Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing Diary – Week 8

white and brown wooden tiles
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I am not including the Covid-19 numbers here every week now. I decided not to track them every day, but at the end of the month instead. I think I’ve lost interest, I’m not sure why, maybe it’s been too long now on this situation. I’m afraid to say it seems to have lost its novelty effect. I still enjoy having the power to do what I want with my time and to spend time with my family, but I feel like I’ve lost the sparkle I had a few weeks ago. It could also be due to the pressure of finishing all my assignments to complete my PGCE. I don’t know.

PGCE

The highlight of the week was my lecture for the last module of the course, Literacy ESOL Theories and Frameworks. This was on Wednesday and it was really good seeing other people and having some interaction outside this house and this neighbourhood. That definitely gave me a sense of normality, for lack of a better word. Gave me a little structure to the day and purpose, such a shame there’s only one more left. In two weeks there is a presentation, which I already did, so I have the week off. But I still have to do a few tasks and the assignment is 3000 words. I think I am freaking out a little with the work load. All I need is a plan and to stick to the plan. I made a list of what I need doing until the 6th of June:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Teach Lesson
  • 10 Evaluations
  • 1 Reflective Post (1, 500 words
  • Level 7 Research Project (1, 000 words)
  • Viva for above project (10 minutes)
  • Assignment (3, 000 words)
  • Finish Professional Practice Portfolio

‘To Do’ Lists

It seems very daunting when I look at the list like this, but I need to break it down into smaller tasks and assign each day to each of the tasks. I just need to make sure I do something each day to give me a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue working. I normally tend to make long ‘to do’ lists and never manage to complete every task in the list. So, from now on, I will chose 3 tasks to do every day. This is better to keep me focused because with a long list, my mind is easily distracted as I might start working on one things and then leave it to do something else. whereas with only 3 main tasks, I will start with one and finish it before moving on to the next. This will give me a sense of achievement and will make me feel more productive. I have started using the Fabulous app and the ‘Deep Work’ feature in it, which also helps to keeps me focused and to know exactly how much time I spend on each task. Also helps dividing the work in chunks, even if it’s only 25 or 45 minutes chunks. At least I know that I will be doing something for 25 minutes and won’t stop until I finish it, for example. I found that this is very helpful to reduce distraction time. I always take a little break in between chunks of deep work, which helps to stay alert and focused.

Creative Writing in Lockdown

I didn’t write anything new this week, but I edited a poem I’d been working on for about a year and I think I finally got it right, I published it in the Facebook group and got really good feedback, so that was good. There was some work published in the group and I am really enjoying reading everyone’s contributions.

Family Time

Phil made Costa ginger biscuits and a pineapple upside down cake this week and we had a BBQ on Thursday and another one on Saturday, that will show on the scales for sure! I don’t care because we enjoyed ourselves.

We played Uno this week, Sunday evening as we didn’t have a roast dinner for lunch after a BBQ the day before, it was fun.

Saturday evening Romina and I did some gardening and that was really good, the garden is looking better, but not good enough to display pictures yet, hopefully soon.

Stay Alert

The week ended with an announcement from the Prime Minister about the next stage of the lockdown. He changed the slogan to ‘Stay Alert’ instead of ‘Stay Home’. But he’s been highly criticised for this message as it is not as clear as the previous message, I think he’s appealing to common sense of the population, which I think it’s a risk as common sense is not a flower that grows in everyone’s garden, unfortunately. Sunday night, we were all waiting to hear his message, but for me, it was a bit of an anti-climax. I expected more details and maybe more specifics and there weren’t many. The construction and the manufacture are the industries which are allowed back to work first, which makes sense as they not in contact with the public and they’re easy to keep safe. And it’s good to start doing something for the benefit of the economy. But, the message is very vague and therefore not as effective as saying ‘Stay at Home’, that worries me a little.

 

Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – Day 17

UK Cases: 29, 474 – Death Toll: 2, 352

Day 17 was the worst day so far. In the morning, I was in agony with wrist pain and had to take some paracetamol, which I only do as a last resort. I was feeling tired and under the weather as well, so I decided to take the tablets before it got worse, and they helped.

