11 Things that lock down has taught me

Personal Experience

Okay this is just a little blog to sum up the last few months. I have mentioned before that I have worked throughout all this so I haven’t had a break at all. That’s about to change but I will get to that later.

1. A whitewashed life

I mentioned in my last blog that I live a multicultural life, my family our friends. But over the past few weeks it is become apparent that my life is still whitewashed and I have much to learn. It also starts with my family and learning a bit more about the past.

Systemic racism doesn’t have a place in the world so it’s time to oust it.

2. Family is everything

I know this is obvious but it is. My parents live in different countries so I am used to not seeing them but it still make you think about the separation and worrying about them and there health.

I wish I could be with them but keeping them safe is more important. I can’t imagine getting on a plane right now. So I am resolved to texts and zoom for now.

I miss my family and friends so much.

I wouldn’t want to miss them more.

3. Frank therapy has helped

I really couldn’t have gotten through this without my dog. Having a pet and something to adore you has been a gift. I have to put his needs before my own, he gets fed before us, get cuddles and walked once a day.

The walking has helped, get me and Gav out of house to the local park. It’s a pretty empty park so we never come into contact with anyone.

Having a dog has been wonderful I hope I never take him for granted.

4. Baking is a skill

I know it’s a bit of a joke that banana bread is lockdown prerequisite but we love it. It took me 3 failed banana breads before I bought scales. Baking is a skill and it’s so important to have the correct measurements and not add or take away.

The fourth banana bread was perfect and was so good. Since then I made a gin and tonic lemon drizzle cake… so good. A coffee cake which had a strange icing but I am confident now.

I can bake.. oh and I made very rich brownies.

Baking is a skill.

5. The kitchen is never tidy

With baking and having 3 meals at home everyday the kitchen is constantly a mess and needs tidying. It is draining me, I feel like I am going mad. I hate cleaning at the best of times. Eventually when I start working again, we will save for a new kitchen.

I refuse to get a new kitchen without a dishwasher. I refuse. I would rather not have a washing machine I would rather have a dishwasher.

Lock down has made my kitchen dreams become focused.

6. I love gardening

So having a dog means your garden always needs a bit of attention, mainly cleaning but also tending my flowers. When I tried to grow my own bouquet last year.

This year my dahlias are growing back and I am elated. I also have some tomatoes and peppers growing too. Home grown tomatoes are the best and I can’t wait to have our own.

Gav is researching smoking and bbqing at the moment. So when it’s nice we cook outside and spend more time in the garden.

7. Korean films are amazing

We have been watching a few Korean films and Netflix series and now I am a little obsessed with Korea.

We watched the Kingdom with is a perfect Zombie series that we loved.

This has made us look at more series and we are now watching the Magic Pop up Bar..

Now I want to go to Korea, it’s my next country I want to visit.

8. The pounds have been piling

I have been putting on weight, I know this is fine, I am exercising less only walking once a day. Eating more I guess.

I am not happy with it so it’s time for me to start running again.

9. Cancelled plans

For Gavins 40th I started saving for a trip to New York. We would go in September so it would be our first anniversary and his birthday treat. COVID-19 has put a stop to this. I understand and I am grateful.

I am grateful that I don’t have to chase my money or that we don’t have to visit another place where everything is shut.

Now me and Gav are planning New York together.

But we won’t be getting on a plane this year.

It is still just to scary.

10. Back to planning

I am back to my bullet journal. I was just working through my day but now I am back to my bullet points, planning out my days and weeks.

I love to write things down. All the apps in the world aren’t going to help me.

Analogue is best for me so I am going to stick with it. Plan my work days ( whilst I still have them) and plan my time when I don’t have work to do.

11. Starting over is daunting

So I had to come to a hard decision. My working wanted me in but I am still shielding Gav. So I had to hand in my notice. It wasn’t an easy choice but we couldn’t come to an agreement. I still think the government is wrong to open up everything so soon.

I hope there is no second peak.

So now I have to start over. I loved my job it was unique I will never get that sort of job again. So now I have to decide what to be when I grow up.

It’s daunting.

I don’t really know where to begin.

What lock down has taught me

I always new how much my friends and family meant to me but I need to let them know more. I miss my freedom but I would miss a dead loved one more. So I am happy to keep isolating to protect everyone.

Everyone has sacrificed during this time and a lot of people have lost so much. So I am happy to learn.

Happy to keep learning and isolating.

Little catch up in all this madness

Planning

I am still here, still sharing my Japan experiences with you, I have a few more blogs so I hope you are enjoying me taking you away from what is going on in the world.

Covid 19

It’s still a scary place, people are still dying every day. My family are safe and healthy which I am so grateful for.

I am still working which makes me lucky at the moment but I am dreading the time that the English government tells me I have to go back to work when this is still going on. I say the English government because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all seem to be more cautious and caring than ours.

How am I coping?

Am I? Yes I am coping working six days a week helps takes my mind of things and I have started drawing with my sister so I am keeping busy.

