Lockdown in Mapperley ‘A New Hope’

Working from home used to be something I quite enjoyed now and then. A chance to get away from the office; a good way to ‘get stuff done’, have some thinking space and to come back the next day ready to start anew.

Day 1 Lockdown – 23rd March 2020. Fast forward to the middle of May. Lockdown day whatever, and it’s all starting to wear a bit thin. Social distancing at home? I work downstairs and ‘him indoors’ works upstairs. We communicate by semaphore, no we don’t, but why I feel the need to message him upstairs baffles me. He’s got one of those ‘special letters’ telling him to take stringent precautions but let’s be honest we are not taking this to extremes. We live in the same house after all.

 What do I miss from my pre-Covid working day?

  • My up and down desk. My back and neck are killing me! I love that desk (note to self, need to move more).
  • Duncan MacMillan House in the Spring. It’s beautiful.
  • The first coffee of the day. We had a bit of a routine going on our work corridor. First in made the coffee (strong). We like a cafetière. Aldi sell cheap Italian coffee which is just as well at the rate we neck it.
  • And here’s No1. People. Yes people. We need to connect face to face.

Our Notts Healthcare IT team are magnificent. We are making incredible demands, stamping our digital feet if we don’t get what we want NOW. The improvements have been rapid and helped me no end but what they can’t do is to replicate human contact, even a hologram wouldn’t make a difference. I feel like shouting over and over like Princess Leia in Star Wars,

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope. Episode VI – A New Hope,

Hope is what I need to keep looking forward. So how do I hold on to hope and think about life after lockdown? I do the easy stuff like keeping busy and having a purpose. That gives me hope of this remote way of life returning to a new kind of normality. This is an uneasy way to live. We are sociable creatures of habit. Now the rules are easing on what you can and can’t do, the sense of realisation that this situation isn’t going to end soon is sinking in.

The Wobble Factor

Feelings. The early days of lockdown. Rising anxiety. Why can’t I concentrate on one thing at once? One part of my brain telling me to focus, another part of my brain saying ‘go and get another coffee’, like an evil Mrs Doyle from Father Ted, ‘go on go on go waaan’ do something that’s easier than staring at your laptop. How will I explain for the third week running that I haven’t completed the actions set in last weeks Microsoft Teams meeting? Hands up, I didn’t do it. I’d been rumbled already anyway. As the weeks pass, the wobble factor is thankfully receding.

Sleep? It’s also improving. I really miss my Mum, (frail and living in a care home with the spectre of Covid never far away) and wonder if I will ever see her again? I miss my family, my friends and the everyday face to face chats with my work family. Oh, and my hairdresser as a DIY hairdo is a no-no, and gives the word ‘Hackathon’ a new emphasis. I need my hairdresser to sort out a big problem asap. Better get a hat.

Some of the good stuff

Family. In April, we got dressed up in our Sunday best, and watched on FaceTime as my partners parents renewed their vows online for their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Even Radio Derby picked it up. (There’s a back story for another blog here).

My work family make a difference to my week. We help and support each other more than ever.

My neighbours, Not going anywhere soon WhatsApp Group ‘. We send daft memes, we speak more, we get bits of shopping for each other, one day rather fabulous chocolate brownies with raspberries landed on my doorstep. (my waistband is straining)) I went on an egg hunt at the start of lockdown. ‘I am the Eggman’. Don’t ask.

Every Thursday at 8pm we clap and cheer and say hello on the doorstep to our neighbours to thank all the key workers who are making a difference to our new world.

We’ve had some terrible and wonderful moments during this pandemic. Sadness and elation all rolled into one and it’s not over yet. I love the pollution reduced blue sky and birdsong is SO LOUD. The garden is a new retreat and due to being at home we’ve seen birds fledge from their nests. We continue to zig zag down the street, dodging people and children on their bikes in a bizarre hoedown dance on and off the kerbs.

The world is already on the move, re-emerging, blinking and wide eyed into the light. Our quest for exploration and travel remains strong but we may have to re-discover our own beautiful country this year instead of the Costas.

Oh, and my partner made me a Birthday Cake in March for the very first time. He’s never baked a cake. (it was a big birthday after all).

I miss seeing you all. Keep safe (2 metres apart) and stay well

Postscript: Today we heard that visits are opening in the garden at Mums care home after 64 days of lock down. (With PPE and strict social distancing in place).

A New Hope’ that keeps me looking forward. This was a day I didn’t think would come. I’m so thankful to the care home staff who put their lives on the line everyday to look after Mum and others like her.

2 m garden visit!

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