Happy New Year, I hope you had a lovely Christmas! I know that various things including finances, strikes and the weather all conspired to make things difficult, and the economic woes will continue during this coming year, but I hope you were able to enjoy the festivities in whatever way your circumstances allowed.
Fortunately, despite my recent redundancy, my mother and I are in a comfortable and stable position, so we were able to enjoy Christmas in the same way we do every year. I went out to see a musical and a variety of festive displays, and at home there were plenty of things for us to eat and watch.
It hasn’t been entirely without issues though. The railway strikes and the snow in December prevented me from going down to Devon to see my ex-colleagues for a Christmas meal. And now, in early January, my mother and I have finally caught Covid, after 3 years of successfully swerving it. I’ll write more about it in a later post, once I’m sure we’re clear of it, suffice to say being fully vaccinated has clearly helped, as we’re recovering pretty quickly. Plus I’ve still been able to put together the traditional video that accompanies this post.
So let’s get into it. This is an epic bumper post, as festive roundups tend to be, and none of it’s sponsored or gifted. I hope you enjoy!
Hello again. Miraculously we’ve made it past the halfway point in the year, although admittedly it feels like a lot more time has passed. Months effectively haven’t existed for a little while now, with all the weeks just blurring into one continuous sequence.
It’s also strange to think that we passed 100 days of lockdown in week 15. That seems to have gone by quicker than I’d expected, although I know for many that time will have dragged terribly, and certainly early on I found it difficult like everyone else. But I’m glad I’ve been able to settle into a new routine and adapt during that time. Connecting with friends, homeworking, blogging, music, TV and film have all got me through it, and are continuing to do so.
Regular readers will know that my mother and I have been voluntarily shielding, even though we’re not explicitly required to do so, for my mother’s safety in particular. In recent weeks I have been getting out a little bit more though, and Mum’s been at once, as I explain during this post. It’s just around the local area though – I still don’t intend to use public transport for the time being, even though there are safety measures in place for train travel, as the risks still feel too great and there isn’t anywhere that I need to go.
So here’s my latest update on the things I’ve been doing and enjoying over the last few weeks, with accompanying videos for weeks 13-14 & 15-16. None of it is sponsored to appear here, but I was paid to attend the CXcon event as you’ll see. I hope you enjoy looking through it all!
Hello again, I hope you’re continuing to keep safe and well. It’s been a strange few weeks for me. It started with the loss of my uncle over the Bank Holiday weekend, although fortunately he didn’t have the virus, and my mother and I are hoping to go to the funeral to support my aunt if the rules allow. And then of course we’ve had the Dominic Cummings scandal, which I’m not going to rant about, suffice to say there’s been a major misjudgement of the public mood by him and the government, they’ve lost a lot of trust and goodwill.
On the plus side, however, our lockdown has been eased in various ways, including the re-opening of non-essential shops, the compulsory use of face coverings on public transport, and the partial re-opening of schools. But many scientists feel too much is being done too soon – and if the experts are wary then so am I, because I trust their judgement the most. So I’m happy to continue staying locked down, because I have no compelling reason to go out anyway, and my priority is still protecting Mum by not bringing the virus home.
Best wishes to my friends and followers in the USA as well, all our thoughts are with you right now. Black Lives Matter, and those taking advantage of peaceful protests to cause destruction and misery have no respect for peace and equality. I sincerely hope that stability and civility is restored very soon. We should all be pulling together at all times, but it’s more important than ever during this pandemic.
Anyway, apart from all that, I’m doing fine and have been quite productive, and I’ve continued to find lots of pleasant distractions. So let’s get into my latest post about what I’ve been enjoying, and there are accompanying videos for week 9, week 10 and weeks 11-12. Apart from the Def Leppard box set noted in the music section, nothing else is sponsored or gifted here, and all opinions are my own. So I hope you find it interesting!