It makes me furious that our government want to say we may not be the worst in Europe because other countries don’t count there deaths properly. The truth is to date we have reported 34466 deaths in this country. It doesn’t matter if we don’t belong at the top of the scale all those people have died all those families are grieving and they don’t care what ranking we are at.

Cooking 3 meals a day is a bit crazy and although me and Gavin are used to it now it means that the kitchen is constantly in use and constantly a mess.

We have been cooking so much that we have invested in a few more pieces of Le Crueset we bought a cast iron such oven in black and some new pans that you can move from the stove to the hob which makes me really happy. The cleaning doesn’t.

Gavin has banned me from using art materials in the sitting room and I have agreed although I am sitting here with a sketchbook as we speak. but now our sitting room is tidy all the time which is great when the dog wakes me up at 5am and I snooze with him on the couch.

Frank

Walking the dog everyday is great. Even when it’s cold and rainy he gets us out of the house and we never regret it. It’s like going to the gym you may not want to go, but when you do you never regret it.

I hope everyone has something loving and warm to cuddle up to at the moment. I am really missing my cat but she has been gone a year now so she really isn’t coming home.

Plans

I am the dysfunctional planner and this stand well every day. Full of good intentions but peepers to plan rather than actually do.

Gardening

So we have been spending a bit more time in the garden. Gavin has repainted the BBQ with special heat paint so we could use it, then the next day he cooked a beer can chicken and brisket we ate for days.

A little boy down the street is selling home sewn plants. Obviously my bathroom is now covered in planting pots and cuttings. I invested in some rooting powder and cut some lilac leaves. I am just waiting for the soil to arrive and then I can sort out the garden a bit more.

I can’t wait.

House stuff

I need to sort out my house with the exception of the sitting room and bathroom it’s not good. My kitchen is my big tackle for today and I want to sort out the rest of the house in the next month. I just need to get on with it, maybe at the next bank holiday it will get done!

I also need to dye my hair with is looking bad but it with look healthier

Over it

The truth is like most people I just want to go to the pub and have a drink with my friends. But I understand the importance of staying home and staying safe. The NHS is our life line at the moment and if I have to give up going out to saves lives then I will do it.

It’s fine

We just won’t take it for granted again.

The biggest truth is I would rather be bored than dead! Harsh but true. We will get over this.

Staying motivated during isolation- I am not

Advice, Personal Experience

Motivation is still at Zero


I am so impressed by everyones attitudes to this situation. I am not motivated at all. Yes I will be baking banana bread today and yes I have cleared out the garden but I am still working. I am actually busier then I have ever been and I am working super long days. So even though I am currently working at home not a lot has changed for me.

I actually enjoyed working from home. I planned our lunches and and cooked our dinners we walked Frank every day. We are now a zero waste food house hold. I understand stand that we should always should have been. Isolating is teaching us how much to appreciate the food you have. We are using up all the fresh bits first although they seem easier to replace.


I still have minimum motivation.

Zero

Online food shopping


We gutted the kitchen cupboards at the weekend
Ripped everything out and wrote everything down. Like everything in life, me and Gavin are hoarders. Food hoarders if you are really fond of spices, bbq sauce and noodles, we will survive.

We appear to have a soba noodle obsession.


I just wanted to check before I did an order that we have enough food in the house and this has helped me massively. But I don’t blame online shoppers for overstocking their shelves! How can we when you can only get delivery once a month if you are lucky. If we are not allowed out and we are trying to stay away from people then online shopping should be a godsend.


But no one can get a slot.


We will be fine for no, maybe a month, if we just live on noodles!

Lack of motivation


I am still working.


You may know that I work in retail it’s an online company so we are busy. Busier than Christmas and dealing with a lot of impatient people. Who don’t understand that there is a crisis on which means delays. This is leading to zero motivation at the moment. Gav is used to me screaming at the laptop and getting stressed.

Work is really tiring me out. Don’t leave a comment telling me I am lucky to be working. Yes I am lucky to be working but I am not used to dealing with such negativity and lack of understanding. I have to process what is going on in the world as well as people yelling at me because there parcel is delayed.

Peoples perspectives are pissing me off.

Coping during isolation

Working means I have little time to relax. I don’t have any excess time to be creative, to plan the things I want to do. My daily roles haven’t changed that much but everything else has. When I sit down and think about all the deaths and sickness I find it overwhelming.

We are living in scary times.

I deleted Facebook because I don’t want to hear people’s opinions on everything. All my news comes from the BBC. I downloaded the app so I even get notifications which is also scary.

Our government lied to us and downplayed the severity of Covid-19 which is still making me so angry.

We don’t know what is happing or going to happen. So we need to let everyone get along how they must. Am I coping?…. well I am getting everyday but I am so busy or tied I don’t have a lot of time for me.

I read a post on how we are actually privileged to be able to stay home, feed ourselves, clean ourselves. At first I was a bit annoyed at this post. Now I understand the relevance and the privileged position of us. It wasn’t about shaming us it was about putting things in perspective.

