Corona Diaries – Day 10

Monday 30th March 2020

It’s been a really difficult day. Faye was really feeling it. I didn’t feel as though I achieved much at work today either. And with that comes an immense amount of guilt. My boss has told me not to worry, just to take my time on my work and go slow. It sounds stupid for not doing your work as you usually would when you actually can’t, but that guilt and anxiety is there anyway.

In early March, our boss paid for us all to do a Microsoft Diploma course and we had not long got started on it, so this is something we are being encouraged to work on during quarantine too. I’m not far away from the end of the modules now and will be moving onto the test soon. I hope I can pass! I’m not sure what to expect with that at the moment. Using Excel is one thing, but being tested is quite another.

This evening, I started reading ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas. I’ve had this sitting on the shelf for a while; it has very good reviews so I have high expectations.

I’m getting on well with my March socks too. The novelty of Frustration (the board game) at lunch time has worn off for Faye this week so I’ve found a bit of extra knitting time here. I’m on the gusset of sock two now. I don’t think they will be complete before the month is over though.

I’m already thinking about yarn choice for my April socks…

Corona Diaries – Days 8 & 9

Saturday 28th March 2020

I’ve had a really relaxed day: lots of sock knitting and I did do some weeding in the garden too. I’ve managed to not take any photos again today. I need to get much better at this!

It’s done me the world of good not to be sitting at my desk today. It felt like an ordinary weekend day. I’m quite a homebody anyway so some days it doesn’t feel like we’re going through a worldwide pandemic. Digging through my borders this afternoon, pulling up weeds and listening to my audiobook, it could have been any normal Saturday afternoon.

Tonight we finished watching the first series of ‘Stranger Things’ and Faye absolutely loves it.

Sunday 29th March 2020

Another relaxing day. I finished sock one of my March socks and started the next one.

We spent a lot of time sitting out with the rabbits today, letting them one by one, explore the garden under supervision. Sirius is very much into digging, so must be watched very closely!

Faye and Ginny

I finished listening to ‘The Silkworm’ by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) on audiobook today. I really enjoyed re-reading it. That means I’ve finished 19 books this year. I have the idea that I might try to read 100 books this year. I am someone who keeps a record of what I’ve read. I’ve been doing this since 2006. The most books I’ve ever read in a year has been 54 (in 2009 when I was on maternity leave), so the goal of 100 seems a little unlikely! I’m doing well so far this year though, but more importantly, I’m enjoying reading.

I’ve always loved reading. I’m was thrilled to find out that my library books have been automatically renewed until the end of June. I look forward to a future time when I can wonder around the library and book shops again. Until then, I have a massive back catalogue of unread books on my shelves to keep me going!

Corona Diaries – Day 7

Friday 27th March 2020

We made it through our first week of home working and home schooling! I managed to finish and submit my article today but now they’ve decided not to include it in this month’s newsletter as there were so many articles relating to the coronavirus and there wasn’t enough room. Never mind. At least I’ve achieved something this week!

Faye finished up early today as she had worked really hard. She’s glad it’s the weekend. She celebrated by playing Disney songs on her trumpet. She’s getting really good at ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from Toy Story.

Tonight, I made some progress on my March socks…

 

I’m also reading a book on fonts. I’m hoping to learn Adobe InDesign later this year or early next year so that I might be able to produce our work newsletter at some point in the future, so I’ve tasked myself with learning a bit about graphic design. This book was on recommended reading lists and I managed to get it from the library a few weeks ago. It’s called ‘Just My Type’ by Simon Garfield. I have to say some of it is really interesting but in parts in goes into lots of detail and I find my eyes glazing over!

 

I’m so happy it’s the weekend!

Corona Diaries – Day 6

Thursday 26th March 2020

I had ordered new desk chairs for me and Faye as our others are very pretty and okay to sit in for an hour of two but absolutely bottom-numbing and back-aching for full days. Sadly, only one turned up (the other should be coming on another delivery) but as I’ve been struggling with my back over the last month, Faye kindly said that she could wait and I should have this one. It’s completely not photo-worthy – just a dark grey office chair.

I completed the first draft of my article today and Faye successfully got through all her lessons. We are definitely getting into a new routine and enjoying a few board games in the garden at lunch times.

Faye usually has a weekly trumpet lesson and her amazing tutor arranged to do it through Zoom video conferencing instead. She said it was a bit strange but she loves her lessons and was glad not to miss any.

