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Goodness me….day 31. I never in my life ever imagined such a thing would happen ….although we can still go out for exercise etc, it still feels totally surreal.

Went outside forΒ  the 8pm to clap for carers and saw something I haven’t seen for quite some time….contrails. a plane!! I can’t recall seeing a plane for weeks now so was quite surprised to see this. I just read this article and I think we areΒ  certainly for the foreseeable future, going to see less planes than we are used to.


https://www.traveller.com.au/travel-and-covid19-say-goodbye-to-economy-class-as-the-golden-era-of-cheap-travel-is-declared-over-h1nkai

I got into a bit of a spat a few days ago about Richard Branson wanting a bailout….and of course I complained bitterly, especially considering he’s a billionaire…so today a friend of mine sent me this πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ the website is fake btw….

Brilliant πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

So today was my 65th birthday!! πŸŽ‚πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰ and I am so surprised that I got this far πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I’ve decided that in honour of this milestone I should keep a diary….so let’s see…I’m not very good at keeping a diary, but you never know…..

They my daughter and family, sent me a delightful box of decorative biscuits from biscuiteers…almost too good to eat

So pretty
Gorgeous tulips from the lady who does our shopping.

I got to chat to my daughter and grandson this morning and we had planned a virtual afternoon tea and cake via facetime, but the wee cherub fell in down the outside stairs and gashed his head….so instead they dashed off to A&E to get him checked over. So perhaps tomorrow…

A virtual birthday
Awwww πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

Other than that, a quiet day….had a snooze during my break and caught up with my paperwork, did my chores and that was it really.

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So my working day has been much the same as usual, so I won’t bore you with the details.

Its been an extraordinary day once again in terms of the response to this virus as the news rolls in from our esteemed πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ PM, and other countries. Shocking to learn that New York has 5,000 new cases in one day, and on the tail of that, the orange swamp thing maintaining the US will nail the virus by Easter. Krist what a numbskull…

Did you know that India has 1.3 billion citizens??? 😯😯😯 Puts our piddling 58million into the shade. I simply cannot imagine how the millions of people who live in the most awful conditions of severe poverty in India will be able to stay at home.

So I had 2 outings today….first to the store for basics…I’m trying to keep our supplies stocked up, just in case it all goes tits up later on in the process. It’s quite a responsibility caring for a bed ridden 90 year old, but if it gets dire her family will have to step up and deliver supplies.

Secondly I made the most of my allowable time again and went out for a 3.2 km walk around the village. It transpired today that I’m in fact going to be here for 5 weeks as opposed to the initial 2 weeks. The agency are short of carers so I offered to stay on..

I’m guessing I will know this place inside out by then.

I also wanted to ensure I make the most of the weather…I believe there is rain on the way. Urgh

I met very few people and on the whole we all observed social distancing and one or the other crossed the street or walked with a car between us. Talking of cars, its really weird to see so few vehicles on the road. But its gratifying to note that people generally are taking this more seriously.

The roads are bereft of vehicles

Even more inspiring has been the number of volunteers who have stepped forward to support the NHS. That’s one of the things I love about this country….when the going gets tough, people step up. I just wish the government would pay them at least something for their efforts. They’re absolute heroes.

On a sad note was the news of the young woman of 21 with no health issues who contracted the virus and has died. That’s heartbreaking. And scary.

The village is not big and I seem to have walked pretty much right around the perimeter…I saw a few animals along the way and stopped to chat to a pretty little cat.

Such a sweetie

There’s a lot of history in this village and I walked past Samuel Coleridge’s house. He was a friend of William Wordsworth who visited the area frequently. Virginia Woolfe honeymooned in the area.

Samuel Coleridge’s house..only for 3 years 🀨🀨

I passed a sign that read

πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

So I took a small bundle of daffodil bulbs for my daughter’s garden.

I loved this little sign I saw in the side of the road.

🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈❀❀

I had a facetime chat with my daughter and grandson on WhatsApp. Oh gosh I miss him so much. As glad as I am to have this work, I am missing him so much and this will be the longest I haven’t been with him since he was born…πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ He’s ever so cute.

