Archives for the month of: April, 2020

…gone on a two mile walk through the woods, washed up breakfast dishes, finished sorting my tutoring exam questions, looked at a hard maths problem I have  had sitting around, help digitalise some WW1 American death records, looked at wildlife photos to spot some skinks, watched Bargain Hunt, listened to Pop Master, spent an hour and a half needle felting, cooked tea, washed up the dishes, tidied the kitchen…. and a few more things besides. I am quite tired today.

The silly thing is my day would have been fairly similar if we weren’t on lockdown, the walk in the morning may have been different- and would definitely have involved coffee somewhere. I would also have probably not discovered zooniverse if I hadn’t been in lockdown. Zooniverse really appeals to the geeky side of me, it is basically a website where science and research projects ask for the public’s help in typing up all the boring things that a computer can’t accurately read. I love it. My previous job was data entry based-  and I enjoyed it, there is a sense of satisfaction in doing a job well and accurately- even if you have to do the same thing again the next day- it is slightly akin to my love of ironing. It creates a sense of achievement for quite a low amount of brain effort. If any of this sounds appealing I recommend you look at . It is somewhere I would happily lose hours of my life- I have to ration myself otherwise nothing else would get done.

The weather is still lovely here, and most afternoons I am going outside, and (easily) ignoring the inside jobs. Inside jobs always seem to be boring- like sorting out the stuff in my bedroom- the only room untouched by the extension work, and the last room that needs to be purged. There are of course other, and many jobs left over to do inside but at the moment the weather is to good to be doing them.

And so to finish off this slightly dull post about the benefits of data entry as a key to happiness I shall add some pictures from my walk this morning. This beautiful woodland is between the edge of Tilehurst-( which is the western most suburb of Reading), and the M4. Walking through it the sounds of songbirds and woodpeckers mingle with the dull roar of the motorway (still noisy even with less cars). Yesterday two deer ran right across our path. Last week there were no bluebells to be seen. If nothing else this lockdown has given me the time to see this spot change almost daily.



Wow! Week 1 of extreme social distancing finished here in the UK, at least two more to go. I have twisted and turned this blog post over in my head, trying to capture something of the experience for us and what it is teaching us or me about ourselves. A big part of me just wants to forget it all, get through each day until it is over, another part of me is screaming out to analyse it and find a deeper meaning or purpose to it all. For now that part has won.

The first week has been fine, all four of us (and the cats) in the house. Yesterday I left to go shopping, the first time any of us had left our property in 7 days. Property sounds like we have a vast space- it is not, I am tempted to measure it later- good homeschooling activity (or would be if I was homeschooling, but I am not really). It has been quite hard work, not so much in getting on with each other- the children are old enough to realise we need to be nice to get by- but hard in making sure that we are all content and doing what we need to do.

The children had a taste of working from home before I did, the last three days of the last week of normality were spent at home for my son, and the Thursday my daughter was at home as well. We are incredibly fortunate in that husband was able to bring home a laptop and tablet with keyboard from work, coupled with his laptop and my laptop everyone in the family is able to get online and work at the same time. This gives our day a better shape.

And that was where stopped typing a week ago, a week later and things have settled down. The children, and I, are now officially on Easter Holidays. This means the school work that has given shape to our day has stopped and they can amuse themselves. I feel bombarded with ideas for enriching my children’s time, from school, from facebook, from emails and yet I am sort of ignoring most of it. My son had a list ten suggestions from his school, at least 8 of them are things he would do anyway- he has spent today making origami eggs. I’m hoping tomorrow he will teach me macramé. My daughter has spent her time in her room, chatting to friends, watching videos, listening to music and a bit of sewing. They are happy, they go for a daily walk. I do not think I need to entertain them- let them get bored and find something to do.

So this was titled ‘What we need’. I thought a week ago I had an answer, slightly sickly sweet but an answer none the less. My daughter needs to be able to talk to her friends, she needs music and she needs space to be alone- the first two she needs her phone to achieve. My son needs to do things that interest him, he needs to be able to watch cartoons over and over and he needs to be able to choose what he does. He, more than anyone, needs feeding at regular times and to know there will be food he likes. My husband needs space to work and food….. I think he needs to feel useful. I need to know they are here and safe and happy. I have yet to start on the big imaginary ‘When I have time list ‘ as I spend a lot of time just checking everyone is ok. But that is also something I need. I need to know we have meals planned and that we have enough in the house in case something went wrong. I also need time outside to sit and stare and watch the plants grow. And of course, can let this finish without saying it, we all need each other….

This lockdown has slowed down our pace of life, we eat tea together as a family, husband and son play badminton in the garden in the evening.  A dream life- and yet we all spend most of each day waiting for it to pass. A strange, strange existence a kind of stasis I suppose.