I'd have never received a free school meal as a child, although I do have a vague recollection that we had some "family allowance" that we'd collect from the post office (I think this is going back over 30 years of memory now!)

I also remember when I went to secondary school the feeling of shame when I realised that in the state selected grammar school, in comparision to my previous primary schools I was at a from a much lower income point compared to many of my classmates.  I never wanted for anything as a child (except never getting the Al La Carte Kitchen I was desperate for!), but I was now head to head with girls (all girls school) who had very large houses with very well to do parents with better cars, holidays, clothes etc.  In general it was never an issue and the school was great at making us all feel empowered young women who could "achieve anything we chose should we choose to work hard enough", but I was bullied at times for living in a smaller house.  I remember when my parents were selling our house when I was 14 some of my "friends" found the listing in the paper and crossed out and added words such as "poky" and "rubbish" before putting it in front of me at registration to see how I'd react.  This isn't about trying to gain sympathy for the my previous self, but more a very tangible realisation that kids can be cruel and shame of income status is very hard for kids to overcome.  I don't think I'd have been strong enough to ask for help as a child if I was ever in a desperate situation and so I fear that the problem of kids living in poverty is probably far greater than we'll ever really know.

Rolling forward to the present day and I have seen so much debate and argument about the Free School Meals issue and I so firmly believe that whilst I absolutely expect and hope for every child to have parents who feed them, clothe them and bring them up to thrive.  I also know that not all of these children (or parents) have been afforded the privileges in life that I have and so sadly may be struggling.

School Uniform is encouraged to allow children to concentrate on learning and provide an even playing field for everyone attending school.  I appreciate it's not a perfect system, but it allows for a minimisation in shame and stigma of different incomes in the same year groups.  Why not have the same elimination of shame and stigma for free school meals?  I get that it might not be appropriate and indeed necessarly for many or indeed all children and in an ideal world most kids wouldn't need this, but it's 2020 and we are in the midst of a global pandemic.

We can demonise parents because either they read it in the newspaper or some friend of friend knows some parents with 5 kids who have a crack habit and a 50" telly, who gets fillers in their lips, their nails done weekly, fake tan, nice car, Sky TV, smokes etc etc and yet doesn't feed their kids properly.  I ask you, do you *actually* know this to be true?  Have you met this person, have you seen their bank statement?  Or is it just a convenient way to blame someone else because you've heard about it in the media?  And if any of those things *are* true, there is likely a (forgiveable) reason for them to be in that situation.   Typically people wouldn't choose this, but may have had a poor upbringing themselves, poor mental health, an abusive relationship there are so many reasons.  

Many people have massively struggled through difficult situations for years and still managed to "feed their kids", but I don't believe it's appropriate to see struggle as necessary a "rite of passage".  In the last 40 years we've made so many technological advances that it's easier than ever to access food, you can literally not move more than your hand and a smart phone and have food to your front door in a couple of hours, less if it's a takeaway.   I agree children deserve good parents, but those who haven't been blessed with them don't deserve to starve when we have so much more capability at our fingertips to solve poverty.  

I have read from an international food poverty charity website that there are 7 billion people in the world and we have enough food to feed 10 billion people so it's the most solvable problem in the world if we can just work together as humans.

Commenting about how "cheap" healthy food can be is incredibly patronising, we should focus on how to make healthy food accessible beyond price.  People on lower incomes are likely to be time poor as much as the are financially poor and may not have the resources to prepare a vegetable soup from scratch after a long shift at work.  Education on cooking and nutriton would be a good help, but like any problem it's about doing lots of different things regularly to eventually solve it, but right now families face the hardest few months as we go into winter with Covid restrictions and a recession.  At least free school meals help those hardest hit survive and those not hard hit live a little more comfortably.

If you have managed to get through this pandemic without losing a job, losing a family member or indeed losing control of your mental health you're doing well.  I know personally some people who have been unable to work since lockdown and because they maybe are self employed, but also had worked on zero hour PAYE contracts haven't been able to access any financial support.  I also know that not one friend has asked me to help them out with food etc (and I'd like to think I am approachable if anyone does need anything) I think that it is because as a society we are often too ashamed to ask for help and actually I know that to truly help some people you need to just do something without being asked.  

