Saturday 04 April 2020 – London.
Another Sunday, another week completed and another week closer to this ‘event’ being over and what was deemed as normal returning.
What do we call this thing? I don’t like the word ‘crisis’ though it surely is one. ‘Pandemic’ is too scientific and probably means different things to different people. This government’s use of the words ‘war’ and ‘battle’ scare the hell out of me, this is certainly neither of those things. ‘Event’ seems a bit too casual, not serious enough, but events can be life changing and until I come up with something better, ‘event’ it is going to be.
My one wish from this covid19 event is that society, particularly the UK, has used this time to take a good long look at itself and reflect on how things were before. Society, what did you learn from all the chaos? The broken lives, broken families, broken jobs and workplaces, broken economy, broken environment and totally broken political system that has left us where we are now; scrabbling for test kits and appropriate protective gear for those working in hospitals, care homes, supermarkets. Those deemed as unskilled and unwanted just two months ago.
Can we fix it? Of course. Will we? I doubt it. The selfish will rise to the top as always and we will enter another long period of enforced austerity to fix the damage, though this time the state has gifted itself significantly more power than it had before.
Cold and grey out, though El and I still went for a walk for an hour, there were significantly fewer people out than yesterday which was good. There are a lot less cars as well which means being able to walk in the road to social distance, and I like walking in the road.
Now that spring is coming I am getting hay fever. This is disconcerting as I am now huffing and puffing, sneezing, blowing my nose and occasionally coughing. People look at me sideways. I look at me sideways.
We didn’t do much in the afternoon, I am using Sunday afternoons to edit photos and prepare these posts. Day light saving started today. Not that it makes any real difference, time has some irrelevancy now, and there seems to be a lot more of it. Thankfully I have work, and hobbies, and a pile of books to go through.
Now that it is spring the weather has taken a turn and it has gotten colder. There were far fewer walkers in the park when I went for my pre-work ‘commute’ walk. Work was OK, feeling a little uninspired still. I feed off other people when I work, and as El and I are working on different floors in the house I am feeding off my own lack of enthusiasm.
There was a fox on the roof of the shed for most of the morning, this is not uncommon and he/she has been there before. There are plenty of stories of wildlife returning to cities now there is less motor and human traffic about. This is not one of them.
I made a pasta bake thing with vegan chorizo, beans, and paprika for dinner. This is one of my favourite comfort meals and I am really enjoying cooking again, not that I ever didn’t enjoy it. Not having to commute means more time to think, prepare and cook each day and that is one thing I am grateful for. The shops are getting back to some form of normal supply, while there are restrictions on how many people can be in a shop, which is no bad thing, most things are back on the shelf. This means I can nip down to pick up something if it is missing from the cupboard and I have yearning to cook with it. Flour still seems to be in short supply though. Just when I have an interest in baking again, along with everyone else I guess.
There were a lot more walkers and runners out this morning, it was a bit later (8:00) and sunny again. Most people kept their distance, but I now understand why people are getting pissed off with runners. One ran at me and she was not going to change direction; that was up to me. and I was on the ‘right’ side of the path, she just didn’t care. Runners are now public enemy number one, taking the place of cyclists. Luckily I am neither at the moment, though at the start of lock down I was thinking I could start running again. Maybe now is not good time!
I talked to mum in New Zealand while I walked, she has now been locked down in the retirement village, which she is not happy about. Sadly I cannot be there to provide physical support, like shopping etc. Though my sister, son and niece and nephew are helping out, and waving at mum though the fence. My mum was able to take my grandson to the park once a week, but now restrictions are in place this cannot happen, such a shame for both of them as they both enjoyed their time together.
Today I started a three day ‘Administering ArcGis Enterprise’ for work. It was supposed to be classroom based, but obviously the world has moved on from those days. This is my first online course. I don’t like the idea of them, but it was Ok, and I coped, once I disciplined myself to not look at social media it was fine. I would still rather be in the classroom, interacting with real people though.