It’s time to put things in perspective!

You perspective matters but please be kind to people and patience really is a virtue.

Where’s your head at?

Advice, health

What a crazy week! I am a little overwhelmed by it all, the new just keeps getting worse. More people are getting sick and the deaths keep adding up. This is all getting very scary.

We have arrived back from Japan into chaos.

I am angry at how slow our government has taken to act and how severe it actually becoming. Our PM has been reluctant to react and now he is sick. This blog is my escape so even though I am very political my blog is somewhere I escape to rather than a political ranting space.

My Facebook feed was telling be on one hand that everyone needs to take it seriously, on the other it’s all a joke and then my absolute favourite was to be positive.

Good Vibes only was plastered all over Facebook and it was making me angry. I get it. That’s how people are coping they want to create a positive place. It made me feel like my feelings were invalid and wrong. I shouldn’t be angry I should be focused and grateful.

Well I am not. I am still angry.

I deleted facebook

Facebook was stressing me out so I decided that this divorce needs to happen so off I went. I am still watching the news. I have BBC news app sending me notifications and feel a bit better. It was never about cutting out the world. Just bad social media! I still love Instagram and Twitter. Maybe it’s the comfort of strangers that I find soothing.

I am working from home and the isolation isn’t helping my mental health. I am just frustrated and I think I actually need a break except I can’t go anywhere.

We are all in the same boat so I don’t feel alone even in isolation. I also know I am lucky. I have food in my kitchen. A little house I can disappear into. My little garden that I need to tidy. A loving husband and a cute puppy that need a daily walk. I am not depressed but this whole Covid 19 situation is stressing me out.

It’s all a bit much so I thought I would ask you where your head is at? Let’s start a conversation.

A few days in Hiroshima

Travel

Originally when I was first planning our trip I almost dismissed Hiroshima and thought we could do it all in a day. This was foolish. What I have learned the most from travelling is that you should spend 2 days somewhere as a minimum. Try to make them two whole days not two half ones!!

So we were looking forward to the Peace Museum. I had been reading up on Hiroshima, shaking my head and not understanding what had happened. I still don’t quite understand it, nor the lack of hatred towards America( I don’t hate America but I was shocked that there was little ill will)Japan is such an amazing place they seem very forgiving. I know there are two sides to every story. It’s something I have to learn more about.

Hiroshima is filled with stories.

It is a fascinating place.

Fascinating hi.

The devastation was incredible but I feel like the story of Hiroshima is one of getting on with things, moving on not being victims.

Not dwelling on the past but looking to the future.

Again we were visiting when corona virus was there but not the killer it is at this moment. So it was quitet and we got to see the sites, although everything indoors was closed. So out door spaces only.

The peace museum was closed so we just wandered around the park taking it all in. It was so empty we were lucky to see it like that, but what we learned more and more about travelling is it is the people that make a place not buildings.

We visited this shrine and these three beautiful girls sat there in perfect harmony. Everything about this was elegant and peaceful. I am determined to paint this photo so I will let you know how I get in with it.

Food glorious food

I was told before I arrived that the food in Hiroshima was amazing and if I had known how good the oysters were I would have had them everyday.

We visited the small island of Miyajima 宮島 we caught a tram and then a train to the port. Our JR Pass meant it was free to get to. It is most famous for its giant torii gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water. The sight is ranked as one of Japan’s three best views except when we arrived the gate was wrapped up for repairs. I was so excited to see it. I had made sure we got the right tides and we had time to explore the shrine before watching the sunset through the torii gate.

It would have been perfect just not on the day we went.

The food was so good that I wish we had stayed longer. The island was so incredible that I would have been great to experience it more. Just one night on the island eating all the amazing oysters and yummy plum wine. I know it is fairly expensive but it would have been lovely to wake up to a view of the shore.

So we went to the shrines! Our barman has told us at about the most incredible shrine and how it was pure magic. It was right at the top of the hill.

The island has a lot of shrines but if you want to see the ones at the top I would recommend walking to the left of the stairs. Here you will find thousands of Buddhas all with knitted hats on. It feels like a magical walk. You will accross shrines on the way but it never got boring it was incredible. It was also quiet so we took our time and even took some photos together!

There were so many shrines and each one was completely different. It was interesting and interactive. We learned a lot and took lots of photos. I couldn’t recommend this island enough.

Taking about our food we had to try okonominyaki, we had it twice. The first night I was so tired I was disappointed. When I am tired I should just sleep not try new things I should just sleep.

The next day we went to the station and had okonominyaki again and it was so good!! So it turned out I love it I just have to be more than semi awake to enjoy it.

Hiroshima we will return

When we go back to Japan we will definitely stay a wee bit longer in Hiroshima and maybe plan a night in the island and two days on the mainland perhaps every venturing further south to the islands.

I will need to do a lot more research!

The bars around Hiroshima where amazing, it’s where we discovered secret bars with tiny doors and cool speak easy vibes.