I see people copying and pasting messages on Facebook with lovely sentiments about "just privately message me if you need anything" but the reality is that they either haven't asked the direct question in private to those they are worried about, or indeed those who really do need help are far too proud to ever ask.  I don't like demonising this type of "social media awareness" as awareness and normalisation of things this way can be useful, but slactivism is one of my frustrations with the world.  The feeling that you're doing "something" by sharing a post so you don't need to donate money/time/care to the actual cause.  

I don't claim to be perfect, I'm sure I could be accused of woke virtue signalling if I share a donation link, or talk about things that I'm doing to help, but I do it in part selfishly because I enjoy helping and feeling like I am making a difference.  I also try and help because I'm grateful that I'm in a position to be helping and not needing help.  Is sharing and retweeting the Marcus Rashford campaign posts slactivism - I'm not sure as I think at least normalising the fact that people need help 7 months into a global pandemic is going to help proud parents make their lives easier to be able to feed their children.  I have really liked the interactive map produced where people can access free school meals during half term from hospitality venues, charities and local authorities - this is definitely social media for good and will have a  knock on (secondary) positive effect of publicity for those establishments.  It's just disappointing that they are having to step in.

"But what about Universal Credit" this one has me feeling a bit torn.  I like the idea of people having financial literacy and independence to be able to manage their finances and rather than the old system it seems like this should help them, however I know a few anecdotal stories of where it falls down for both the claimant when delays push them further into financial difficulties, but also for us all as housing associations estimated that it would cost an additional £10 per tenant per year to collect the arrears generated by this new "method".  Watching I, Daniel Blake will give you some insights of the complexities and flaws in this system if it is something you are not familiar with.

I have close friends who when they grew up had parents having to rely on food parcels because of miners strikes (an alien concept to me as a child growing up in Greater London, it was just something that I watched on Newsround, it didn't seem *real*), friends who had to use free school meals which just about kept them topped up during difficult times.  All who I know of these friends are now very successful and contribute to society, I'm sure there may be more who I meet in adult life that may not be comfortable talking about what they might have gone through.  None of them seem to desire for anyone to have to "suffer" because they had to.

Some (mostly baby boom) generation seem to think that kids need to pipe down as they've never had it so "easy".  I would counter that "easy" is relative and not necessarily the reality for all kids certainly.  Kids now have never know a world without technology, WIFI, Smartphones and Social Media and have far more access and instant gratification.  I was bullied at school, but I could come home and go to my room and read a book and be safe, Kids don't have the luxury now.  I felt fat and ugly as a young child and teenager and I was comparing myself against at most probably 150 girls my age; Instagram magnifies this to millions of constant comparisions, filtered images, I bet no girl finds it easy to feel confident in her own skin until she's much older - it took me to be in my 30s!  And now there is Covid, yes I'm sure rationing, war babies etc had it hard, but those that remember are few these days as to be around 10 years old when war ended you'd be in your mid 80s now and I think most of the "complainents" of the "kids have it easy" theory are in their 60s and 70s mostly.   Many have been retired on decent pensions since their 50s and may even live long enough to have fewer years of work than they do of non work through pension.  I'm not sure anyone of my generation or younger will have the luxury.

I've got lots more to say, but this is now at least a week in the making and it's now becoming out of context, so I'll leave on one consideration.

Children don't choose to be born, if you consider yourself in anyway pro life/pro children or just not an awful human being, make sure you support initiatives to feed children, they don't get to choose their parents, but we can choose to look after them.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Not so Isolation Journal 132

Annoyingly I woke up at 6.30am and my alarm was set for 7.10am and so I didn't fall back to sleep again and we'd been up until around 1am looking at our childhood vaccination records online.

I went into the office again today for the morning, Alan is still uncomfortable with me going into the office with Covid cases rising, I find I'm constantly torn because I do feel that the office is very much as Covid safe as it could be and I feel less cluttered and more focussed when I'm around colleagues, but I totally get that it feels very unsettling in terms of the fact Leeds it currently Tier 2.

I had a meeting with colleagues, did a handover and caught up with people and then headed back home shortly after 12.20pm and it took me around 30 mins to get back.  I wanted to be back to see how Alan had got on at the nurse appointment, but it wasn't hugely productive.  She just looked in his ear.  I had some carrot and coriander soup and a pannini for lunch and logged back on .  We did a BD session and I managed to clear around 250 emails, but had 400 to get through and I've got a load more stuff to get through, it's relentlessly busy again.  I also had a last minute client meeting with 3 clients at a company which was pretty useful.