Hello again, hope you’re all keeping safe and well. We’ve now had nearly 3 months of lockdown, and this ‘new normal’ still feels surreal. It certainly puts everything in perspective, that a microscopic virus can temporarily shut down the entire planet in a matter of weeks. It’s a stark reminder of how powerful nature can be.
Everyone’s perception of time is rather weird at the moment too, with the weeks seeming to fly by, but that can be explained by science at least. Although, of course, it will be dragging much more slowly for those going through a particularly rough time at the moment, and you have my sympathies if that applies to you.
As I see it, the current small changes to our lockdown, as part of the government’s long term recovery plan, are basically urging people to use their common sense, as the virus is still circulating. We must continue to stay at home and work from home if at all possible, and obey the other safety rules. But provided we do so, we have a little bit more freedom now. So I hope people will continue to be careful and sensible, as we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet, but we’re getting there slowly. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And obviously for disabled people things are more complicated, as Lucy Edwards has discussed with a couple of her fellow blind activists in a recent video.
As for me though, I’m still doing fine. I’ve been staying indoors to keep my elderly mother safe, but recently I went out for the first time in over 5 weeks, as a couple of essential items were missing from our online shopping delivery. So I was very pleased to find that there were hardly any people and very few cars about, and that I was able to use the priority hour for disabled people at the supermarket, which was fully stocked and had social distancing measures very well enforced. So my risk of exposure was hopefully minimal.
But otherwise I’m still staying at home, and I’ve continued to keep myself entertained in various ways. So here’s my latest recap of what I’ve been enjoying and discovering recently, along with videos summarising week 5, week 6, week 7 & week 8. As usual nothing is sponsored or gifted, and all opinions are my own. So I hope you enjoy!
Hello there. I hope you’re all keepinng safe and well, and that you had a nice break over Easter, with plenty of chocolate goodies or whatever you like to indulge on.
I think we’ve all earned a few treats at the moment, given that things have felt very strange since we went into lockdown on 23 March. Like everybody else, I was very anxious about the situation at first, and it’s still going to be a concern for a while, because all of the changes to our lives are a lot to get used to. But I know that we’re doing it for the right reasons, to save lives.
I do also feel that my mother and I have been adjusting as well as can be expected, we feel relatively relaxed at the moment. It also helps that I’m not checking news and social media updates as often as I was initially, and I’ve muted certain phrases and blocked various accounts to make browsing social media a calmer experience. Things like that certainly make a big difference to one’s mindset.
I’m already a homeworker too, so that’s made things easier. Although, as it happened, I didn’t fully go back to work straightaway, because by chance I had already booked the first 2 weeks of lockdown off to use up my annual leave quota (after an illness last year meant I couldn’t use as much holiday as I’d hoped). Granted, I couldn’t use that holiday time to go anywhere nice, except the local park, but the time was very useful to ensure that Mum and I were stocked up and could start settling into this temporary new way of living. So it’s only been the last couple of weeks that I’ve started getting into a proper routine again (and even then Easter ensured that I had 2 four-day weeks).
But of course, many people have far more important, difficult and stressful jobs than I do. So if you’re a key worker – including employees and volunteers in the health service, social care, retail sectors and local authorities, among many others – then thank you!
It’s a very uncertain time, and we don’t know how long this will last, but I want to keep myself occupied as best I can. There are certainly lots of options for things to do – and if you need any ideas, check out my special Lockdown Resources page – so I’ll try my best not to get bored. Indeed, it feels like time is moving more quickly again, after the month of March felt like a year. Maybe it’s because I was already used to homeworking and spending a lot of time at home, and because I’m finding plenty of ways to stay busy and entertained.
So with that in mind, here’s my first lockdown post about the things that have been keeping me occupied. There are 3 videos to go with this – for weeks 1-2, week 3 & week 4 – because with more free time I’ve been able to produce videos a bit more frequently, at least for a little while. So I hope you enjoy looking through this selection.