Other than that, it was business as usual on the work front and watching the news, as well as our PM making promises he’s unlikely to follow through on. Just been reading an article in The Daily Telegraph by Tom Welsh…he totally nails it. The Government are intent on diverting attention away from their own failings and unpreparedness by blaming the public for the spread of the virus. The reality is that the Tories have been dismantling the NHS for bloody years and they have left it virtually on the brink of bankruptcy. I won’t go into my opinion of why this has been done, suffice to say that they have made a bloody great cockup by their neglect, and now their chickens are coming home to roost, but they’re trying to shift the blame. I hope BoJo doesn’t get much sleep at night. As for Hunt he should stfu. Pointing a finger at Hancock, he forgets that 3 are pointing back at him. Tosser.

In case you haven’t guessed…I’m not a fan of the Tories πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

Oh and I bought my daughter a new washing machine. Theirs packed up yesterday mid wash. If ever there was bad timing, this was it. Literally the day after the government announces a lockdown, the machine packs up. Wtaf. Seriously. Anyway, they’ll get it by Monday, but will have to install it themselves since Argos are not currently installing due to the current situation.

How was your day?? πŸ˜‰

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Typical innit

At a time when we could all be out and about enjoying the glorious weather, we’re on lockdown πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺβŒπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I can hear the birds πŸ˜ƒπŸ•ŠπŸ•ŠπŸ¦

For me, in my job, its business as usual. This is my life…confined to the house for 22 hours a day, 2-4 weeks at a time, with a few outing exceptions like hospital visits or the doctor or a bit of shopping. I don’t mind so much in winter when its cold and rainy, but it’s a mental (and emotional) challenge in spring, summer and autumn. 🌸🌼🍁

But, I am making the most of my break and getting out while the going is good and making the most of my allowable time off and out ….adhering to work and government guidelines. Thankfully this position is not like many others I’ve had in the past where I’m not allowed to leave the house at all for 2 weeks at a time due to the nature of the client’s condition and requirements.

Make the most of your time out allowance and enjoy the fabulous weather….the air is clearer, I can hear the birds, there’s less pollution, I can see the stars at night, and nature is drawing breath….

Clear skies 🌝🌝

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I’m going to try keeping a diary over this period and blog on a daily basis….

However, I do get lazy and distracted by reading/social media/tv/OPB/BBC πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ but I’ll try my best. (OPB = other people’s blogs).

Frankly my life hasn’t changed that much. As a Carer for the elderly I’m classified as a ‘key worker’, and yesterday, after a 6.5 hour journey on 2 trains, 2 tube rides and 2 taxis, I arrived at my next assignment. I’m meant to be here for 2 weeks, but that could change due to the lockdown, and I may end up being here for 4 weeks….not longer. My birthday is coming up soon and I DO. NOT. WORK. ON. MY. BIRTHDAY.

So for me its same old same….different place, different client, same difference. In other words, my jobs entails pretty much the same thing every day for 14 days, but just a different location and different person, but same issues.

I get sent all over the country and sometimes to places well off the map, mostly never heard of except by the residents.

But often the dice falls in my favour and I get sent to a place that has all the elements that get me excited…. in this instance, not only is this village a Domesday Book Village, but it has had some famous residents and boasts the ruins of a Norman motte and bailey.

Following Johnson’s announcement of a nationwide lockdown last night, I took my 1st ‘allowed’ excursion this morning to the store for basics. I’m going to make use of this time every day for a breather and stock up on the basics needed to feed my client, and other such things.

Then this afternoon I used my 2 hour break to take advantage of the allowable exercise outing. I usually do take this time to get out and walk anyway but now of course it’s a privilege rather than an expectation.

What a charming little village this is. Quaint old houses, a little brook dashing through the streets, a clock tower, and oodles of history….one of the Guy Fawkes protagonists was born here. How awesome is that!!!

Quaint old cottages and a clock tower
A bubbling brook
Bad lad…boom!!

I’m staying in a quirky 16th century cottage with more steps and landings than I care to count πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ if I lift my hand I can touch the ceiling….and I am not tall…just 5ft 5 inches. I’m guessing people were much shorter in the 16th century. Last night when I went to bed, last thing before I switched off the light…I reminded myself about the step outside my room so that I don’t fall flat on my face in the middle of the night.

