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This whole scenario is beginning to feel more and more like the height of the 1960s Cold War ….we’re fighting an invisible enemy and looking suspiciously at anyone we come into contact with, avoiding contagion at all costs, taking extraordinary steps to avoid the virus.

‘Careless contact costs lives’

This will be a short blog (possiblynot πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ€ͺ), but I wanted to share this video with you. There is so much information about this virus already and loads of articles about avoiding contagion.

But they mostly deal with you; washing hands, sneezing tissues, social distancing etc….and not your groceries. So when I saw this video I felt I really needed to share it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sjDuwc9KBps&feature=youtu.be

Well before lockdown and social distancing etc I took my grandson to the park….he loves to swing (takes after his Granny πŸ˜‰). In the bottom of his pram was a bottle of disinfectant spray and paper towels and a glove. Before I put him into the swing I sprayed it down and wiped it off.

There are so many opportunities for contracting this virus that we simply must become absolutely paranoid about what we touch. That plastic bottle of milk has probably been touched by at least 3 people before you. When I look back now at the shopping we did when we got home a couple of weeks ago, I shudder and I’m amazed that none of us have so far contracted the virus.

I’ve just been out for my morning supplies and when I got back it was all sprayed with flash, rinsed off with hot water and wiped down with a separate all purpose cloth before drying and packing it away.

Supplies sprayed down and washed with hot water

I also sprayed the coins in my change, soaked in boiling water then dried with a paper towel. I’ve kept a foil container for this process and put aside separate cloths for washing and drying.

Sprayed with flash

I’m happy to be paranoid about this thing. I plan to be able to go back to my family after this current assignment.

Covered with boiling water

My hands have not been in contact with the coins or supplies….

#beparanoid Be safe….as much as possible

Birdsong

The very best thing to come out of this current situation is that the earth; nature, is getting a chance to breathe.

Every morning now I listen to birdsong outside my window and I can hear even the tiniest of birds.

I can hear them at noon when I’m out walking and I can hear them settling at night.

I found this poem on Google, it seems quite apt

Miranda Renea May 2016

Birdsong Have you ever heard the birds sing?
Everyone is always listening to
Lifeless steel hanging at their side;
It follows as they switch their hip
And walk on by. Sometimes, I wonder,
Why haven’t you heard the birdsong?

No cars rushing by, no trucks or vans….just the gentle breeze and birdsong. Long may it last.

Lockdown Day 3

Okay so today has been both bad and good. My client has been in a bloody strop the whole day and made life absolutely miserable. Urgh. πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

But it was a beautiful day so I went out for my daily shop and topped up a few items. Saw a few people about – we all observed social distancing but managed to have a brief chat anyway.
As usual I listened to the news, but it’s all so depressing and repetitive that eventually I switched the TV off and spent some time between duties to cut snippets of interest out the newspapers.
I’ve started a time capsule for my grandson; a record of interesting things: big and small that is happening around the world. I plan do do a capsule for each year of his life till he’s 10 years old…or more. Then one day I’ll give him the box/boxes and he can amuse himself looking back at history that happened during his life.

Jamie’s time capsule

My break couldn’t come soon enough today and at exactly 2pm I stepped out the door and into the sunshine. A few people strolled by and again we were all very British and very correct about keeping our distance. It is rather nice actually, people behave differently during a crisis and whereas they might normally not give you the time of day, now we all say hello, comment on the weather (wouldn’t be in Britain if we didn’t) and wish each other a lovely day and stay safe. It’s all rather cosy tinged with a dose of fear.
I walked to the top of the hill and onto the castle where I saw that the baaaaabarians had breached the castle walls…

Baaaabarians have breached the castle walls
Baaaaabarians everywhere

My plan was to settle into the nook I’d seen a couple of days ago and just soak up the sun, the peace and the birdsong…
Which I duly did. Not a soul bothered me.

My view

My daughter called and we facetimed via WhatsApp ….it was lovely to hear her voice and see her face and my grandson is just adorable. So cute and so funny.
He races back and forth, grins at me and then dashes off again. What an absolute joy that child is.

The Blur in action πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™


After our call I lay in the sun looked at the sky and watched the clouds go by and snoozed till it was time to get back to work.

Watching clouds and contemplating life

On the way down I stopped to collect tufts of wool scattered around and leaning down to pick up one such tuft I very sensibly put my hand right on top of some stinging nettles. That was 6 hours ago and its still stinging. Fortunately I had a tube of aloe vera in my pocket so rubbed some onto the area. It would have been much worse if I hadn’t. The reason I collected the wool is so that my grandson can use real wool to make a craft sheep….if he ever has to make one…

Tufts of wool

Back at the house, time dragged till dinner time and of course I watched the chancellor’s speech. Krist, hasn’t he learned how to be a politician pretty damn quick!!! Incredible. He’s slotted into the role as if he’d been doing this for years. Do they have a course we don’t know about? ‘How to be slick in 10 easy steps ‘.
Mind you has he ever been dumped in the deep end….I wonder what Sadiq Khan thinks of this…lucky escape or lost opportunity to be a hero??
To be honest, I know this is a terrible time and I worry about my family, but truthfully, I’m exhausted with hearing about this damn virus. The news is like Brexit on steroids.

My stress levels increased exponentially at about 6.30pm when I lost network. I couldn’t send or receive messages and I nearly lost it. My phone is my lifeline when I’m working and I cannot bear to be without reception. Especially at a time like this. It righted itself about an hour later, but my life expectancy has shortened.πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ‘΅πŸ»

The 2nd bright spot of the day came at 8pm…ohhh my gosh. Thats one thing I love so much about this country…when it really counts, people come together.
I stepped out the door into the street half expecting to be standing on my own clapping for the NHS and our wonderful NHS staff, but no….the street was lined with residents and we clapped and cheered loud and strong for our carers. As soon as the clapping started I started crying and couldn’t stop for well over an hour. So amazing to see people out and participating.
And now the day is drawing to a close, I’m in bed and just about to put the light out.

I only managed a collective 1mile today but for sure climbing that hill to the castle must be equal to at least another 2 miles….its that steep; a good cardiovascular workout πŸ˜‰ my excuse anyway.
3 days done 18 to go. Let’s hope this initiative works and we see a drop in new cases.
Goodnight all. Stay safe and wish you all well.

High enough!! πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“β€

Lockdown Day 2

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˜‰

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 🌝🌝

Lockdown Day 1

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˜‚

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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