I didn’t have any photos again today, so I thought I’d share a few from archives…

IMG_1155

This was her treat last year after she’s been to do her grade 1 trumpet exam. She got a very high mark and received a distinction. I was going to take her to her grade two exam on 18th March but it was cancelled the day before.

One of the things about March we’ve always loved was World Book Day. This was the first year we didn’t have to make a costume and we really missed it. So here at the World Book Day archives:

2013 WBD Dalmatian
2013 – a dalmatian from 101 Dalmatians
2015 WBD Camicazi (2)
2015 – Camicazi (from How to Train your Dragon)
2016 WBD Claude (2)
2016 – Claude
2017 WBD Bellatrix LeStrange (1)
2017 – Bellatrix Lestrange (and possible my favourite photo ever)
2018 WBD Professor Trelawney 5
2018 – Professor Trelawney
Photo 08-03-2019, 15 28 27
2019 – Professor McGonagall

In Year 6 (last year), her headteacher awarded her with a special World Book Day certificate for all the costumes we’d made over the years. She said how much she would miss her. It was so lovely.

Corona Diaries – Day 5

Wednesday 25th March 2020

I hope these entries aren’t too boring. Today was a difficult day. I was getting into my article writing but Faye needed lots of help with her work. She was struggling a lot with the technology side of things because of the format the work had been sent in but I think she was also feeling overwhelmed by it all.

It was relief for me when 3pm rolled around and then again when it was 5pm!

I was thinking tonight about what a gift all of this extra family time is. We are usually all so busy rushing through the routine of our lives. Rob usually works shifts. I don’t normally see Faye between the hours of 7.30am and 5.15 pm on weekdays. And now we’re together for who knows how long? We’re getting to share in each other’s lives in a way that normal life doesn’t allow. Of course, that’s going to bring extra stressors as we take out our frustrations on each other, but it is also a special gift.

Apologies for the lack of photos today. I don’t really have anything to show for it xx

Corona Diaries – Day 4

Tuesday 24th March 2020

I had a productive work day doing lots of research for an article I’m writing. Last year, I went on a training course to become the Mental Health First Aider for our company. I’m still learning lots but I was asked to write a bi-monthly article for our newsletter. The more I read, the more I feel I need to read and with all my other work, I felt I was drowning a bit in research, but now I have all this time, I can least give it a good go.

Faye did really well again today. A few of her teachers haven’t sent anything but most of them have done an amazing job of sorting out work for them to do. Her Maths teacher in particular is going above and beyond, helping them out with other subject questions too. I can see that she is finding this tough, but I’m very proud of how she is dealing with it.

This evening I did a bit more sock knitting before we settled down to continue with ‘Stranger Things’.

 

Bude was on ‘The One Show’ tonight. It was lovely to see all the places we love to visit. They have such a strong community feel and it really puts my mind at rest to know that my mum and Roy are able to get their food delivered to them by the local shop. They are having to self-isolate as they are in the ‘at risk’ category. We are staying in touch with video calling and messages every day.

Corona Diaries – Day 3

Monday 23rd March 2020

Today was out first day of working and schooling from home. Rob is home too but not working (as he’s a JCB welder). It was actually a really good day. It wasn’t easy as we both had lots of new things to contend with. We bought Faye a laptop for Christmas 2019, so she has been learning to use it in little bits since January, but nothing quite prepared for doing all her school work, emailing, researching on the internet, uploading work to send back etc. It was a lot. She coped with it marvelously well!

I had to learn how to do video conferencing and working in the cloud on my own laptop made things a bit odd. Nothing looks how it normally does and I spent quite a bit of time messing around with settings. I’m hoping tomorrow will be easier. Luckily, I have a very supportive boss and workmates.

I have a rather noisy, supposedly nocturnal, new workmate keeping me company…

 

While we were busy at our desks, Rob worked in the garden and kept us going with drinks. It was a beautifully sunny day and we sat outside to eat our lunch. I’ve always loved our garden, but I really appreciate that we are very lucky to have this space right now.

 

At 8.30pm, our Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, gave a broadcast to the nation with the message that we must stay home. His speech didn’t change anything that we have already been doing since Saturday, but it did bring home the immense seriousness of the situation. It’s so worrying. The best we can do right now is just take one day at a time and follow the guidelines.

