self isolation

Day 7 – Before and after

Today would have been my first day out after 14 days of self isolation, but here we are on day 7 of the Lockdown, still at home.

Outside the traffic on the road seems a lot busier than it has been for the last few days. Perhaps the weekend reduced some of the commuter traffic. Let’s just hope that it’s not down to people venturing out more than they should.

Buzz

Before

Before

I’ve been mulling over for a few days now whether or not to shave my head. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never really had the opportunity to. Until now.

The prospect of being out of public sight for a few months means that no matter how ridiculous I look, there’s only one other person who has to put up with it.

I did receive some friendly family guidance. It ranged from, “Don’t do it” to, “make sure you put something on the floor before you start”.

I also did a mental check-up of all the implications of having a shaved head. Would I need a nightcap to keep my head warm in bed? Will my glasses still fit properly? How much will I save on shampoo?

I popped my electric shaver on charge. It’s only meant for trimming beards and I didn’t want to to run out half way through leaving me looking like a Peaky Blinders reject.

During

I couldn’t reach the back of my head.

Fully charged and with the bathroom floor covered in black bin liners, I was ready to take the plunge.

It actually felt rather pleasant. Large clumps of hair tumbling from my head. It all was going so well until, I realised that I couldn’t reach the back of my head.

I had to call for assistance and once they stopped laughing and composed themselves, the task was completed.

Most of the hair had fallen to the ground, onto the bags. The hair that didn’t make it to the floor was mostly in my mouth.

Usually when I have a hair cut I ask for a number 2 back and sides with a good trim on the top. So apart from losing all of the top, it doesn’t really look or feel much different.

However there is one small problem which I hadn’t accounted for. My phone. As far as Apple is concerned this is no longer my face.

1 - 3

After

It’s going to be interesting to see how it grows back. Usually after a trip to the hairdressers everything is neatly layered and grows back uniformly. My hair will now grow back at the same rate across my whole head and by the summer I will look like Chewbacca.

Stay in and stay safe.

Day 14 (6) – Status quo

Bee

Bee

By the end of today we will have completed our 14 days of self-isolation. Not that that makes much difference as we will be entering the second week of the Lockdown. Nothing will really change.

We did manage to get out yesterday for some exercise in a nearby park. It was strange to see so few people there, and so spread out. It’s usually bustling with runners and dog walkers and young children riding bikes.

People were creating their own passing places on the pathways to allow others to stay the minimum distance apart. At times it looked like some carefully choreographed performance.

No one spoke, perhaps in fear that an open mouth would let the virus in or out. So just a nod of the head and an expression of ‘WTF’.

Unfazed by any of this, the flora and fauna. Budding trees, spring blossom and frogspawn. Life really does go on. See mini gallery below.

Today, as the weather turns noticeably colder, most of my time has been spent in Animal Crossings – New Horizons. Building a new world far away from this troubled one of ours. Having said that, trying to find iron nuggets does seem to be a problem.

We’ve also signed up for a six month free trial of Disney+. We got this as part of a mobile phone package. Last night we watched The Mandalorian. Wow. Every episode (and so far we’ve been rationed to three) was like a mini feature film. I personally think it has found the mix of humour and engaging storylines that I smooch enjoyed in early Star Wars films. And with the surreal world playing outside, this was a more believable reality, almost comforting.

Sadly I also watched Mary Poppins Returns. I made it as far as them all getting into the bath and decided that putting the clocks forward to British Summer Time was the only hour I was prepared to give up this weekend. No matter how much I beg you to let me watching it again – don’t.

Please remember to stay home and stay safe.

Day 9 – Or should that be Day 1?

Yellow flowersI can go several minutes without seeing a car pass the window. It has never been this quiet, not even over Christmas. The buses are empty and again the majority of vehicles seem to be vans and lorries. It is quiet.

We were lucky that we had a food order in place ahead of the lockdown announcement as trying to get a delivery slot now is impossible this side of Easter. Everything was left in bags on the step with the delivery guy standing on the pavement waiting for us to take it all in. It is surreal.

I’ve been able to occupy myself with some work today which has kept me away from the rolling news. I actually feel better for that. There’s always a danger of RNI – repetitive news injury – where you become so overwhelmed by it all. It is stressful.

We had a vey emotional visit from our daughter and grandson this morning. We were exchanging food supplies. We left theirs on the doorstep and watched as they arrived. Waving at each other through the window. The little guy looked confused as to why we were not opening the door to let them in. I have no idea when I’ll get to kiss and hug them again. It is painful.

Outside, the bit of it we can venture into, the garden is calling. I need to disinfect the greenhouse and clear more borders. I am hoping that the delivery of my plants and compost will not have been effected but the new measures, but I’m seeing lots of delivery van driving past, so I’m optimistic. I also hope that this glorious weather lasts until Thursday and Friday when I have some time off work and I can crack on. It is Spring.

Day 8 – Plans change

Primroses

Primroses

It feels different today. It suddenly all seems very real. Little things really do trigger the enormity of it all. Today’s phrase “Delegated Survivor” sent a shiver down my spine. I always assumed that there would be plans in place should the PM be unable to carry out his duties, but when they talk about these things on the news it’s quite sobering.

There’s real anger towards members of the public who seem to be ignoring the advice coming out of Westminster and out of the mouths of doctors and nurses. Certain members of society are acting like old classmates who would ring up at 9.30 in the evening to ask what the homework was for tomorrow as they weren’t really listening in maths today.

I like to think though that most people are pulling their weight. My own personal measure, the traffic on the road outside, suggests they are. Every single bus I have seen pass my window today has been empty. A large majority of the traffic is made up of vans and lorries.