Board Games

My first action of the day was to place an online order for Monopoly and Uno. At the moment, we only have one board game at home – 8 out of 10 Cats – and two quizzes, so I thought I’d get some new ones before boredom sets in. I ordered them from Argos to collect in store later. I also ordered some compost to start going in the garden next week when the weather promises to be kinder for outdoor activities. And while I was in the shopping mood I also ordered Romina’s birthday present. Her birthday is only on the 15th, but it’s bad enough that we’ll be in without the chance to celebrate with friends and family, so I decided to get it sooner than later.

Reality Check

So, around 4 pm, I received a message that my order was ready to collect and Phil and I went to collect it. Because our local Argos is inside our local Sainsbury’s, we decided to do some food shopping while we were out, saving him from going out again. It was the first time I was out in shops for two and a half weeks and I would like to say it felt good. But it didn’t. We timed it well as there wasn’t a queue and we went straight in; there was a long queue outside when we finished. While going around the supermarket aisles, I felt so inadequate, like I didn’t know what I was doing and I shouldn’t be there. Almost like a criminal. I felt guilty just for browsing around, and if I picked up an item and put it back, I expected the police to be on me and knock me down on the floor to handcuff me. This is a kind of anxiety I’ve not experienced for years, not since before I started therapy for depression and anxiety. It was so strange. Plus, it was the fact that the shelves were almost empty, some areas were completely stripped; not one tin of beans on site, no long life milk, hardly any cleaning stuff, the freezers were almost empty. A lot of the things we usually buy weren’t available. There weren’t many customers inside and we were all mindful of social distancing, but there would be someone who would just violate your safe space without a second thought here and there.

This experience was my first face to face encounter with reality, with what we are living at the moment. I was still shaken when I got home. I felt like I’d committed a crime and got away with it, but wasn’t yet out of the woods. I am so privileged to have a nice home to stay in protected, in an area where we can go for nice walks, a lovely family to spend my time with, a dog to make me feel like a queen and a lot of activities to keep me sane and entertained; it’s easy to forget what is really going on in the world. I am so grateful!

This is all for today and I’d love to hear back from someone who reads this, let me know if you have experienced anything like this.

Stay safe at home!

Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – Day 13

Cases: 17, 089 – Death toll: 1, 019

So today, I decided to add the total figures at the top of my posts. I thought it might be interesting when I look back at this posts in the future to see if there is a relation between the numbers and my mood or what is going on in my life. These figures have worried me a little to be honest; it’s a big increased in the last 24 hours, but I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. One minute we’re all at home, doing what we like because now we have the time, it almost feels like we’re on holidays, or snowed in or something; but then we get these numbers and reality hits us – we’re living in the heart of a worldwide pandemic.

It just makes me so angry about the people that are defying the lock down rules. Why is it so hard to understand that the sooner we stay at home, the sooner we get through this and can go back to some sort of normality or at least start rebuilding our lives? I confess that there are moments when I feel frustrated with some people’s attitudes and all the negativity going on at the moment. Things I’ve seen on the news like for example, a group of youths attacking a postman after him telling them off for not respecting the lock down. There have been supermarkets’ delivery vans vandalised, some NHS staff have found their cars vandalised after their shifts, food banks being ransacked. What purpose does it all serve? These are times when communities should come together and support each other, but not everyone gets it.

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom and there has been a lot of positivity out there. When the government called for volunteers to help with the vulnerable people who needed to self-isolate, they were hoping to recruit 250, 000. However, in less than 24 hours, more than 500, 000 people had signed up. This are the type of news that make me believe in the human race. Across the country people have come through with act of generosity and kindness like the couple who runs a corner shop in Scotland distributing care packages to the elderly containing antibacterial gel, wipes and face masks. Businesses like Home Bargains taking the time to reassure their staff that not only their jobs are safe, but also that they have created a fund to support anyone in hardship due to the corona virus. God bless you all who have come through better, nicer and kinder.