I have not been sleeping well and was very tired when I got up, then was a lot worse late in the afternoon, I should have gone for a walk before or after work, but was too lazy. This was stupid. I had a bad headache in the afternoon and had a bit of a temperature, though it didn’t last long. I do worry sometimes that I am going to get properly sick, and then it goes away, I feel fine and then stop worrying. I suspect I am not the only one thinking like this.
A couple of weeks ago I joined Twitter again after deleting it in a huff after the last election. I did pretty well to last this long as I was a bit of an addict. I rejoined to keep up with news from overseas, from people I respect in New Zealand, and to get back in touch with what was happening with music. It was a way to reduce the isolation, and so far so good. One of the things I am enjoying is picking up music recommendations and binge listening to artists now I can play music out loud all day. I listened to The Feelies today, their debut LP is 40 years old. I haven’t listened to them in ages, and really enjoyed the relatively sunnyness of their music.
I cooked a Thai noodle soup for dinner, another regular go-to meal, though this one was not as punchy as normal. At least I can still taste and smell.
I slept better, thankfully. I probably have sinusitis and will start doing something about it, the symptoms have been around for months and I do little to remedy them. My ears were hurting this morning, and I had a bad headache. Sinutab worked. Putting a name to what I was feeling made it all go away and I have felt find since. The pollen is not helping either I suspect.
I am now thinking about the coming weekend, and all the things I won’t be doing or feel I would be restricted from doing, like walking and stopping for a pint in a pub. I decided that I would get up early on Saturday and go to the forest and take some photos. Photography, the forest and walking are some of my go-to things when I need a break from the world. Taking the camera and the tripod and just thinking about a scene is extremely relaxing, and I have not done it for ages.
This led me to take some photos of dead leaves, a project I started ages ago and let lapse. While El made dinner I took photos in the bedroom, editing them after work on Friday. I have had these leaves for a while, slowly shriveling in a shoe box.
I am still experimenting with camera movement.
One of my sisters has managed to get mum up and running on Zoom, and has now arranged a video call for Sunday morning with the family, which is very cool and I am looking forward to it very much.
Ah, Friday. Yay, the working week is over, let the weekend and all its activities commence.
I woke up to a huge thread on the Family WhatsApp group, with my daughter now wanting to get out of Sri Lanka and return to NZ. Naturally she has limited access to the internet and my son and ex were trying to book tickets via Australia at some exorbitant price. I logged on and found a flight to Auckland this Sunday, via Qatar, that was not significantly more than the normal price, albeit with a 20 hour layover in Doha. I booked it. I have noticed before that booking flights from the UK is significantly cheaper than booking them from NZ or Australia.
We have talked about her leaving Sri Lanka off and on over the past couple of weeks, but with more countries closing borders, and fewer airlines flying each day it seemed the sensible thing to do. There was not a lot of choice of flights, getting to the UK would have been easier, but she has lots of friends in NZ and would not be so isolated. I was fine with Meliesha being in Sri Lanka, it is a safe country and she was in a fairly remote place but with good facilities and people, so I was not overly worried, but once she is back in New Zealand I will be even less so.
I am just glad to be here in London with El.
I was out of the door at 8:30, driving up to the forest for a photo walk. I took a lot of photos, had a nice walk and returned home refreshed. I will do a separate post about it during the week once I have edited the photos; though first look suggests that not too many will survive the cull. This is not my favourite time of year for photography. Today was less about output and more about taking some time out from life. It was pretty successful in that regard and I feel much better about the coming week.
The rest of the day seemed to just pass, even though as I write this it is only the next day I am trying to think what else we did. We finished watching Picard and Altered Carbon on TV and that was about it. I made SE Asian influenced stuffed bell peppers and rice for dinner, and thought they were pretty good. I used the last of the Quorn mince from the freezer. This fake meat product used to be in plentiful supply and we have eaten it for years. Since Veganuary it has been impossible to get as so many people have jumped on the vegan/vegetarian bandwagon, It is good for the planet I guess.
Another week, done and xx more to go.