Corona Diaries – Day 2

Sunday 22nd March 2020

Today is Mother’s Day here in the UK. I’ve had a nice day of relaxing and trying to process everything that is going on. I spent a lazy morning reading my book in bed. I’m currently reading ‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. It’s one of the books long-listed for the this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. I had managed to pick that and quite a few others up from the library last week. It’s okay so far. The writing is good although I’m not loving the characters I’m reading about. We’ll see how it goes.

Faye hadn’t got me anything for Mother’s Day as they had been planning to go out shopping yesterday, so instead, she baked me a cake! It was a lovely surprise – and very tasty.

I got started on my March socks. I’m aiming to knit myself a pair of socks every month, but I only recently finished my February pair. These were knit using yarn from ‘Dandelion and Dogwood’ in the colourway ‘Skating at the Palace’…

For my March socks, I have chosen the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply in the colourway ‘Robin’ that I had for Christmas. I’m knitting the heels, toes and cuffs in a contrasting colour, which I think is Cayenne Pepper.

I’m looking forward to seeing how these knit up.

Corona Diaries – Day 1

Saturday 21st March 2020

I’m not quite sure how to start this. I haven’t blogged for a while but now we’re in this new crazy, pandemic situation, I felt the urge to document the days. I think it might help me to make the best of it. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but I feel like blogging about the things I’m doing puts a bit more purpose into my days.

Yesterday, I left work with a box of stuff in preparation for working from home on Monday. I won’t be able to do what I normally do, which is primarily arranging face-to-face courses – as there won’t be any. What I’m left with is all of those background jobs that I don’t normally have time for. I’ll talk about this more on Monday.

Faye left her school friends yesterday in what is such an abrupt way. She only started high school in September. I know how hard this all is to process as an adult so I can only imagine how confused and anxious all the children in the world are feeling. She was very upset when she got home and to add to her problems, our beloved guinea pig Fred had passed away while she was out at school.

Today, we began the day with a guinea pig funeral, and then we helped her clean out the rabbits’ hutches ( a job she would normally do by herself).

We decided it would be best to get to work on cleaning, tidying and rearranging her bedroom and my craft room so that we were ready to start home work and school on Monday. I helped her make a timetable.

Later, we played Frustration and Periodic Table Top Trumps. I also taught her the alphabet in British sign language and she taught me a Tik Tok dance (thank goodness there is no video footage!).

It has been a weird day. Totally normal in lots of ways and yet, utterly abnormal at the same time.

Tonight, we started to watch ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix. Although it’s rated a 15, Rob and I had already watched and felt it was suitable, albeit a little bit scary. Most of her friends had watched it and told her about it and she was desperate to see what it was all about. Needless to say, she really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed cuddling up together.

10. Honesty is the Best Policy

I have several confessions to make.

The first is that I utterly failed at my February sewing machine project goal. The first 6 days of the month went well. I did work on a project every evening, even if it were only for 10-15 minutes. Into the second week and we all had colds and quite honestly, I just didn’t feel like fathoming out and tracing pattern pieces. Then the problem sort of escalated.

The more I thought about those pattern pieces for Faye’s pyjamas, the less I wanted to do them. Every few days, I would give myself a stern talking to and cut out a few more. However, now we’re into March and I still have pieces to go but I have folded them up and put them out of the way. I was sick of looking at them.

So essentially what I’m trying to say is that I was absolutely useless at sticking to this particular goal. I feel so guilty because I have a lot of fabric in my stash and many plans of what to do with it.

And absolutely no inclination to do it.

The more I try to force it upon myself, the more I resist.

This has also coincided with me taking on some courses with my job (that I do really want to do), so the majority of my weekends have been spent on these. I’m also writing six articles this year for my job and I have a lot of reading to do around the subject. My mindset seems to have shifted away from crafts lately and I have no real desire to move it back.

I have done the odd row on my February socks but they are still not finished, although I am on the foot of my second sock now.

I have been working on a blog post about hand knit socks and I was waiting until I could share my newest pair before uploading but the weeks tick by and I’m still no closer, so I have stayed away.

With the best of intentions, I had planned on getting out a blog post every week. However, in hindsight, I just don’t think that’s practical. The thing with a making blog is that you need photographic content. Finished projects. New projects.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is… sorry. I’m just not feeling it right now. When I do have a finished project to share, I’ll be back xxx