I pretty much have the house to myself as my client has been practicing ‘social distancing’ for the last 4 years…apparently she took to her room 4 years ago and refuses to come out unless she has a medical appointment. This is not unusual.

I set off at 2pm and after a short walk I found an information board about the village and that’s where I discovered there’s a castle. Whoop whoop. Needless to say it’s on the top of the hill πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈβ›°πŸ° a steep climb. What’s with those Normans anyway, building their castles at the top of the hills…I mean seriously, no cars, no buses, no escalators, no lifts…but they build on the top of the hill πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ˜‰

It’s at this point that I miss my walking poles the most. It really feels weird being out walking without them. But onwards….

I soon reached the crest of the hill and to my delight there was the castle. Okay its totally overgrown now and there’s nary a stone or wooden pole to be seen, but it’s so exciting to walk in the footsteps of people who lived here nearly 1000 years ago.

Norman motte and bailey
Hinkley Point in the distance

The views are spectacular…you can see for miles and miles, even the Bristol Channel, and in the distance I could see Hinkley Point Power Station. The village looked cosy snuggled as it is in the folds of the valley.

I’m sure the air is fresher….I sat out on the highest point I could find and just enjoyed the quiet, the brisk breeze and the delicious sunshine on my skin. There’s a grassy bowl towards the middle of the castle where I could easily spend the day…a blanket, a good book, flask of hot tea and packet of biscuits and I’d not leave all day.

Perfect spot to spend the day

I phoned my little family on the other side of the country and enjoyed seeing my adorable grandson and chatting to my daughter and son-in-law. They’re bearing up and enjoying being home, creating fun things to do for the baby.

A few other people made the most of the lovely weather and walked around the perimeter of the mound.

After 20 minutes of gorgeous warmth I walked back down into the village and along one street to the outer edge then turned back and made my way back to the cottage. A pleasing break and added 3.2 kms to my walk 1000 miles challenge….although as things are going, its unlikely I’ll reach my target this year.

Edge of the village

Then it was back to work and supper preparation and frequent visits from downstairs to upstairs πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ I told my client that at this rate, with the number of times I respond to the bell, I’m sure to get fit and lose weight.

At the moment I’m watching TV and writing this blog while counting the minutes till bedtime 😁😁 end of day one of 21 days of lockdown. 20 to go…its frustrating of course, upsetting and unsettling and we have no idea how things are going to pan out, but in the greater scheme of things…time out is no bad thing, and like I said, my life has not changed that much…

I saw this sculpture at the edge of the village…it made me smile and think of bonkers Boris….”stay home or else ”

Stay at home πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Watching Boris Johnson on BBC1 last night was an exercise in frustration. As usual he waffles on ??? using highfalutting, fancy words most people don’t even understand (I love a good fancy word myself; but time and place Boris!!) We all know you have a preppy education, have written books, and use words no-one has used since Shakespeare died…..now is not the time to show off.

So instead of saying “I am putting the UK on lockdown for 3 weeks with immediate effect”, he scurries about scrambling for placating words; words he strings together in long rambling sentences that by the time he ends it, we’re no wiser and have lost track of the message….. meanwhile his eyes and hands betraying his uncertainty. Talk about clenched. πŸ‘ŠπŸ‘Š

Is he trying to protect his city buddies investments? Just say “lockdown” ffs. You’re not dealing with reasonable people (on the whole). The number of people who are flouting the recommendations and still making unnecessary trips are thick, they need their heads banged together….use strong, solid, forceful words that get the message across. πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ

As for Michael Gove….can someone sew up his lips for the duration and ban him from speaking on TV…what a tosser. Seriously. πŸ›ŽπŸ›ŽπŸ›ŽπŸ””πŸ”š

I was so impressed with the action taken by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa….a short, concise, clear message “….decided to enforce a nationwide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday”. Boom!!πŸ’£πŸ’₯πŸ’£πŸ’₯ end of. 🚷🚷🚷🚷🚷🚷 We’re on πŸ”β¬‡οΈ “…a decisive measure to save lives”. ergo…stay at home.

https://youtu.be/tkOWlBF7aC0

We are living in uncertain times, Covid-19 is an unprecedented issue and if we don’t get our act together, we are going to be culpable for the deaths of any number of people…. people you may not even know, but they’re loved by someone else, but your selfish actions have caused their untimely death.

