Lockdown Diaries: Week 1


Red faced and warm. Thankful for the sun and countryside walks.

Monday

Ok, so Monday wasn’t technically a lockdown nationally, but it was beginning to feel like it here. Although the schools were now only open of children of Key workers, Sean had to go into work to finish setting online work, which I was pretty anxious about, but he had to do it, so I had to get on with it. I used the day to catch up with housework, laundry, washing up etc. and did a lot of work on my website. I’ve had to move my singing teaching business online pretty quickly, which meant a crash course on the do’s and don’ts of internet teaching, how to set up the infrastructure, and communicating this all to the parents. Thank goodness for mail merge and Youtube!

I’ve now been in the house for 5 days and feeling a little claustrophobic. The weather is simply stunning today, so I’ve ordered a little patio bistro set which will allow us to sit outside in the sunshine, and do our work there. To make the most of the sunshine, Sean and I decided to go to a local country park for a walk in the evening sunshine. Choosing to take the partly flooded pathway as it afforded us distance from other people, we ended up just walking and walking, through bluebell woods, across farmland, down into valleys and back up the golden lit hills. We even saw some free-range ponies who live on the heath. So. Beautiful.

Tuesday

Official Lockdown has begun. The government has asked us to stay at home, only leaving to get essential shopping, to provide care or to attend medical appointments. We’re also allowed to leave the house for exercise once a day. Sean and I have decided to wait this one out, and not leave the house at all. I read that this week is the week where statistically, the most infections will occur (not sure if that is true). I’m in the ‘at risk’ group of the population due to underlying health conditions, so it makes sense to stay in. That being said, we’ve made contact with our elderly neighbour who is in isolation for 12 weeks, and said we’re happy to help with anything she needs. I just wish we could do more.

The Bistro set has arrived. It’s like we now have an extra, sunshine filled room!

My 30 days walking challenge is also going well (day 7). Sean decided that he’d join in too (for the trade-off of me agreeing to do a music session with him later). It was BRILLIANT! It was so lovely to be working out with him, but for the life of me I can’t understand how someone so musically talented, can be so bad at moving in time to music!?!?!?! Love him.

Dinner: Tinned salmon pesto pasta – that tin has been sitting in the cupboard for months, so it’s good to have finally used it.


Wednesday

I taught my first online lessons today. There were a few technical hitches but overall, they went well. It feels so good to get back to teaching, a smattering of normality.

Another highlight was being able to sit out in the sunshine on the patio, drinking a cup of tea. So. Good. I love just sitting, watching the birds come to and fro from the little bird feeder that I have, and listening to the trickling of the stream which runs past our flat. I’m thankful for these little things, they remind me of the beauty of our planet. Covid-19 is an awful virus, but this enforced human quarantine is giving time for planet earth to heal. I’m enjoying living at a slower pace of life, time to workout, time to do music, time to cook. Time is such a gift.


Dinner: Chicken fajitas….yum – defrosted some chicken, put in some frozen veg and found some tortilla wraps. Accompanied by roasted tinned new potatoes sprinkled with cheese.

Thursday

Today was my busiest teaching day so far. It was so much fun – I really enjoyed getting back to teaching my pupils, hearing their news and helping them find a new sense of normality in terms of continuing their studies. It’s good for me too, feeds the soul.

When I was sitting outside enjoying a cuppa in the sun, I had a surprise visitor….a HAWK! It landed less than a meter away from me, but I stupidly let out a gasp of surprise – it threw me a look of distain and then flew off (I think it was angry as I had thwarted its plan to have a blackbird sandwich for lunch – we’ve got a few of them nesting nearby).

Also received some good news today – we’ve been given permission to have a dog! Yippeee!

Dinner: Meat free spaghetti bolognaise made with store cupboard ingredients: tomato, red pepper & lentil soup, tomato paste, onion, a carrot, seasoning and of course, garlic. Some garlic bread too.

Friday

Yesterday evening the Chancellor announced (finally) a support package for the self-employed. It’ll help 95% of people. Sadly I fall into the 5% which will receive no help, but it doesn’t do well to dwell on the negative. Between my lessons I decided to practice the piano, currently learning Lavenders Blue. This week, Sean and I started singing/ playing through some old pieces, including Schuman’s Widmung, perhaps my favourite German song. I’m rediscovering my love of Lieder (German song). I even got to spend the evening listening to Schubert’s Schwanengesang, the entire song cycle!

Started feeling a bit ill this pm so only managed a 12 min walk – felt like 40!

Getting seriously into box sets, current favourites: Killing Eve and Whitechapel

Dinner: Frozen lamb shank, honey roasted butternut squash & carrots with chilli potatoes. Not my finest creating, the carrots caramelised so much that they were more like sweets, and looking at the lamb shank reminded me of why I spent most of last year as a vegetarian…

Saturday

Taught my last lesson for the week. Feeling a bit rough to be honest, a head cold is coming on. So it was an afternoon of Facetiming the family, TV boxsets (Whitechapel) which left me feeling a bit sad…so we ordered pizza from Dominos, which was great, until I had an IBS attack…

Sunday

We’re having a lazy Sunday, which is lovely. Slept until late (clocks changed) did a bit of tidying, and a book that I had on order arrived. I've decided to do some book reviews on singing related material, to share with pupils/ parents. It also gives me motivation to sit down and read.

Watched the daily Corona briefing, they said asthmatics should avoid shops, so we tried to do an online order – no luck. Then I remembered that our favourite farm shop in Devon do national delivery – they can’t deliver until 16th, but it’s better than nothing. I was pretty anxious about whether or not we had enough in store to see us through, so I did a meal plan. Luckily, I stocked up on a few extra tins before Brexit in case the food supply was hindered. We didn’t use them then, but they’re coming in handy now. With a bit of creative cooking, and if I make good use of my bread machine, we should be fine.

I’m trying to work out how many days I’ve been in isolation, I think 10? If feels like longer, but I’m surprised how quickly we seemed to have adapted. But as there are now suggestions that this will be the norm until June, I think I’m going to start setting myself weekly goals, to give a bit more structure.

Goals for Isolation week No. 2:

- Do daily piano practice

- Sort the spare room (!!!!!)

- Learn another Lied

- Cook everyday

- Continue with my 30 Day Walking Challenge

- Start creating a reading list for my pupils/ their parents on good books for singers.


My Gratitudes:

- Living in a country that has the NHS

- Have a place of safety, a home to live in.

- Family

- Music (especially now that we have our piano back).

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