I booked the first week in November off as leave and signed up and paid for an Arvon Course which I'm really looking forward to.  I have also ordered a book by each of the tutors Wild by Jay Griffiths and Addlands by Tom Bullough They are both more nature and landscape, which isn't directly relevant to my novel, but is something that I'm really interested in.

I ran a candidate search until around 8pm and Alan made dinner which was pulled chicken burgers and I then had 2 ice lollies.  

We watched Taskmaster and tried to go to bed a bit earlier.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Isolation Journal 131

I woke up later than I'd hoped today, messed around on my phone for too long, but did manage to read around 50 pages of Girl Woman Other and then got up and made some scrambled eggs on toast for a late breakfast.  

I had just enough time to go for a quick 30 minute run and noticed that my right knee is a bit sore, but at least my Garmin now has my training status now as "improving".  My friend Hannah rang me whilst I was out for a run, but I had to ring her back later!

I then very quickly showered and signed onto a crafternoon zoom call with my friends Alix, Sam and Hayley a few minutes past 1pm.  Jenny also joined us a bit later.  I started work on a babygrow for my friend who has had a baby called Willow and started to make a Willow embroidery on it.  We chatted away for hours and I suggested we could try and get a Goat to join us for our call, but unfortunately even though the booking went through for £5.99, they didn't spot our booking and the goat didn't make it.

I messaged Hannah after the crafting and had a catch up and then after that call I went to do some tidying of the kitchen and sorting out of my kombucha that has turned into vinegar, took out the recycling, got scared when a mouse Alan had put in the bin started rustling around (clearly not dead).  I made some carrot and coriander soup and also made as start on a Hello Fresh recipe for tea, but fast concluded that the pork that went off 2 days ago was definitely not edible and so I made orzo pasta instead and used up some onions, mossarella and courgettes.

We watched Taskmaster and then also ate lots of crumble.

Isolation Journal entry 130...but definitely missed at least 2 weeks!

Today I woke up really early as I needed to drop my car off to York Audi for a service at 8.15am so my alarm went off at 7.10am and I left about half an hour later having fed the cats, eaten a banana and drunk a coffee and made one to go.  I also cleared out my boot in the hope they might clean it (I later discovered they aren't valeting cars at the moment due to Covid)

I listened to "With me Now as I drove and I was about 3 or 4 minutes late, but the traffic wasn't too bad  at least and I'd taken "Girl Woman Other" to read as well as my phone to entertain me.  I dropped off the key and the chap was wearing a mask and sat behind a screen and pointed out a socially distanced area to myself to wait, but I suspect it wasn't all that well sanitised as there was spilt and dried up coffee all over the table.

I noticed after over an hour my car hadn't moved and the chap explained that it was because the workshop entrance was blocked, it did eventually go in about 10am and so I went for a walk around the Clifton Moor escape with an idea I might go to Costa for a coffee.  It was a 20 minute walk and I listened to an audible book that I'm using for research for my novel Don't you Know Who I Am? when I got closer I popped on my mask again and had a look and there was a queue out of the door for both Costa and Greggs and as York is Tier 2 alert level I decided not to risk it and walked back to the dealership, but dialled into the weekly parkrun "Virtual Opposite" call and caught up with people which was lovely.  I saw my car return and my battery was down to 10% so I left the call and after a few minutes I was able to get my car back.  I picked up some bad news that one of my close friend's husband has come down with Covid and is having to self isolate with the family, it's really not what they need after a stupidly challenging 18 months.  I hope they are doing ok.

The car passed it's first MOT with a small advisory on corrosion on brake discs which Alan had told me to expect as it's been sat on the driveway a lot and not moving.  I drove back and let Alan know I was on my way and called my Mum and Dad for a catch up.  I got back in time to eat a very odd lunch of an almond croissant, cinanmon swirl, left over kebab and curly fries from last night and also a rocket lolly - I definitely need to eat better food!

We watched the first episode of the new series of Taskmaster which genuinely had me crying with laughter during the "egg" challenge - watch it you will thank me!