I messaged my daughter yesterday to say that even if I do finish this current job in 2 weeks time, I am not going to visit them at their home. Anyone who knows me, would know how terribly hard that will be for me to do….but I do not want to inadvertently infect the people most precious to me…my beloved daughter, my cherished grandson and my lovely son-in-law.

Instead we’re going to do video messaging and keep in touch on WhatsApp with lots of photos.

Be safe folks, please follow government guidelines and let’s beat this bastard virus

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Gloves on, gloves off, gloves on, gloves off. Its been a right pain with the gloves, but since I’m exposed to so many different surfaces, some of which might be carrying the virus, I thought it best to play safe. Especially  as I love taking photos on my travels, I don’t want to ‘infect’ my phone πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ🀒

Gloves off…

So, well done to South Eastern railway for getting us to St Pancras only 5 minutes behind schedule despite the trespassers on the line at Margate. I’ve never seen St Pancras station or trains so empty.

St Pancras

After a couple of changes on the Underground I finally made it to Paddington Station, well ahead of time, only to find my next train had been cancelled…πŸ˜•πŸ˜•πŸ™„ so a long wait of 1.5 hours ensued

Just 43 minutes more….

and I’m sure I clocked up at least 3 kms pacing up and down…the seats are too cold to sit on. Besides which I know how long the virus lingers on stainless steel and I am trying to avoid any contact.

Underground- Bakerloo line
Paddington Station

However, on the plus side I had time to visit Paddington Bear and grab a cuppachino from Nero.

Paddington Bear

I’m finally on my train and all being well I’ll get to my destination…only 1 hour 13 minutes behind schedule.

Paddington Station

Thankfully the outgoing Carer is taking a few days break and is not enroute to another job. I really should have insisted that the agency give me a job closer to ‘home’.

I was impressed to note that even the finer details have been thought of

Wrapped up tightly against Covid-19

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My next job/assignment starts today and the day hasn’t had the most auspicious start.

My alarm didn’t go off when it was supposed to πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ Fortunately I had been awake for a few hours already and thought to check the time….only 10 minutes out, but with a taxi booked, I had to hustle.

I got to the station with plenty of time to spare and whilst waiting for the train, heard the dreaded announcement….my train was cancelled due to trespassers on the line 2 stations down.

I immediately sought out one of the station staff and secured authorisation to travel on the highspeed route instead…so

At the moment I’m travelling on the highspeed route to St Pancras. And its surreal….

This route is always packed to the rafters with commuters and you would be lucky to get a seat. The train is virtually empty…besides that

The train is stopping at all the small stations it doesn’t normally stop at, and I had a momentary flutter of concern…am I on the right train? But yes, it seems I am.

These are extraordinary times. Very few cars on the road, people few and far between- social distancing πŸ˜‰ and an empty train

I’m just hoping that I don’t have any issues with the underground getting to my next departure point. The services have been drastically reduced and I am a tad nervous about making my connection. Besides the reduced service, I have 2 heavy grocery bags to carry and an unwieldy suitcase to lug around. πŸ˜•πŸ˜•

I haven’t seen anyone wearing a mask yet 😷😷😷 and no-one has sneezed 🀧🀧 in my vicinity…so far so good. I’m being careful about what I touch and my elbows are getting a good workout πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

One of the people in the houseshare coughed pretty much right through the night (hence my lack of sleep), so I used a sock on my hand to open or close doors, turn on taps and flush the 🚽 and I’m diligently washing my hands at every opportunity 🧼🧼🧼🧼

Fortunately I haven’t had any contact with her, so I can only hope her note on the fridge door was truthful “Sorry for the coughing, I have a cold.” Everyone and everything is suspect now and its quite unnerving.

Strange times. But the air feels cleaner and last night the sky was so clear I could see hundreds of stars.

Stay well every one and please be sensible about following government guidelines. I have a healthy distrust of the government on most days, and I have a healthy regard for some of the conspiracy theories that abound, but I’m still not at all keen to either contract this virus or pass it on to my loved ones….so to that end, I’ll take the news at face value and I’m being a good girl and not rebelling against the advice….

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