One Poem a Week

At the beginning of January this year, I started a one poem a week challenge inspired by Jo Bell’s 52, I use the prompts in the book, but then look at other poems/writings too for inspiration. I did really well for three weeks, but then went to Portugal for a week and stopped, I’m not proud to admit. So today I decided to return to this challenge and rewrote the poem for week 3. It’s about the body, what I had written before, I think I will use to edit an older poem I wrote a while ago. I have been reading something about body image and it inspired me to go in a different direction, so today I wrote a totally different poem. On Monday, I will start week four.

Stay at home, stay safe and save lives!

 

 

 

Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – My Diary

I hope you’re all doing great during these hard times. I’ve been debating the idea of starting a social distancing diary. At first glance, there might not be much point, as every day tends to be much the same as the day before; but on the other hand, it might be interesting to note any self-reflection tendencies or changes in mood and family dynamics, for example. So, I decided to go for it.

Today is day 12 for me. At the moment we are all still talking to each other in our house. My husband has been working from home for a week now and my children have been at home since the beginning of this week. We’ve been quite good at staying out of each others’ ways, until this morning when there was a queue for the shower, only because Phil and I stayed in bed until a little later. But, we survived the clash without any casualties, I’m happy to report.

Books I’ve been reading

So far I finished the book I was reading, The Palace of Curiosities, by Rosie Garland and started Joyful, by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Or rather, I restarted Joyful, as I was reading it before my holidays, but interrupted it to read other things. The Palace of Curiosities is a very interesting love story, narrated alternately by the two main characters, Eve and Abel. I really got into it, it’s different from anything I’ve read before, Rosie said in an interview that she wanted to give a voice to these weird characters that we see in shows and circus, Eve is covered in fur and Abel is immortal. What I love about the story is that it is a lesson not only of inclusion and diversity but also of self love and self-acceptance. Really a good read. Joyful, is a different genre, more on the life style category. It’s about how to create a space and atmosphere conducive to happiness by using ordinary things. It’s very interesting to see the effect of colour and textures for example, can have in whole communities, amazing. I’m really trying to apply it to my life, I always loved colour and now I now why, it does have an uplifting effect in our lives.

Exercise

I am still motivated enough to exercise every morning for 10 minutes, first thing when I get up. I follow the exercise videos on YouTube, by Lucy Wyndham-Read. I’ve been doing a 10 Minutes Cardio Workout, but this morning I started 10 Minutes Inch Loss Workout as I felt like a change. I follow this with a stretch and later in the morning, normally before lunch, Phil and I go for a walk with the dog. We’ve been making these walks longer each day, firstly because we’ve had cake this week as a result of Romina’s spoils from Costa, but then because we just feel like it. The weather has been really nice for walks and we are fortunate enough to live in a quiet area where where we have fields for walks and rarely see other people. But when we cross with other people in the way, everyone seems to be mindful of social distancing, which is good to see when we see in the news how some people are being so irresponsible. Anyway, this morning we went for a long walk which including a little bit of a hill and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I never got out of breath. I’m much fitter than I was a month ago and the best thing is that I really look forward to my morning exercise routine and to these morning walks.

Morning Walk 27.3.20

Other Activities

This morning, I started an online course for my CDP, Mental Wellbeing in Children & Young People, on EduCare, this course has four modules, I completed module one today and will do some more tomorrow. There are other courses I want to do, but started with this one because it’s something I care about and always wanted to do. I was give a free package of 38 online courses at university a few weeks ago and now I will have time to do them all, or at least the ones I find relevant.

The last two days, I spend too much time trying to start another blog. I decided to start a Creative Writing blog, but it has proved a lot harder than I thought, much harder than when I started this one – things must have changed. Today I decided to take a break from that frustrating quest, but I will go back to it tomorrow. I’ve been watching YouTube tutorials, which they make it seem too easy, but when I do it, some of the features don’t work. I was getting quite frustrated yesterday, so I thought I better give it a break before losing my mind and go back to it in later; sometimes it’s just the best thing to do.

In the evening, I watch a bit of TV with Phil and I’ve been working on a blanket in crochet. I think I will donate this one to a local homeless charity, the same one I have donated some sleeping bags and blankets before. It’s a nice colourful blanket and I think it might brighten someone’s spirits while keeping them comfortable and warm. Depending on how long we’ll stay social distancing, I might have time to make more.

So, this is all I have for today. Tomorrow, I will come back with my day 13 entry.