I had to nip out for my Drive Through Flu Jab and time it so I arrived at exactly 2.07pm and it was literally a drive through where I showed my letter, was given a token, put on my mask, drove to a tent, wound down the window and without a moment to prepare jabbed in the arm!  It was certainly efficient!

I got home and watched the rest of Taskmaster and then fell asleep on the sofa and watched some Great British Bakeoff.

Alan cooked sausage and mash and cherry crumble for dinner which was really delicious.  and we watched more Taskmaster and then when he had a bath I watched some Extra Slice.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Not so Isolation Journal - Managing to use our wedding gift Yurt stay...

The past 2 weeks have been quite exhausting with work and so I've struggled to keep things up to date, but I wanted to properly document a lovely trip away that we had to Swaledale Yurts.

When we got married last September, Alan's lovely work colleagues had bought us a few lovely gifts including a voucher for a 2 night stay at Swaledale Yurts as well as a voucher for a meal at The Ivy and a voucher for Alfresco Adventures.  In February we got organised and booked in things like the meal and booked our yurt stay for June not thinking for a minute we would end up where we are now.  Swaledale very kindly moved our booking back in June to October and we were booked for a Friday and Saturday night and had confimed our included hot tub session for 9pm on the first night.

Being more organised than usual the weekend before I'd checked the website for Swaledale and seen that there was a shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, but that you could have hot evening meals and breakfast delivered to your Yurt and you could also order packed lunches if you wanted to.  We decided to order for the Friday evening two portions of steak stew with dumplings and then two shepherds pies for the Saturday night.  I ordered croissants for breakfast for Alan and a bacon baguette for me and a cafitiere of coffee and two orange juices for both mornings.  I emailed our orders over, but on Thursday I'd not had an email back which was unusual so I'd emailed again and had a phonecall straight away from Michelle (one of the owners) to confirm the food was all fine and booked us in for 7pm for our evening meal.

I packed the night before because I knew that my work was going to be full on for Friday and that we'd need to leave at 5pm as it was only 70 miles away, but through lots of cross country roads and estimated around 1 hour 40 to drive to Keld.

We ended up leaving slightly later than planned as I had so much to finish off at work and we didn't have a chance to stop at Wetherby Services for drive through coffee and the sat nav had our ETA at 7pm so it was tight!

Alan drove us up the A1 and then we ended up heading past Catterick Garrison and through loads of windy and hilly roads (I was pleased he was driving, especially as it started to get dark).  We had no mobile phone signal for around 40 minutes, so I couldn't even ring up to let Swaledale know that we might be a few minutes late.

It was just about on time when we arrived (about two minutes past 7pm, very grateful for an accurate sat nav and postcode) and Michelle met us and told us that she'd taken our dinner out of the oven in case it burned.  She pointed out where our Yurt was which was the furthest away from the main barn (and the best location in my opinion!) and it was the blue yurt.  Alan parked up the car and we unpacked and the yurt was lovely and warm with an electric heater plugged in to warm us up.

Moments later our dinner was delivered and it didn't necessarily look as we'd expected - two very substantially sized pyrex dishes with stew and 4 chunky cheesy dumplings on top and they were delicious!  Warming on a cold and rainy night and very flavourful.  I didn't know if I'd be able to finish all of it, but we both did!  We'd brought a bottle of fizz with us, but I'd not spotted we'd need a bottle opener so Alan had to use my nail scissors to dig out the cork and we enjoyed slightly corky sweet fizz out of white mugs.

We set up the bed for the night as there were two single beds with additional beds underneath that you could move next to the single bed to make a double.  There was also a sofa as well as a dining table, 5 chairs a coffee and tea making area ledge, a small fridge and a boot tray.

We then got ready for our hot tub and put our swimming costumes on and some clothes and head torches before heading to the hot tub near the barn.  It was very dark and remote and we got out of our clothes and into the hot tub and Alan turned on the jets.  It's worth mentioning that it felt very Covid secure as there were loads of hand sanitiser points everywhere and lots of space, so even though some of the facilities were shared, we didn't feel worried at all and everything was kept very clean.

Spending nearly the full 90 minutes in the hot tub we listened to the water jets in the hot tub and the waterfall next to the site and watched the stars in the very dark sky.  It was also fun to watch the cars driving along the windy road and their headlights bumping up and down.  