I fear though that we may get a very unambigous instruction in the next 48 hours about leaving our houses as once again the mindlessness of the minority has a huge impact on everyone. This time with deadly results.

When all this is over, things will not be the same again. Families will not be the same. Government will to be the same. The NHS will not be the same. The impact of this virus will reach far beyond any vaccine.

Garden plans

Bayleaf the gardener

Here I am in about 12 week’s time

Sounding a bit like a ministerial statement, I’m going to say that the measures I have taken to grow some vegetables in the garden were right at the time. But I now need to go further.

From this Thursday I will be digging up further shrubs and plants and preparing to grow even more vegetables. I’m not aiming for self-sufficiency, just less reliability on supermarkets and shops.

I can only get supplies by mail order and I fear that this too may dry up soon as more and more non-essential business are forced to close.

Following my appeal for tips and ideas of things to grow, an old work friend, Jacquie Jones, commented on Facebook: Grow things you can pickle too, or make jam with, things that don’t have to be eaten right away.
Gardeners world has started again I believe and Monty is always a good watch.

It’s all good sensible stuff and if it turns out that it wasn’t necessary, the only thing I’ve lost is a couple of flowering shrubs, some hardy annuals and half an hour a week to Gardener’s World.

Stay safe.

Day 7 – Playing outside, inside

Greenhouse

Managed to clear out the greenhouse today

I felt a bit overwhelmed by the garden this morning. I still managed to get some work done, including my main task of clearing out the greenhouse.

I have some seeds on order and I’m keen to have the greenhouse deep cleaned and all ready for the end of the week when I have a couple of days off leading into to the weekend.

I also want to say a big thank you to sarlese over on Instagram who suggested a couple of places for me to get horseradish plants. I now have some on order!

I really do need to find better ways to make work days feel different to days off. I’ve got a couple of interesting projects I’m working on for work to get us through the next few months, so hopefully they will concentrate my mind a bit.

Virtual outside

I’ve been exploring the Elder Scrolls Online and enjoying the pure escapism of the beautifully crafted landscapes and interesting quests. It’s so immersive that the only thing linking me to the real world is the sound of a passing ambulance from time to time on the very quiet road outside.

ESO does require a bit of concentration and brainpower in order to craft and do various tasks, whereas the new Animal Crossings is a lot less demanding and far more cute.

I’m only on my second day into that and I’m still learning what all the buttons do and trying to remember to switch tools – there’s no way I am ever going to chop a tree with a butterfly net.

I’m hoping that the supplies in supermarkets are going to return to some sort of normality this week. We’ve managed to secure a couple of delivery slots for this coming week and next. At the moment it’s very much the luck of timing as to whether items will be available, but surly those that have been panic buying and hoarding will soon run out of space or money. We have enough to get us through the next ten day and then the next delivery should be able to top us us beyond that.

Stay safe everyone.

 

Day 6 – Revitalised

Daffodil

I din’t have the heart to pull up this daffodil

The garden is my haven. I spent a good part of the day out there away from the news and troubling thoughts. It’s been great therapy.

Last year I planted the left hand bed with a variety of native wild flowers to provide for the birds and other wildlife all year round. Today, sadly, I have dug it up to plant a variety of vegetables to feed us.

The birds and insects won’t go hungry. I plan on setting aside part of the lawn and another border where it can go wild. I’ll get a couple of new bird feeders too. Everything will have to be mail order as we’re still self-isolating and for me at least, it could be the long haul.

So today has been about preparation and planning. One bed is clear and tomorrow I will clean the greenhouse ready for new planting. I’m looking at doing peas, lettuce and beetroot along with some rhubarb. I’d like some horseradish, but I’m not sure where I’ll get that as you can’t grow it from seed.

It has been a glorious day as far as the weather is concerned. Blue skies and brilliant sunshine. But the soil is very cold and my poor fingers were numb.

It’s a good time to clear though as the newly sprouting sycamore seeds have not developed a strong root yet.

One odd little thing. I mentioned a couple of days ago how the traffic seems much lighter on the main road outside. Yesterday was quieter still and today has been even quieter! (Apart from the ambulances – see video below). So I don’t know if that has had an impact on the air quality. While I was working in the garden the Air Ambulance helicopter flew over. I could smell the exhaust fumes. I’ve never smelt it before.

Stay safe and do let me know if you have any suggestions for other veg I should consider having a go at.

I’ve done a video of today to introduce you the the garden.

 

Day 5 – Downs and ups

Bluebell

We’ll soon be dancing to the sound of the bluebells

There’s always a day during the Christmas holidays when you think it’s Thursday but it is actually Monday.

Today feels like a Tuesday but it’s Friday. Which means that tomorrow is a Saturday. (Goes and checks calendar).

For the first time ever I’m not looking forward to the weekend as much as I normally would, even though I have things I’d like to do. Gardening mainly.

I’ve been at home for about 10 days now. I want the weekend to be the time when I do something different. Have a change of scenery, like going to the forest or to the coast or even to the shops. The furthest I will get tomorrow is the top shed.

So if the weather is good, and it is looking promising, I will be able to get out there and clear the borders. And hopefully my head.

News

I’ve limited my input of tea and coronavirus news today and really thrown myself into some work ideas. It’s good to have plans and something to look forward too, rather than spending the time cancelling trains and hotels and holidays.

So actually, thinking about it, be it garden or work, along with some personal study I’ve started, I think I’m feeling more positive than I did when I started writing today’s entry.

Tomorrow and Sunday I plan on introducing you to my garden. I may even put aside a little corner for reader’s suggestions of things to try.