After a couple of months of very busy, and then not so busy, I was furloughed last week. The UK furlough scheme runs in three week cycles, so I have at least another two weeks. Most likely they will re-up and I won’t be working until the end of June, but that isn’t guaranteed.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I have plenty of projects that I’ve ben neglecting, so keeping busy has not been an issue. The garden has gotten some much needed attention, in time to become a useful space during this lovely weather. And my office/studio, which had descended into chaos when it suddenly became a workspace (and therefore not a place I wanted to also spend my evenings/weekends in) is now back under control.
The cats have also benefited as I build them a cardboard cat condo in a fit of craftiness, John was definitely worried I had lost the plot, and it is a bit more rickety that I would like, but they seem to like it.
John and I take turns cooking dinner, just like before lockdown, we were already pretty good at using up our veg box to get a nice variety of dishes. Obviously now we also eat weekday breakfast and lunch at home, usually breakfast is just toast or cereal, lunch we have together but it’s mostly random who makes it, plus lately the weather has been nice enough we can have it outside. We were a bit surprised that our grocery bill has gone up, but of course we’re buying the larger sizes and planning ahead for things that we might need a week down the line since you can’t just pop out for an onion or whatever.
And then there’s delivery! Thankfully a lot of local businesses have set up delivery services, restaurants of course; we’ve been getting delivery food at least once a week I’d guess. Nominally it’s to support the local places we would miss if they didn’t survive, but really it’s to cheer ourselves up. Nigerian food from Afritopia, pizza from Pizza Roma, fried chicken from Star Chicken, kebabs from Best Kebab, fish and chips from Ted’s. Yeah, we’re doing okay on that front.
We’ve also continued our tradition of date night/day – once a month we take turns figuring out something special – a nice meal or little surprise, nothing major but a little special treat. It was my turn this month and I was stumped until I found The Vintage Tea Room, which delivers a full afternoon tea on china plates! It was very reasonable too, just lovely.
Add in SoRoast coffee and the Butcher’s Hook beer delivery services, and we’re sorted. Given what a huge part of our entertainment food has become, that’s super lucky!
Lockdown is a month old now, things are still going as well as they can here.
Both of us are still working, my job is slowing down a bit but with big swings as circumstances and regulations change in various countries. Work helps but we’ve settled into a few routines that help give the week shape; both of us get up at the same time, and for the past week or so have been taking our exercise in the morning so the park isn’t as busy. I usually make coffee and toast or cereal while John does the litter and feeds the cats. We have breakfast together while reading comics, and I’m at my desk by 8:30. Sometimes one or both of us pops into a casual discord morning chat with some of Third Row fandom. We’re both mostly keeping office hours, although things are still pretty chaotic with my work so I’ve had to put in a few hours on the weekend and evenings.
Monday night is our Star Wars roleplay, using rpgsessions and Discord. Ironically I use my laptop in the living room so that our audio doesn’t overlap. Thursday evening Alison Scott has organized a fannish Zoom after work. Saturday morning I make pancakes, sometimes Sunday as well. Wednesdays (if we remember) we get some sort of pastries and make espressos for breakfast. John has a couple of other regular game nights set up with other fols, of course, and last Saturday the Third Row gang organized a Zoom quiz which might become fortnightly if enthusiasm maintains. Add in a few external reminders of the outside world like veg box delivery on Wednesdays, and I’m usually no more confused about the day of the week than I ever was.
Normally I’d start off with the usual apologies for not having posted in ages, but that seems silly under the circumstances.
Long story short, I stated working from home from March 19th and John was already doing so by then. Lockdown followed on the 23rd, and fortunately we’d been pretty stocked up between regular shopping habits, Brexit prep, and a few additional bits and pieces. We were already getting a weekly veg box, there are several good delivery services for bread, coffee, and beer, plus quite a few take outs and restaurants for the occasional treat. Our neighborhood is pretty conveniently located; we’re close to the river and riverside park, not too crowded around here, and there’s a good neighbourhood Facebook and street Whatsapp. The wifi is good, we have the cats to entertain us, and the garden to get some sunshine if the park looks busy. We’re incredibly lucky, in short.
Whoops – left this in drafts!