Getting out of the hot tub and was really cold!  We got dressed again quickly and headed back to the Yurt and got into our warm pjamas and tried to get the DVD player working on my laptop, but it wasn't working and so we watched a bit of The Terminal and put a log on the little log burner inside the cabin we were really warm so I turned off the heater and until the morning we were warm enough.

The alarm went off just before 8am the next morning so that I could be awake to take in our delicious breakfast delivery which came on a tray.  Alan enjoyed the croissants that smelled delicious and came with plenty of butter and jam and I ate a white baguette with bacon and lots of ketchup and HP sauce.  The coffee was good and the orange juice made it feel less unhealthy (i.e. at least we had a fruit involved).

It was pouring with rain and so running to the toilet was a mission and it was nice to be cosy back in the yurt listening to the rain thumping down on the roof.  We had a nice after breakfast nap and then woke up and it was stil raining so we opened up the new game I'd bought a few weeks ago and played Sagrada which took us a little while to work out the rules, but was suprisingly quick to pick up and became very addictive.  

As it was still raining hard, we planned our walking time for later that afternoon to avoid getting too wet and so had some cheese, bread and jam and crisps for lunch.  At 2pm the rain had finally calmed down.  We took a look at the maps provided in the guest book and took some photos and headed off up hill first crossing a bridge to admire the strong flowing water that was going behind our yurt.  

We were roughly following one of the routes in the guest book in the Yurt, but in case we got off course we used my Garmin watch to navigate with really good GPS which allows the "navigate to start option" as with no map, compass or working mobile phones we wanted a back up option.  

The first bit of the walk was really steeply up hill and some cyclists giggled as they spotted a rather aggressive 4x4 car ground out on the road.  We took the footpath and walked the ridge behind the yurt site and enjoyed some lovely sunshine as it broke through the clouds.  We didn't pass too many people in the first part although did pass a larger group of people walking all drinking lager and playing music as they walked and then got to a waterfall section with a bench where more people were drinking Red Stripe next to the river.  

It started to rain a little as we walked on and we passed an abandoned building that I had a look in and also an old tractor that was part of the landscape after many years.   After getting to a point where there was a totally stunning waterfall that almost looked manmade we decided to go back the way we'd come in case the rain got heavier.   

On the other side of a ridge we thought we'd spotted a railway track, but when we took a slightly different route back to Keld we discovered it was this strange path, maybe used by a quarry?  It was really steep!

We got back to the Yurt and decided to check out the private waterfall behind the bunk barn and it was really loud and powerful!

It was around 4 miles in total and I tracked it onto Strava

We settled back into the Yurt and got out of our damp clothes and warmed up and then at 7pm our next dinner arrived - delicious shepherds pie, it doesn't look like much, but was completely delicious!  

I had some red wine to go with it and also heated up apple juice in the communal kitchen for hot apple brandy and dialled into a zoom call for the launch party of a fellow parkrunner George Webster's short film S.A.M. (I had to watch it later as it was a bit hard with little WIFI or phone signal) and I also went back a bit later to heat up milk for hot chocolate although tragically discovered the hot chocolate tin I'd packed in actual fact contained loose tea!

We put a couple of logs onto the fire to keep us warm and went to bed and had a lovely night of sleep.

In the morning it was lovely blue skies and I got up to use the bathroom before coming back to have breakfast that again was delivered to our yurt door.  We had the same as the day before with croissants, a bacon baguette, coffee and orange juice.  

Realising that there was another way of looking at the waterfall, we went around the front of it and it was even more stunning with the sunny morning and hopefully if we ever go back in the summer, we'd be able to do some wild swimming if it's not too powerful!

We paid the bill including an extra log for the fire (you get one complimentary log per night and then it's £3 per extra log) and were really pleased that our voucher had included not only the evening meals, but also a few other bits and so there wasn't as much to pay as we'd anticipated.

I came to the conclusion over the weekend that sometimes in a very stressful and increasingly digital world a bit of time away from phone signal and constant information is really good for my stress levels and mental health.  I thought about Maslow's hierachy of needs and weirdly even though you'd think being further up and having all needs satified would be ideal, it was actually nice to have to focus on the more basic needs of keeping warm and dry for a bit  I also think that the smells of grass, bracken and the outdoors do something to my brain that really calms me.  It was a happy coincidence to be there on World Mental Health Day  

It would have been a different experience to visit in June, we could most certainly have gone swimming, but the Autumn has a special feel to it and it also reminds me of when Alan & I first got together and had our first glamping trip to a tree lodge at Swinton Bivouac.  

Swaledale Yurts has extremely good tripadvisor reviews and I can definitely see why, I really hope that we get a chance to visit again at some point.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Isolation Journals 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128

 So I've got a bit out sync, I'll try and summarise....

123 - Friday - Work was busy, Rachel was on holiday, I persuaded Alan to go out for a walk at lunch to pick up my prescription and it was windy, when we got back onto Whitecote Lane we found a tree that had fallen down and blocked the road and one of the trees in Andy and Becci's paddock was also losing a branch so I had to call North Yorkshire County Council to report and sort out the tree in the road.  I managed to finish work just in time to walk down to the Thack and pick up some Fish and Chips for dinner before they go on holiday.  It was windy, but I chatted to my Mum and Dad as I walked.

124 - Saturday - I woke up fairly late and then put my running stuff on and wrote a letter in reply to my Aunty Alison and Ron who had sent me and Alan an Anniversary card and I posted it on my run.  I took an epic photo of Maya looking like she'd written a disapproving letter.   Alan made orzo pasta for a very late lunch and then after I'd had a bath we went out for a walk and then he made a rice pudding which we had for "tea" and then we went to bed.

125 - Sunday - Another late rising and I mostly faffed around before deciding to go for a run and I wanted to do over 10K and so I did and managed a reasonable time.  We then had another late lunch, I made Korean Tacos and then had a bath and tidied up the house and mopped the floor whilst Alan went out for a run.  

126 - Monday - I'd negotiated with Alan to go into the office for the morning as he is uncomfortable with me being there the whole day and so I went in for the morning, only drank water that I'd brought with me and we have a one way system and lots more sanitiser.  It felt safe, but I went back at lunchtime and logged on from home and finished off another very busy day.  My extra beer 52 delivery arrived.

127 - Tuesday - worked from home all day, made waffles and scrambled eggs for lunch and in the evening some meatballs and spaghetti for tea and had a couple of beers and then we went for a walk in the dark along Whin Lane.

128....Will catch up tomorrow!

Friday, 25 September 2020

Isolation Journal 122

I woke up reasonably eearly, but was pretty groggy and it took me a while to get going, although I was logged on at 8.30am   I had crumpets with marmite and 2 coffees for breakfast.  We had a meeting at 9am to discuss working from home v. the office and then a seminar with housing finance professionals via MS Teams.

I managed to catch up with a bit of work, but I'm still not on top of things.  I updated the forecast which is looking a bit better and certainly brings us further forward than we have been.  

I didn't have time for lunch other than grabbing the packed lunch that I'd made from Tuesday evening and it was salad with a pepperarmi and a scotch egg and I had some kombucha that I'd forgotten about.  I then did a quick open demo on the new system on the reports function that was useful.

My flowers from Arena Flowers arrived after lunch so I had a 10 minute break to empty the old flowers and arrange the new ones which were chrysanthemums with some jazzy purple foliage.  They look cheerful.

I then powered through with work, picked up 2 new jobs and arranged a meeting, helped Rachel put a booking on and talked about referrals with Katie and booked a candidate meeting and confirmed people to come to the charity webinar next week.

I finished at about 6.30pm and Alan had made a Hello Fresh Pasta dish for tea and then I ate it and logged onto Zoom for the guide meeting which was fun as we had a guest speaker which was a lady called Rosemary and her Guide dog Una, it was really eye opening to hear about her experience and how actually she said it's good if people ask if a blind person needs help as especially at the moment people are keeping their distance. Una has her own facebook page!

I then went out for a run up and down the drive as I didn't do a great deal of moving around either yesterday or today and I ran just over 5K and my training status is now unproductive apparently.

I then had a tidy up of the kitchen and the dining room, ran a bath and chatted to Lauren who is on a writing holiday by herself in Margate and ended up bumping into someone she'd been on 2 dates which twice who was also on a holiday there to write!